From Zack Arias’s Photography Q&A:
Why am I not fearful of people who buy a nice camera and suddenly fancy themselves photographers? Because this shit I’m talking about doesn’t come in the box. The camera will never see. The camera has no vision. It’s a f*cking hammer that can’t build a house. It’s a stove that can’t cook. It’s a stupid, stupid, stupid piece of plastic with some metal bits. It’s useless as it sits there in a box. It knows nothing. It does nothing. It sees nothing. The camera is a piece of shit.
His words resonated with me despite the strong tone. I have seen people buy $1500 laptops to learn programming or top of the line archery equipment after shooting only a few arrows. You don’t need fancy equipment to be good at something, especially if you’re just starting out. You can surpass any advantage equipment provides by learning and practicing more. When your skill reaches soaring levels and starts to plateau, then the equipment could make a difference. Olympic athletes, polar explorers, and world-class artisans and professionals need it. Are you there yet?
To drive the point home even further, just look at this guy paint using popsicles.
I am also aware of the emotional side of this dilemma. Sometimes more expensive things look nicer or send a certain message. It’s the looks, right? I get that. Buy the fancy stuff if you can and want to. I am just saying that you don’t have to.