Tools, just tools

A camera is a tool.  Plain and simple.  Out of a human’s hands, it is no better than a doorstop.  Sure, it allows us to create, to document and capture moments of our lives.  But it’s a tool.

I’m always amazed at industry websites, critics and particularly fan-boys and girls who go crazy in the forums discussing the finer points of image quality, loss of 1/2 stop of light, noise, low light sensitivity and other details.

For fun, I looked at my local Home Depot web site for their collection of hammers.  Do you know that my search came up with 45 items?  45!  Everything from a milled face, curved titanium handle hammer for $261 to a simple hammer with an ash handle for $7.48.  Can you imagine the fan-boys crowing about the merits of the curved titanium handle?  How many degrees of curvature allow you to drive a nail more efficiently?  The effect of the weight distribution?

Whatever hammer you choose, it has a flat end for driving in nails and a claw for pulling nails out.  You can give either hammer to a professional carpenter and he’ll drive a nail in straight.  He may enjoy using one hammer more than another but the result will be “practically” the same.  Note the use of the word practically.  There may be fine differences in how straight the nail is, or how quickly it was driven, but the end result is a nail holding a piece of wood in place.  Give the same hammers to an amateur and you’ll get a series of bent nails, curse words and swollen thumbs with bandages.

Bottom line, a pro will use the tool to produce great results.  He or she may prefer one of the tools out of personal choice.  But, the amateur will screw things up no matter how great a tool you give them.

So please, give me a break with all the discussions about infinitely small details and how one camera is better than another.  I love them all.  They each offer something fun when you live the joy of photography.

The best camera ever?  The best camera I ever used was the one I had with me when I saw something beautiful I wanted to shoot.

End of rant.


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