You may have noticed the Canon 10D in the feature image of this post. Yes, a 10D. As in, the 15 year old DSLR with a whopping 6.3 megapixel maximum resolution, 3 frames per second continuous shooting, no video capabilities at all, and a whole 7 autofocus points.
Canon EOS 10D
For context, the 80D is the latest in its class series (with the 90D due this year), pulls in 24.2 megapixels, 7 FPS, 1080p video, and 45 cross-type autofocus points. So this camera is essentially considered ancient at this point, buried under new tech and model numbers.
In fact, I found this camera at a thrift store, for $10. Considering it had no battery, it was a risk buying the body, charger, and batteries only to find out it wouldn't work, but it did! It has since sat relatively forgotten in a camera bag for about a year now.
I decided to challenge myself to make the best possible use of this camera on a walk with my dog, Will. We took a walk around the neighborhood this afternoon and photographed whatever we saw. On the 10D I had a 50mm f/1.8 and natural light. The photos were edited in Camera RAW only - no modern Photoshop noise reduction actions, content-aware fill, or liquify. Just basic touch-ups.
So, you may be wondering,
I have, to this day, continually heard all sorts of comments from photographers and would-be photo enthusiasts that say, "I would love to start taking photos, I just don't have a good enough camera." I also watch otherwise successful photographers unable to support themselves on the craft because they buy gear faster than it generates revenue for them.
There is this insatiable gear-focused lust in the community. Even those with 5D Mark IVs and brand new Sony mirrorless bodies drool over new gear online - Sigma art lenses that might upgrade your capabilities literally by .4 stops or bodies with 4K video when few people even have a 4K display yet.
In the mean time, they're not out there practicing their art and capturing beautiful images. They're stalling all of their potential based on not having upgraded from a crop-sensor to full-frame or not. I'm guilty of it as well - I frequently look at new strobes. There is at least one lens I'm eyeing right now, and the draw of moving to a Mark IV from my Mark III is tempting - I'd love an expanded ISO range, higher resolution, and the NFC/WiFi capabilities. But the Mark III is tried and true - major films like Iron Man and Captain America have used the Mark II and III in conjunction with 35mm film.
It is also good to remind myself that many of my favorite shots ever were on my first DSLR - the Canon Rebel T3, and I have only been on full-frame for a year. Yes, a year. I started up my business on a T6i with a 50mm f/1.8 and an 80mm f/1.8. This was a good exercise for me, aside from making a point. I was washed over with that feeling of when I took a Pentax K1000 35mm SLR out for some of my first ever film assignments, wandering the town for subjects to later develop.
So here is what I accomplished in 1 hour total of shooting and editing, with a 15 year-old camera and a 50mm prime lens.
What do you think? I'd love to hear your comments and what you plan on shooting soon... with the gear you already have.
Dylan is a Seattle-based portrait photographer passionate about social justice, the male form, and finding the right time each day to switch from iced coffee to whiskey. He's on Instagram @dylanmaustin.