Local photographer Simon Saez was at a local park when another fellow noticed his camera, a Nikon D800 with 70-200 F2.8 zoom, and casually commented, “That’s a nice camera, it must take nice pictures.” Saez, a normally quiet man, restrained himself and responded with a curt, “Thank you,” but afterwards, out of earshot of the thoughtless stranger, he was near his boiling point.
“What does he think, I just close my eyes, point the camera anywhere, and press the button?!” Saez muttered under his breath. “This is not the first time this has happened. People think that the camera does all the work, but it is just a tool. A good photographer can take a good photo with an iPhone! Does someone in a restaurant say, ‘that was a great meal…you must have a nice oven?’ Or do they say to a baseball player, ‘that was a great home run…you must have a nice bat?’” On the drive home, Saez continued to be bothered by the innocent statement.
Later that evening at home, Saez had some tea, listened to some smooth jazz and calmed down for a bit. He then spent the evening as he usually did, in his home studio, surfing the internet for camera news and getting his blood pressure up again arguing with others on gear forums.
The debate du soir was the advantages of full frame cameras over APS-C, Micro Four-Thirds, and others. The subtext was that some cameras take unequivocally better pictures than others. Very little was said about the skill or vision of the photographer, and the only photos proffered were little more than test shots. The irony of Saez’s day was, unfortunately, lost to him.