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$400 Camera vs $4,000 Camera: Can a Pro Photog Tell the Difference?


Photographer and YouTube star Peter McKinnon decided to do an experiment on whether you can create top-quality content using entry-level camera gear. He had a pro photographer see if he could distinguish between photos from a $400 camera and those of a $4,000 camera.

McKinnon shot the sets of product photos with a Canon Rebel T100/4000D and a Canon EOS R kit. He then showed his friend, a working photographer, side-by-side photos of the same shots done with each camera.

Can you tell which side was shot with which camera kit?

The answers are in the 12.5-minute video above (along with some other sample photos to test you).

McKinnon also discusses how he set up and edited his shots, and there’s discussion about the shortcomings of the cheaper camera kit (e.g. chromatic aberration).

“The premise of this video was to show you that you can take good photographs, you can make money, you can make this into a career, you can have a lot of fun with it… with cameras that are cheap,” McKinnon says, arguing that it’s mostly your eyes and your brain that determine how good your photos are.

“The knowledge that you have, the eye that you have, how creative and how clever you’re going to get with it — those are the ingredients that make a great photographer.”