Nikon: “A Photographer Is Only as Good as the Equipment He Uses” [Updated]

Nikon Facebook

A recent status update on Nikon’s Facebook page stated that “A photographer is only as good as the equipment he uses.”

I can appreciate the marketing push for your products over competitors, but limiting a photographer’s skill to the equipment he uses is a pretty dumb thing to say.

Nikon sure has stirred the pot with this one.  Some PR guy (or gal) over at Nikon has to be a little red in the face tonight.

While we all love our gear, it’s not about the camera.  We still love you Nikon, but give photographers are little more credit, eh?

UPDATE 9/29/11: Nikon followed up with an apology.


[via PetaPixel]



  1. says

    I’m a Canon user (not a fanboy). I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Nikon is bullshit, because I own a Nikon camera myself. I just get better shots with my Canon because I know how to use it.

    Saying “a photographer is only as good as his gear” is bullshit. I think Nikon knows that. But to use it in an ad campaign is absolute heresy. They’re cheapening people who use Nikon. It’s like a non-photographer saying, “The only reason you’re any good as a photographer is because of your camera. Hell, if I had that camera, I’d be as good as you.”

    Great job Nikon, great job.

  2. Chris Lewis says

    Any one remember the Nikon EM ?? Nikon sure gave us a “quality” product there, so what does that say about Nikon and their thoughts on their customers who “are only as good as the equipment”… [;)]

  3. Gordon says

    What utter rubbish! Nikon have lost credibility here. Apparently intelligence is is not a pre-requisite to work at Nikon.

  4. Chito Mercader says

    Yes, saying that “A photographer is only as good as the equipment he uses.” is quite dumb and ridiculous. What about the beautiful photos of say, Ansel Adams. The beautiful pictures that he produced were not “taken using a Nikon.”
    Please be careful with what you say here. Give some credits to the other manufacturers: Canon has it’s plusses, so does Mamiya, Pentax, Olympus (I am a user) had it’s share of accomplishments, so does Sony and all the other camera makers.
    However, with all the technologies available in all those camera brands, it is still the one taking the picture that produces the final photo. Otherwise, let’s just all use Hasselblads and Leicas.

  5. Vincent says

    Nikon is damn right (despite his commercial goals).
    If you have BAD equipment, SOMETIME you can shot MASTERPIECE.
    If you have GOD equipment, you ALWAYS have a chance to make masterpiece.

    For dumb people key words are in caps.

  6. Greg Timmis says

    Not Nikon’s most thought out comment ever, but their is a small degree of truth in it, otherwise we all just by a cheap point and shoot!! Ironically, despite being an NPS member I am using a Holga a lot at the moment!!

  7. Phil McOrmond says

    Unless you are using a waist-level finder, the most important part is located 4 inches behind the camera.

  8. Joan Robinson says

    I’m with Vincent on this one – the statement is accurate if you approach it in the proper frame of mind. An excellent photographer will get good shots out of most decent cameras but he or she will get their very best shots from the very best camera and lens. I suspect the reaction is down to reader ego rather than Nikon faux pas but being a Japanese Company they will, of course, be as polite as possible and apologise to those who have taken offence.

  9. Greg Timmis says

    I agree with Vincent’s comment, but love the fact that when using block caps for ‘Dumb’ people he failed to spell ‘Good’ correctly!! No offence meant Vinny!! ;-)

  10. says

    I was taught a long time ago that a camera does not make the photographer, the photographer makes the camera.

    Yes, better equipment makes it easier to get a better finished product, but a better camera does not guarantee anything…. other than the camera company is make a good profit.
    As a member of a professional organization of photographers I have a chance to see a lot of work from other photographers – some great and some poor. And most pros use good equipment.
    So while the statement is incorrect I believe it had its desired effect.
    Publicity – good or bad is ALWAYS GOOD.
    It sure got everyone talking about _ _ _ _ _ ….. who was that camera company?
    It’s all in the training.

  11. says

    I agree with Joan – if there was no difference between any Nikon DSLR – then we would all would have D40’s! People do the best they can with what they have – you don’t buy a Corvette and drive 35mph do you? Do you stress you camera & lens to it’s max? A better camera/lens will give better results if all things are equal – besides – how many of you or us computer adjust your shots – so maybe it doesn’t matter what you use. If you shoot it right the first time, why computer adjust – just saying…have fun people and stop stressing over what people say or think!! Love ya’

  12. says

    Actually, the equipment is only as good as the user.

    Now that Nikon has insulted a great many photographers, here’s hoping that we can all just forgive and forget…and get on with our hobby

  13. says

    Ohhhhhhhhhhh yes, if you use Nikon, GOD is with you… So the thousands or millions of Nikon users are amazing photographers… C`mon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Ashley Groome says

    This isn’t a Nikon v Canon v Pentax v anybody else thing.

    A photograph taken with good camera gear, will be better than the same photograph taken with crap photographic gear – that’s why most photographers don’t (usually) use a beer bottle and a shoe box to take pictures. Duhhh!.

  15. Jesper Brinck says

    I agree with Michael Courtney:
    “Actually, the equipment is only as good as the user”
    It has nothing to do with the equipment. A good photograph can be taken with a lousy mobile phone. It´s finding the magic moment and a lot of other things that makes a good picture. People who blame the equipment because the picture isn´t good are probably bad photographers more interrested in technic.
    I have a Nikon D700 and a Leica M8.2 – great cameras, but I have taken wonderful spontaneus shots with my 2mp mobile phone.