A Camera Makes You a Photographer? the Panasonic Fail

by Gavin Seim: Panasonic seems to be making a statement with this ad they released earlier this year before infamous Nikon Page Fail. I’m seeing a pattern in the industry. The Lumix spot insults skilled photographers everywhere & mislead consumers into thinking skill and experience is irreverent as long a you have a good camera.

Perhaps it’s meant to be funny, perhaps it’s creatively done, but if you understand photography and how much work it took you to master it, I think you’ll know how insulting this this really is. But it’s not just this ad. It’s the whole mindset and it’s part of the attitude that is breaking down this industry. Watch it, then lets talk.

  • The photography world is inundated with the idea that experience is not necessary and it’s breaking it down. This promotes that and that promotes the idea that a photograph is of no value. Anyone can do it.
  • It’s not true. A great photographer cannot be clueless about how they made a photo or how their equipment works. That’s a snapshooter. Understanding shutter speed, aperture and beyond are the most basic essentials to consistent quality. People who don’t understand the basics often think it’s not critical because of marketing like this. They are wrong.
  • Photographers that have spent years and even decades mastering their craft are shown in this ad as irreverent. As if their saying “Those skills don’t matter as long as you own a good camera.
  • The man here is portrayed as doing a showcase to his peers. He’s the expert. Yet in the real world you won’t get accolades by snapping photos that are only as good as your camera can make them. Anyone can do that.
  • Great is no longer great when everyone else is doing it. A camera can have good quality, but without skill you just have quality snapshots. That’s what everyone else, including many so called pro’s, are making today.

So this is targeted consumers. What’s the big deal right? Wrong. This is also targeting would be photographer, but that aside this mindset is a big problem right now and it’s really hurting this industry. People are believing this stuff, and those that do are being mislead into thinking that a camera makes a photograph and not a photographer. Some have told me their are great photographers who have no idea how they make their images. I have yet to have one shown to me.

I know this is extreme, but imagine an ad for a scalpel that says “it’s so good, anyone can do surgery”. Imagine a world where everyone claimed to be a surgeon, airline pilot, etc and you did not even know how to find one that was actually experienced. Photographic skills have not really changed over the past 150 years. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you won’t make great images. You’ll just be making images like the droves other consumers and even pros who have bought into the idea that cool gear makes you good. The problem is, it’s not great when everyone else is doing it. That defies the meaning of the word. We need to Raise the Bar.

No related content found.