Whenever someone asks me, my answer is usually one and the same – Your own eye. No camera or lens can ever replace your ability to make a great composition, or do all the creative thinking for you.
I smile whenever someone says, “This camera takes great pictures”. My response, “No, you took a great picture, and that is a nice camera by the way.” A camera is not going to compose a great photo for you anymore than a scalpel is going to perform a great operation for a surgeon.
Sure, if you like to shoot F1 races, that expensive top end DSLR with a giant fast focusing super telephoto lens will probably get you sharper photos than entry level equipment. My Nikon D3 with a heavy f2.8 zoom with image stabilization will give me more flexibility if shooting handheld in very low light situations. However, in most situations, that lightweight basic DSLR set up will do just as good a job, and probably better at times as you’ll be more inclined to actually carry It rather than exhaust yourself lugging a bag of heavy gear around all day. I’ve shot a cover photo using a plastic mount 100USD lens.
Many people tend to worry more about their camera gear instead of maximizing their photography skills. You’ll be surprised what can be done with a simple set up.
Remember, cameras don’t take photographs, people do.
This photograph was taken at the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, USA on a 6MP Nikon D70 camera. The full size file was upsized and was good enough for a stock agency that accepts minimum 48MB uncompressed file sizes.