Expensive vs Cheap Photo Gear: Can You Tell the Difference? (VIDEO)

You’re all familiar with the popular adage that, “It’s the photographer, not the camera” that’s responsible for a great image. But is this totally true or is it an inspirational myth? Today we’ll attempt to answer that question and put YOUR eyes to the test!

Vanessa Joy is a top-notch portrait/wedding photographer, and in the fun video below she explores how much premium equipment affects an image to see if you can spot the difference in results between expensive and cheap gear. So take a look and let us know what you think.

For this shoot Joy uses two Canon lenses, a budget-priced Canon 50mm f/1.8 and a far more expensive 50mm f/1.2. Likewise, she employs two Canon DSLR cameras, the EOS Rebel T7 targeted at enthusiasts and the full-featured EOS-1D X Mark III designed for pros.

Bottom line: Joy’s premium kit costs about $6,500, while you can get the budget setup for around $500. And to make things even more interesting, Joy swaps the two lenses between cameras to see if the camera or lens makes the most discernable difference.

Of course it helps that Joy has a gorgeous model, but try not to be distracted by that and concentrate on the quality of the shots. Budget constraints notwithstanding, image quality is the key consideration when choosing what camera and lenses to purchase. But depending upon your needs and skill level, other variables enter into the equation—like size and weight, ease of use, and the notion that with limited funds it may be wise to invest in premium glass and hold on to the camera you already own.

To make the comparisons as fair as possible, Joy uses the same camera and lens settings for all of the shots So there’s no difference in white balance, shutter speed, exposure compensation, or aperture settings to skew the results. And she poses the model in exactly the same light when using both cameras. So pull up your chair, take a look, and see what you think.

After watching the shootout, head over to Joy’s YouTube channel for more helpful portrait tips. And speaking of great gear, check out our recent story with the 10 best lenses you can buy in 2020.