A funny thing happened on the way to the forum.

The Internet is a wonderful thing. The amount of information available on almost anything is often too much to analyse. Part of the reason for this is anyone can contribute.

Average people can now contribute to encyclopaedias without any qualifications or possibly real experience in the subject. This can be good in contributing to the overall wealth of knowledge but it can also lead to some strange versions of truth.

Forums are an example of the random nature of opinion. Mr Average can join a forum on brain surgery and offer an opinion on a method to do a procedure using tweezers. It gets commented, tagged and linked to a few times and suddenly it’s the new truth.

I frequent quite a few forums on photography and even on the ones for professionals many of the comments are advocating methods that I have never seen any professional use.

Common questions are on preferred camera brands or is x better than y. These sort of posts lead to a string of responses and often heated discussion.

At the end of the day, your choice of equipment is a mixture of personal preference and commercial reality. Professionals use products that meet the needs of the client and provide the best return on investment.

Reliability and support are key ingredients here. Canon and Nikon have Professional Services groups that provide rapid turnaround on repairs and other services.

Most professionals have been around since film days and regard a full frame camera as entry level for most work and for studio work need a medium format camera.

For sport (or even to catch a fast moving eyelid) a high frame rate may be preferred. This may require a slightly smaller sensor, however the quality of these high end cameras means minimal loss of image quality.

In conclusion, professionals as well as non professionals choose their equipment for a variety of reasons. So a forum question on “what is the best portrait lens” will get responses varying from 85 mm 1.2 at over $2000 down to the guy that shoots portraits with a Rebel and 18-55 kit lens. Best is what’s best for you.

(Bob conducts Studio Workshops in Sydney. Details at AspirationImages.com/workshops or click the Workshops link in the menu)

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