Have you ever been taking a photograph with your camera and had someone come up to you and say something similar to this, “Oh, you have an amazing camera. So that’s how you get such great photos.”
Well I am hear to go on the record with my opinion. Yes, good equipment (a quality SLR, professional series lenses, external flash, etc) – THEY DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Sort of… They make a difference if you know how to use them.
A person who does not understand light, focusing, depth of field and metering could have a Canon 5D MKII and an 85L lens and get way worse photos than if they just used a point and shoot. Even my husband (he may not like me saying this) will get better results from our point and shoot than my SLR. When he uses the SLR and takes a photo of me, guess who is blurry? Me. Background may look perfectly sharp. But give him a point and shoot and he does great.
On the other hand, give a professional photographer (who knows what they are doing), an entry level SLR (like the Rebel series) and a kit lens, and they can often turn out works of art. Sure, if you give that same photographer the Nikon D700 or Canon 5D MKII and a professional or L series prime lens, they will be able to get shallower depth of field and allow the subject to pop more. The color likely will be a touch more vibrant. And the subjects may appear a tad sharper as the focusing “should” be a tad more accurate.
So what am I saying with this ramble? Practice with what you have. Learn your camera, learn your lens, learn to see the light, focus your camera, etc. Once you do, if you can afford it, sure – get better, more expensive equipment. You will notice your photos get even better. But I have seen too many photographers who are “not there yet” get the most pricey gear and wonder “why do my photos not look like ______ (fill in the blank).”
Of course I have not even touched on the “after” part using photoshop. But that is another topic for another day…