Listen, I state it bold and loud: I'm not that talented. I know it. But I try. This is my hobby. I love it. I love taking pics. I love buying and using gear. I am very fortunate that I can afford to spend a lot of money on my hobby. (I'm waiting on UPS to deliver my DJI Phantom 2+ )
But I never, ever say, nah, nah, mine is better than yours. I know full well that, for the most part, it's the person behind the viewfinder that matters. Now yes, there are many situations where the gear matters. I just acquired the Canon 600mm II, a dream lens for me. I decided if I'm ever going to own it, I'd buy it before I'm old and feeble and unable to use it and enjoy it. You only live once. And it has truly made a huge difference in my photography. The way it blurs the background when shooting birds, etc., is amazing. If you haven't shot with a super tele, you don't know what you're missing. And I never had before.
So, I'll give two brief examples that just happened. Not sure why I find them a bit annoying, and only a bit, but I do.
1. I'm at Birds of Prey Day in Brewster NY a few weekends ago. I'm using my 600 only because it's brand new and I want to play with it. Mind you, the birds are very close so I actually had to stand back. A photographer comes up to me with a small 4/3 camera and strikes up a conversation. I'm only too happy to talk photography, what little I know. Turned out, he was a vendor there, selling his pics, which I later saw and were nice. He immediately starts saying how great 4/3 is (and I have no idea if it is or isn't), how it's better than any other format, and on and on. I mean, really? I'm standing there with a 1Dx and 600mm II, and he's feeling the need to brag and brag and brag about his gear. I said nothing except to nod my head.
2. Yesterday I go to a friend's house to take pics at a pre-prom party. I've done it for one of his kids before. He's my friend and I obviously don't charge him, nor would I take his money. He called me a day or so before to tell me he hired a photographer because there's going to be many more people than he anticipated and the guy would be there to help me.
Turns out, the guy was very nice, and helpful too. He had a Nikon D7000 with 18-135 kit lens (his words, "kit lens," not mine), SB900 on a bracket, with a Gary Fong tupperware thing on top of the flash. I used to have one too. So? He says, what are you shooting? I said Canon. I hadn't taken my gear out yet. I had my 1Dx and 5DIII, 70-200 and 24-70 II. I also had a light stand, large ProFoto Umbrella and a ProFoto B1. I know/knew that lighting wasn't necessary (we were under a tent), but I just got it, I love gear, and I wanted to try it out/use it.
Immediately he starts telling me how great his Nikon 7000 is, how great the color is, the sharpness, how he's had dinner with Gary Fong and I should get one, and on and on, defending his equipment against what I ask? I didn't say a word. I truly try to be very humble. I tell him I'm sure he gets great shots. After all, he stated he does 140 events a year, both his own business and second shooting.
Turned out, over 250 people were there in my friend's huge backyard. I watched him work, getting the kids to come pose, posing them, getting parents out of the way, etc. I quickly put my gear away and enjoyed the party. I asked and he told me he was doing it for a photo company that called him last minute and was paying him $225. (My friend tipped him another hundred.)
Believe me, it was blood money. This guy, alone, moved in and out of 250 people or more. He arrived at 3 and didn't leave until 8. Blood money for sure.
But back OT. Why do people feel the need to immediately defend, against no attack whatsoever, their gear?
Oh, almost forgot. I did say one thing. It was very humid and we were both initially waiting for condensation to clear off our lens(es). He then stated, "I lost a Nikon D7000 once to humidity, it got inside and ruined the board."
I said, "Well, maybe if you had a camera that was weather sealed, that wouldn't have happened." He acknowledged that fact.