As a photographer, how many times have you heard someone tell you, “your camera takes great pictures!” (Cue irate rant in your brain). Of course, we as photographers know that there is more to taking a great photo than the gear you use. It’s not about the camera. It’s about the LIGHT.

Now, having good gear doesn’t hurt. I remember shooting a wedding with my Canon Rebel xti and a few days later shooting another wedding with my new Canon 5D Mark II. There’s definitely a difference in image quality, but in the following video, photographer (and new SLR Lounge writer!) Miguel Quiles answers the question, “Is it possible that spending [the] same money [that you would to get a full frame camera or expensive lens] elsewhere might give you a better end product at a much lower cost?”


Miguel compares the Canon 7D with a Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens, a solid, but entry level setup that costs roughly $800 and a Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon 85mm f/1.2L lens, an approximate $5,000 value. Using the same premium lighting equipment (one diffused light – a FlexFlash 200W with an OctoDome: medium attached and a foam core reflector) and post processing techniques, he set out to compare both images to see if there was a clear distinction between the two setups.

Light-set-up-Quiles-1 Quiles-1

So, which photo was taken with which setup?


He also used a simpler one light set up and got the following results:



The quality is almost indistinguishable in the above images. So, before looking to upgrade your camera or get that top of the line lens, you’d be wise to invest in a high quality lighting kit first.

Watch the 4 minute video, “It’s Not About the Camera: A Lighting Lesson” here:

To see more of Miguel Quiles work, check out his website.

[Via PhotoFlex]

CREDITS: All photographs shared by Miguel Quiles are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist