This is the question asked by most people in the budding phase of their photography career. And being one of those people, I conducted some simple research on this particular dilemma.
So, which is really more important: the lens or the camera body? Should you simply upgrade your lenses or should you buy a new camera body instead?
Here’s what I found in my research.
Film Cameras versus Digital Cameras
Back in the old days when film cameras were the only option, this dilemma did not exist. The lenses are definitely more important. Photo quality and appearance are dramatically improved with a simple change of lens and film. So if you still fancy the good old-fashioned film camera, a simple upgrade in lenses is the better option.
On the other hand, the dilemma holds for digital cameras. If you’re using these more advanced and innovated photography media, then the camera bodies themselves may be more important than the lenses.
Different Photography Specializations
If you’re into either portrait, wildlife, landscape or macro photography, then a simple upgrade to specialist lenses is required. Using an ultra-wide angle lens or a macro lens can help you achieve way better results.
If you’re into night photography or sports photography, then the camera body is more important. Night photography usually requires cameras having low-noise capture. Sports photography requires a steady and stable shooting speed as well as accurate autofocus and stabilization.
For Amateur Photographers
If you’re only starting out in photography, professional photographers often advise to keep your investment on the camera body to a minimum. You will certainly achieve better photos using an average camera body with high-quality lenses than a professional camera with bad lenses.
Final Word of Advice
Whether lenses or camera bodies are more important should not be the main issue here, especially for starters like myself. This is a technical issue that will of course help improve shots but should not be an alibi for lack of improvement in your skills.
Even if you can afford the most advanced camera model or the best lenses on the market, your shots will still look substandard if you lack the right skills. To truly improve your photography, time is your best investment and not money. Practice makes perfect, so the cliché goes. And practice takes time; a lot of it. You don’t have to spend unnecessarily on workshops. There are numerous free photography tutorials online.