Recently, I was shooting some glamour sets for a client. One of the models had brought along a friend. The friend stood nearby, quietly watching us shoot. After a bit, the model needed to take a quick break for some reason or another. As she walked off, the model's friend approached me and asked what kind of camera I was shooting with.
"A Canon 5D," I told him.
"Mark two or Mark three?" the friend asked, indicating some level of knowledge regarding Canon cameras.
"Neither," I said, holding up the camera and pointing the lens towards him so he could see the front of it. "It's an original 5D."
"Whoa! Old school," the model's friend observed before heading off to look for his friend, the model.
Old school? A Canon 5D is old school? Wow!
Once again, I was reminded how equipment-centric so many new-ish photographers are these days. For the record, my Canon 5D gets the job done and gets it done more than adequately. Even more so since quite a bit of the work I produce is intended mostly for web use. You know, where it will viewed at a much lower resolution than print work. And that's not to say my Canon 5D doesn't capture images with enough resolution and detail for print work. It does. Without a doubt it does. And since it does, why should I spend thousands of dollars on a new camera body that I don't need to adequately do my job? A job, I should add, where the output is also used in a lot of print work.
There's plenty of other stuff to spend my hard-earned income on. Heck. Just this past week I bought a new tripod and head, a fairly good one, and I also purchased another Pocket Wizard to add to my collection of Pocket Wizards. Two weeks or so before that, I purchased another monolight, a Photogenic StudioMax 160, to add to my lighting gear. All of that stuff will make my job more productive and efficient, giving me many more options on shoots than a new camera body will.
And here's something else that occurred to me when the model's friend asked about my camera: Why is it other photographers are so often interested in little more than the camera another photographer is using? On that particular shoot, I had 4 monolights going, plus a reflector, I was adjusting lights using a light meter and the only thing the model's friend was interested in -- a guy I later learned is pursuing photography himself -- was the camera I was using; not the lens, not the lighting, not much of anything else. To top that off, he thought using a Canon 5D, a digital SLR that isn't all that ancient and still represents some fairly high-end camera technology, is old school. I can only imagine what he might have thought if I had pulled out one of my film cameras and snapped a roll.
The model with the pink and white polka-dot dress at the top is Faye. (Click to enlarge.) It's one from a set I snapped with my old school Canon 5D, at night, just a few feet outside the door of her "garden complex" apartment's front door. I was using two lights for this set: A main light in front, modified with a fairly large shoot-thru umbrella, and a bare bulb monolight, outfitted with a 30° honeycomb grid, coming from behind.