Lowner wrote in post #15170970
I beg to differ. If better cameras meant better images we would be swamped with wonderful art. We are not, which makes my point better than I ever could.
This isn't so much about better cameras as it is about better understanding of how the cameras work and what they can do.
But with respect to better cameras, what you're not accounting for here is that the camera is just a tool. A better camera places fewer limits on its wielder. It's up to the wielder to make the most of his camera. The reason we're not swamped with art which is better than before (something which, I might add, is probably debatable) is that the number of people who can take their cameras to their very limits is probably rather small, and always has been. More importantly, the camera is but a part of the arsenal of tools that are used to capture and generate images. It's a central part, mind you, but a part nonetheless. Finally, if one is limited by one's artistic vision, then no camera in the world will fix that. I would wager that the number of people who have both great artistic vision and mastery of photographic tools is rather small. I would bet, though, that their images have improved over time because their cameras now place fewer limits on them than before.
We saw the 2011 UK Landscape competition exhibitition a few days ago and while there were some good shots, there was nothing amazing and some I'd actually have put in the bin. I don't get bogged down in the technicalities of this "pastime", for me the effort is to improve my "eye".
Keep in mind that landscapes are probably the hardest thing for DSLRs to do really well, precisely because they're relatively limited in resolution (and, until relatively recently, dynamic range) when compared with the cameras that had been traditionally used for that purpose (large format film).
The question is: has the yardstick you use to define "amazing" changed? It would not surprise me at all if it has. Which is to say, I would not be surprised if you would have regarded some of the shots at the competition as "amazing" if you had been looking at them a few years ago. But your eye has almost certainly become more discerning over time as you've refined your craft.
A notable problem is that images which are commonplace tend to lose their luster. Those same images which looked amazing before may not look so amazing once everyone is producing them. But that's just speculation on my part, and I could be completely wrong here.