The Cheap Camera Challenge – It’s Not All About the Camera


In my own classes, workshops and tours I tell my students that it is not the camera that makes good photos it’s the photographer. This video series by DigitalRev TV takes that statement to the next level with their Pro Photographer, Cheap Camera Challenge.

In this instalment street photographer Gary Tyson is given a cheap camera in a wristwatch. See how he uses it to make some pretty decent photos, interacts with people and uses it to his advantage rather than it being a disadvantage.

What can you learn from that video? What is the lesson there?

Sure maybe the photos are high resolution and won’t stand up to anything other than being on the internet. But take those same techniques and apply them using whatever camera you do have.

Are you up to taking the cheap camera challenge? I might give it a go myself!

Read more from our Cameras & Equipment category

Darlene Hildebrandt is an educator who teaches aspiring amateurs and hobbyists how to improve their skills through articles on her site Digital Photo Mentor, online photography classes, and travel tours to exotic places like Morocco and India. To help you at whatever level you're at she has two email mini-courses. Sign up for her free beginner OR portrait photography email mini-course here. Or get both, no charge!

  • Oscar Guardado

    I believe using your “cheapest camera”, can force you to use your imagination and creativity to take shots that have a meaning, shots that carry a message. True, high end cameras (lenses and sensors) can give you sharpness, depth of field, and better looking photos under low light conditions, however, a camera does not frame for you, nor does it compose for you, those are skills learned and made better through experiences.

  • Such a delightful piece, I absolutely enjoyed this! Definitely shows you that creativity starts from within, not so much with what you are using!


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  • Bob Bevan Smith

    When I was a LOT younger, I joined a camera club. They had an ‘Instamatic camera’ contest (way back in the 70’s, before digital) and each member had to take 1 shot with the same Kodak Instamatic camera and then we viewed the results. That certainly showed it was the photographer, not the camera, that made the difference.
    With this little pink beauty, the novelty may soon wear off once they become a common consumer item. People will start to be aware of their being used, and may worry about ‘spying’.
    But the message remains: it’s not the camera that counts, it’s the brain behind it.
    Thanks for showing us this video!

  • I have been shooting with a d90 and crappy lenses for the last 4 years got awesome results. At some point you do need the camera that can handle higher ISO and still deliver good photos. I do agree and disagree. All taken with my d90. Have a look at www.

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  • Jeffrey Wong

    Some of my favourite pics are off my camera phone. But, my Nikon D60 drives me nuts in regards to color and autofocus. So, yeah it’s up to your skill, but sometimes it would be good to have updated equipment.

  • I have a camera watch which is available at good price and also having good camera and features. I need your attention here

  • KC

    I like this kind of challenge. I always have a “snappy camera” in the kit. Cheap-ish, but not necessarily cheap. In this case it’s a Panasonic TS5, a rugged camera. As a rugged camera, it’s great. As a camera it’s “ok” – conditionally. I need to set aside my IQ expectations. It’s not going to come close to my GX1 or GX7. The again, they’re not “rugged”.

    This is far from a great image technically. Aesthetically, it’s OK.

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