I wonder how many people have the guts to tell the truth! But as you are about to invest here is my honest take on it.
Of course a top of the range camera and a top of the range Lens can take a much better photo!
( watch them try and slaughter me! .... )
Much better photographers than me will definitely have a serous go - and you might be tempted to believe them. But before you do, Ask yourself if I am wrong; why do all the real top Pros, be they on the sidelines at the world cup or the latest Designer fashion shoot use amazing kit?
If one took say the lowest grade crop camera with a budget lens and say a Nikon D810 ( purely for that amazing sensor ) and the equivalent of the 70-200L F2.8. The image resolution even a learner could achieve would be radically different.
In the beginning would you be able to maximize the benefits of the top range stuff, probably not!
Would it make your images more artistic - no.
Could a brilliant photographer create fabulous photos with cheap gear - definitely yes.
I think you have to pre-think how much you want to do this - and balance the gradual learning curve, against the guranteed financial loss you will take upgrading equipment and of course an affordable budget.
For example I started with a sony SLT- A77 and a G lens - both are outstanding for the money. but I didn't like ergonomics or the build quality. And I hated the appalling Sony support!
So I jumped ship - loss number one! I then bought a 7D and a 70-300L. At the time I was doing more Sports stuff than portrait work. So a great match ( other than struggling with the AF complexities over say the Sony system ... Which are worth it BTW )
I then wanted FF resolution and my needs moved more towards studio work.
So I bought the 5D3 and the 70-200 L IS USM F2.8 ( better resolution, and access to F2.8 to utilise the hypersensitive AF points. )
As soon as Canon have a FF 5D4 or the rumoured 1DXS with 40 MPS, and Auto AF in Video, and maybe even 4K Video; I will upgrade. That will be loss no. 2!
Had such a beast like the 1DXS been available on day one. Financially I could have bought a 1DXS plus the 70-200L F2.8 II and the 85 L F1.2 IMkII ( all I would ever need ).
God it would have been a nightmare learning curve, with nso doubt some dreadful images ( pirely doen to lack of knowledge on my part) - but given my time again, I would have done that!
Peolple ( often those without the money ) confuse the issue. It is not a question of who takes the better picture a) a novice with fab kit or b) a truely skilled Pro Tog with budget equipment
There is a constant in this argument .. And that is YOU , at whatever learning level you are at.
If you are willing to learn, and there is so much great help available on POTN, and have the desire - you can master it, or at least in may case get by with complicated kit. And then your picture for YOUR LEVEL OF LEARNING will be infinitely better.
Will your photos be as good as a seasoned pro with the same kit , obviously not.
But my moto is, if you are enjoying it WTF not!
I personally find it frustrating coming up against a technical buffer, that requires a physical upgrade to overcome it, I would rather struggle with the right kit so when I have mastered it I can the results.
The only flaw in my argument is ... Until you hit a buffer, you often as a novice , dont really know what kit you really need or will want to overcome it.
Here is an example.
People say you dont need quality outer AF points if you do studio work. They say just focus and recompose. If I beleived that - I may have discounted the value of the 5D3s amazinglyly accurate outer Af points. I personally now disagree, purely on a technical point. Namely Basic trigonometry: i.e. the distance of a point straight ahead, is shorter than the distance of say the long side of a triangle. So if I attain focus on the shorter distance, and recompose to the longer one, then it will have focused effectively slightly infront of the new target. And as the quality of the kit gets better, the lens and the sensor is just about able to distinguish this difference - so your target is not in super perfect focus.
Another example is buying F2.8 rather than F4 lenses - the better light gathering attributes of the F2.8 will still help a novice get some additional low light images - simply as it will enable to lock on faster.
My main caviat to my advise, is that currently Canon lag behind dramatically in Sensor technology and auto AF in video, so buying the ultimate gear is not possible - quite yet!
But as the 7DII specs show Canon knows this, and realise they have to address it.
That is why I think at the moment sales of the 7D II should rocket. Its a very nice safe place to be. It will do nearly everything you need and pretty, well I suspect, and when you do upgrade to FF ( when a suitable 5D4 arrives ) the upgrade loss will be minimised as many will see it as a great sports camera for the reach, and also a useful backup that also has reach, and can do video!
I do hope sharing my experience, saves you some money, or at least avoids you having that horrible feeling of "if only I had bought the better one".
What I cant help you with is what type of photography you will eventually prefer, be it Landscapes, Portraits, or sports action..
Canon EOS 5DS R, Canon EF 70-200 F2.8 L Mk II IS USM, Canon EF 70-300 F4-5.6 L IS USM, EF 40mm F2.8 STM , RC6 Remote. Canon STE-3 Radio Flash Controller, Canon 600 EX RT x4 , YN 560 MkII x2 ; Bowens GM500PRO x4 , Bowens Remote Control. Bowens Pulsar TX, RX Radio Transmitter and Reciever Cards. Bowens Constant 530 Streamlights 600w x 4 Sold EOS 5D Mk III, 7D, EF 50mm F1.8, 430 EX Mk II, Bowens GM500Rs x4