A Little About Our Stuff
Equipment is not everything, but it certainly can help, talent and determination matter and getting out there to get the photos.
Let's start with my opening comment, first of all I am not a purist and not one of those who says equipment doesn't matter. The hard reality is, quality equipment can and does matter, but that is not what photography is about to me. Photography is an experience, a way to capture and share the things you feel and see in only a way you do. Our life has changed because of photography, we have become outdoor people and go on wonderful life altering photographic adventures. That is one element that makes photography wonderful to us.
The other element, also being the element where equipment can and does matter, is the quality and sharpness of the final images. All I really want to say about this subject without preaching is the following:
Some people will say you don't need a D4 because why buy such an expensive camera, it's just overpriced bla bla bla. I will say, I have shot and owned D2X, D3X, D700, D7000, D800 and D4 plus a couple others and the D4 blows them all away. I am not talking some technical test in a lab or photographing sharpness charts, I am talking in the field getting that critical shot.
The D4 is an amazing engineering marvel and here is why we think that. Eleven frames per second matter, yes you can get that flying shot with 5fps but you may have to try many times to get the exact wing to face pose you were hoping for. 11fps second matter with unlimited buffer because I have tried many times to get that bald eagle grab pose with 4fps and 20 frame buffer and missed. Why, because if your timing isn't perfect then the shot doesn't happen or you run out of buffer at a critical time which means the camera slows down to 1 or 2 fps. So having 11fps will let you choose that shot, will let you pick out that perfect pose, but of course you will still have to be focused right on target when you shoot. That brings us to focus ability, the D4 is amazing at picking up targets to focus on, you can be panning on a bald eagle in flight and miss the 1st frame or two, next thing the focus is back on target and you get the rest of the flying sequence. Nothing worse than being on target with something like a D3X or equivalent and have the damn lens start hunting on you.
Here is how I would describe the D3X for example and we are talking wildlife photography, down and dirty situations, out in the field chasing a moose of something. Sometimes you only have seconds to get that shot, literally seconds and then the opportunity is gone. The D3X was a beautiful camera but would often let us down, so my description of it would be: when the D3X is good its great, when its bad it is just down right bad. Even out shooting a slow moving big target like a moose, there would be times when we got home and reviewed the images on the big screen that we would see soft images even though we were right on with the focus point. Other times when you think there is no way the camera handled those conditions, but then you get back and you got wonderful shots, kind of hit and miss with the D3X.
Every pixel on a D4 photo is a quality pixel, the images are higher quality, your chances of getting the image are way better. Tough conditions, no problem, I have put the D4 through extreme real world tests and it shines every time. If I am hoping to get that once in a lifetime shot I am grabbing the D4, because it will help me get it. It's that simple to me.
Thats my view on equipment.
Being a realistic person I can tell you this, what we have now is not what we started with. Our equipment grew to the quality and expense it is now over time, it happend in our quest to get continously better shots.
Before any equipment comes up, you need to get out there, get photographing and have fun, then when your quest for better photos starts to happen you can address your equipment or your technique.