Should you buy the Canon 5DS or5DS R?

News is flying around Facebook and the Interweb. The Canon 5DS and 5DS R are coming. They’ll be 50.6 megapixels. Its exciting news. People have been waiting for a ‘big megapixel’ camera from Canon for quite some time.

So people are asking the question, “What should I buy? Should I buy the 5DS or the 5DS R?”

My answer …

“Neither”

Why neither? Let me elaborate.

We are all so focused on gear.

Look at any photograph posted on the web, if it doesn’t list the model of camera that the photograph was taken with, what lens was used, what focal length, what f-stop, shutter duration and what ISO then there will be 50 questions asking the photographer what equipment or settings they used. And there will be zero questions asking the photographer what they saw and felt and how they came about the final composition and post processing style.

Can you imagine what it’d be like if Vincent Van Gogh painted ‘Starry Night’ today and had to cater for photographers gear fetish?

Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night, No 1  Clydesdale hair Brush, No 2 Palamino Hair Brush, #47 Green OIl Paint, Fazers Red Oil paint, Quirks Yellow Oil paint,  Cedar Painters Palette 1876 model, Dad's old shirt art smock

Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night, No 1 Clydesdale hair Brush, No 2 Palamino Hair Brush, #47 Green Oil Paint, Fazers Red Oil paint,
Quirks Yellow Oil paint,Ilford Fine Art Canvas, Cedar Painters Palette 1876 model, Dad’s old shirt art smock

 
Ridiculous isn’t it. It feels like summarising one of the worlds most famous painter’s work as a series of brushes, oil paints and pieces of equipment…

I could go buy the No 1 Clydesdale hair Brush, No 2 Palamino Hair Brush, #47 Green Oil Paint, Fazers Red Oil paint,
Quirks Yellow Oil paint,Ilford Fine Art Canvas, Cedar Painters Palette 1876 model and use one of my Dad’s old business shirts as art smock but it won’t help me one bit to be able to deliver a painting like Vincent Van Gogh. Yet when it comes to photography we seem to have this ill conceived notion that the limiting factor to becoming a world reknown photographer is our gear. “if I buy this new camera I’ll be one step closer to producing better images”
 

Cameras are merely a tool you use along with your skill set to execute your vision and produce a photograph.

So just as I would say to a budding painter who admires Van Gogh, don’t go and buy what he used, learn what makes his paintings wonderful, learn to see how he sees, learn the why and how. Once you have done that, then worry about the tools you may need to upgrade to completely and purely replicate Vincent’s work.

So if you have $3,500 to spend on a Canon 5DS or 5DS R, I recommend you buy neither.

I recommend you go spend that $3,500 on photography books produced by the worlds best photographers, visit an art gallery or 10, buy some historical art books. Research art, research why the worlds best photographers ARE the worlds best photographers, learn how they see, learn how they think, understand their vision, learn the technical skills and forget about the camera.

Learn art back to front, learn how to replicate it, learn how to produce that quality of work. Once you’ve you’ve mastered being able to produce someone elses art, then go create your own style and develop your vision and continue to improve on it.
And then go buy the tool that helps you deliver on your vision if the one you have is providing limitations.

Resist G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome – a term coined by Zack Arias www.zackarias.com).

Investing in a a bigger megapixel camera won’t make you a better photographer, investing in yourself will.

Start today, go have a look at some of Vincent Van Gogh’s work over at http://www.vangoghgallery.com/

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