Keep in mind also though that - in my opinion anyway - oh so many photographers worry about things that contribute very LITTLE to most everyday "real world" images. Things like dynamic range (most cameras have a DR in the range of 10 to 12, and we typically display 6 and print 4) - High ISO noise in a correctly exposed and not-excessively-cropped real-world print is generally undetectable by the human eye. And at the same time they publish images that are flat and/or poorly (or un-) sharpened. As Lance Armstrong said, "it's not about the bike".
Originally Posted by Stu3133
In my case, cheaper hardware won't give me the ability to save a full resolution RAW file to my CF card for later processing and simultaniously save a low-resolution JPEG to my SD card so that images only take 2 seconds instead of 7 seconds to appear on the 40" screen in the studio. Cheaper hardware won't give me weather and dust sealing so I can comeplete a $400 job in the rain. Cheaper hardware won't give me a plethora of custom functions that allow me to automatically configure my camera to suit my shooting environment.
So my point really....and its all relative....is that possibly people should look at not over spending on hardware when its might be possible to get the same results with a cheaper hardware/software combination.
In terms of image quality, it's important to optimise every step, and to make choices that optimise image quality at every step. Images from my EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II lens come out looking fantastic, but images from my EF 85 f/1.2L USM II are sharper and have better colour and sharpness, and this require less processing to reach my standards. Images from a non-L-series lens may well require more processing to reach the required standard (which with 400+ images from a typical shoot) gets to be somewhat time consuming.
And as Ken Rockwell also says ...
as Ken Rockwell says....'Life's too short the spend your time mucking around with RAW files'
"Although most of the technical information is probably true most of the time, the rest is all pretend. I love to fool around, pretend, and make things up.
I'm just one guy with a computer who likes to take pictures. I have the playful, immature and creative, trouble-making mind of a seven-year-old, so read accordingly."