Steve, Well, you're right. You have to have a camera to make a photograph. But the same thing's true of painting or intaglio art like engraving or etching or even woodcuts. So you're suggesting that the kind of brushes or engraving tools or chisels the artist uses is what makes the difference between good art and bad art? In other words, if Leonardo had had better equipment the Mona Lisa would have been a better painting?
Have you studied art? I have a bit.. basic classes. But yes, what paints, brushes, chisels, etc.. it all matters. Artists in those days (before commercial materials) were fanatical about mixing their perfect pigments/oils/lacquers and finding the perfect materials for their brushes. They were this way because how much you can 'load' a brush is related to the length of a stroke, what type of brush makes differences in texture which is an element in the composition, and much more.. so clearly yes equipment matters.
To your second question. I don't know and either does anyone else but Leonardo. I don't know what he envisioned and I don't know how close he came to his vision and if/how much he was held back by his equipment. So.. maybe. Maybe not. It was a bit of a strawman question no?
What I'd want is a surgeon who's an artist and who has the tools he feels most comfortable working with. That might not be the latest gear. Can you give me an example of a lesser surgeon doing a better job with state of the art tools than a better surgeon with lesser tools?
Listening to understand is a skill. Many don't have it. They immediately refuse to consider anything that doesn't fit their pre-defined views and come up with "can you give me a link.." sort of response. If you cannot understand that certain medicines (equipment), certain types of xray/MRI/Pet scanners (equipment), and other DME gear can limit or enhance a doctor then it's not worth going into.
You started out talking about the relationship of equipment to art. Are you suggesting that the most captures in a set amount of time will produce art? Somehow that doesn't sound like an artistic priority to me.
Yes, for some photographers being able to make more captures per second, having the camera available to make one capture after another was just taken, etc.. 'could' certainly result in art. You really can't think of photographers who depend heavily on being able to make captures with faster frame rates (sports photographers, wildlife photographers, wedding photographers, etc)
Really? Yes, enhanced speed will help someone produce art by getting shots they wouldn't have otherwise captured, by obtaining sequences that otherwise wouldn't have been possible, or just having the camera ready after one shot when another presents itself.
You lost me completely with that last sentence. What equation are you talking about? E= mc2?
The equation is should be clear to a reader. It must be clear to a photographer.
But I guess I'm not one of those folks who can think. The does equipment really matter debate is important because of publications like "Popular Photography," "Shutterbug," and their clones. Beginners read these magazines and the magazines teach them that equipment is everything. If you want to be Cartier-Bresson you must have a Leica M9. If you want to be Ansel Adams you must have a view camera. The more expensive your camera the better pictures you'll make. Nothing could be further from the truth. A beginner is going to make better pictures with a point-and-shoot than he can make with an M9, and certainly much better pictures than he can make with a view camera. Someone needs to explain that fact to beginners.
I respectfully disagree. The debate continues because people are saying exactly as you said and it doesn't make sense to people who can think for themselves. What started out as a good natured word of advice (worry about your art more and equipment less) during an era people where scrambling for more megapixels.. has been blown totally out of context to the point where it just sounds silly.
It all comes back to what Cartier-Bresson said and I've quoted on these fora over and over again: "Photographing is nothing. Looking is everything." If you're holding a point-and-shoot and you know how to look you'll produce much better photographs than if you're holding a Hasselblad and you're blind. Better equipment on the horizon isn't going to change that fact.
Here's a quote for you. "There are those who quote, and those who will be quoted." Which one do you want to be?