This forum has a diverse audience. Some members are professional photographers. Some members are just starting out. Many threads get posted that can be summed up as: "I want to create better images, what gear should I buy?" Sometimes this is framed as which point-and-shoot is the best? Sometimes this is framed as which DSLR is the best? Sometimes this is framed as which brand is the best (Canon/Nikon/others)? Sometimes this is framed as which lens should I buy? The answers can vary greatly but general responses tend to be: DSLRs are better than point-and-shoots--more options and better image quality. Bodies don't matter, buy better glass Bodies DO matter, considering the sensor changes (or other changes) body "x" will result in better images than body "y" Professional (i.e. "fast") zooms will be better than consumer zooms Primes are better than zooms Fast lenses are better than "slow" lenses For god's sake, buy a tripod (and a good tripod at that) The more thought-out replies generally preface their recommendations by asking "What are you shooting and how is your current gear holding you back?" This often gets lost though in the flutter of "buy this" or "buy that." Photography can be an expensive hobby/job. It's easy when starting out to blame mediocre results on the gear you have while ignoring the skill/technique/experience that is required to create pleasing images. I wanted to create a thread with examples of why gear matters (or doesn't matter). There are obviously niches in photography that require top-end gear (wildlife photography, sports photography, low-light photography, etc.). But there are also many common shooting scenarios that DON'T require professional/expensive gear. Depending on what you plan to shoot and what your output requirements are (i.e. web/email, ink-jet printer output, framing on the wall, sending to a professional printing service, selling to clients) you might be able to get by with less than internet forums, test charts, and manufacturer propaganda would lead you to believe. Please post example images and explain why the specific shot you wanted could only have been obtained with a certain level of gear. The obvious example shots will be in low-light, scenes that require a shallow depth-of-field, fast action, or subjects that require extreme telephoto. That's fine. Many people who aren't professional photographers (most people?) don't routinely shoot in any of those scenarios. Yet they may still feel the need to "upgrade" because they want "better" pictures. Gear isn't always the answer though. So please post your shots with explanations of why you NEED the current gear you use to create your images.