The secret camera revealed

The last few days I’ve had some fun on Google+ and Twitter with images I shot during the workshops with a “secret” camera. Of course I know when I post images online with the message “testing a different camera” it will start people wondering what kind of camera that will be, according to some it had to be the new Canon 5DMKIII, according to some a new Leaf digital back, or maybe even the new Nikon. Anyway the people were convinced it had to be something special, and the images…. well the usual quality.

I can already give away that the images you see are almost 100% straight out of the camera, some small things have been changed in the background, for example some seams from the wallpaper, the background has been smoothened with the gray background, but furthermore they are straight out of the camera.

Before I reveal this “mystery” camera, some background information.
The images were all shot during the workshops, I literally took not longer than 4-5 shots per setup to get the shot you see here, in other words they could have been better. But this was not the point.

How it started
Very often I hear about the images I post online that the main reason they look good is the gear I use, and let’s be honest I can say 100 times it’s the light somehow people really don’t understand this, sometimes this is a frustration because people really think that gear will make you a better shooter. And let’s first make clear that I don’t think of myself as one of the greatest shooters out there, I make nice images, I can teach a good workshop and I’m an all round Mr. Nice Guy (with a killer high kick :D). Some people will say differently and I love that but this is my opinion. (maybe it’s a Dutch thing).

The feeling that it’s all in the gear is something that I hate. And OK I use a Medium format camera and Elinchrom strobes (and some killer firewire and USB cables) but in the end in my opinion it’s all about the photographer and his/her control of the story, light etc. to make a good shot. In the last weeks I’ve been posting several blog posts about posing, styling and upgrades and to be honest (believe it or not) it’s all been building up to this….

Because all the images you have seen in this blogpost and online that were made with “a different” camera, they were indeed all done with a Canon…… but not a 5DMKIII, not even a 5DMKII, and not even a 10D……. my camera of choice for these images was my old Canon G9…..


I just put on a skyport and shot it next to the Medium Format camera.
Now what is the deal with this experiment…..


Differences or no differences
Trust me, the G9 is NO comparison to the MF system or the 5D(MKII).
But I never ever doubted that, however some people claim that they can judge from an internet file if it was shot with a MF camera, a DSLR or a P&S. There were many of those threads on several forums, and I’ve read quite a few and to be totally honest I always wondered how people could ever tell the difference from a small file on the internet, also when I tell people that their DSLR is really good enough and they should only make the switch to Medium Format when they really need the systems pros (if you want I can make a different blog post about those), still there are people that judge from an internet sized image and really full heartily believe that they can never ever make images like that because their gear is not up to the task.


Again, PLEASE don’t read this as a message that all gear is equal because it most definitely is not, but realize that to make this point I really went to an extreme, I wanted to use my iPhone 4S initially but did not because of the distortion of the wider lens would give it away to easily so I took the simplest camera I had in my possession with a hotshoe and that happened to be my old G9 (which is by the way in no way a bad camera, but a lot less than a DSLR). The whole idea behind this “experiment” is to show you that even with a P&S you can make images that are good, a G9 is as good as the photographer holding it. It does has it’s limitations and when I would show you 1:1 crops you will immediately see a huge difference, but what I hope to achieve is that people who are budget limited and can’t afford new gear and therefore feel closed down in their progress are motivated to pick up their “junk” and discover that in essence they have a great camera and that when they learn to control their light and pay attention to detail in the styling, posing, angles etc. they can make incredible images with their camera.


In the end it all boils down to this.
It doesn’t matter if you hammer a nail in the wall with a hammer from brand X or brand Y as long as the nail goes in the wall. With cameras this doesn’t work exactly that way because there is indeed a huge difference between some models and for some photography you will be limited, but please do realize that when you are judging from images you see on the internet, PLEASE don’t discard your own system as being worthless, invest in workshops that teach you proper understanding of lighting, learn to get your vision on the sensor, and than you very quickly realize that the camera is just a tool….. and the best camera ? that’s the one you have with you.
If you want to have a great investment in learning to master you camera, lights etc. click on the Kelbytraining logo in the side menu and take a subscription, you could start with one month, but trust me… before you know it you will be hooked and want more and more…… I think it’s the best investment you can make in your photography learning curve…. and you can also see some videos I done for them 🙂