Photo Gear Buying Tips for Black Friday and Christmas

Black Friday sales are just around the corner, not to mention Christmas. It's a great time to get some new photo gear, maybe a new lens or a camera. Before you head out to buy new gear, you should ask yourself if you really need it and if buying new and better gear will really make you a better photographer.

I often receive emails and talk with photography enthusiasts and hobbyists who mention buying new and better photo gear and that they hope to take better pictures with it. I often advise them to reconsider this because in 95% of cases, you won't take better pictures with a new camera. I'm not saying that new and better cameras or lenses are not higher in quality than old ones - sure, their image quality is probably much better but it doesn't mean that your photography skills will improve.

I truly believe that technological limitations are the driving force for creativity. You should not buy new gear until you master a camera that you already have, even if it's a point-and-shoot, and until you discover it's strengths and weakness. For example, an old digital camera might give you lots of noise ('grain') at ISO 800. But you might discover a new technique or  find your photography style when lighting a scene and trying to avoid using higher ISO just for the sake of not having noise.

Remember that having better photo gear doesn't necessarily mean you will take better pictures. I read somewhere (unfortunately i don't remember where) that  

a great photographer can take stunning photographs with a disposable camera, poor pics are taken each day with advanced cameras.

I'm not saying by any means that I'm a great photographer, but a picture below can be a good example: this picture was taken with a point-and-shoot camera and I like it a lot.