In your previous post you seemed to advocate the opposite view. Which is it?
Not at all. Maybe I expressed myself clumsily. Keep in mind that english is not my native lenguage and my vocabulary is rather limited, so I try to precise again the apparent paradox in a different way.
Gear is/are the tools for expressing one's art (in the context of the OP). In that sense, as tools that one uses on a daily basis, it has to be taken into serious consideration, and at the same time it's obvious that the tools are not making the talent or the art itself.
Just on this forum, we see people with high-end gear producing very average kind of imagery and others with simple equipment producing mastered art. Obviously the high-end equipment will not solve a problem of vision, of clear goal, of experience etc...On the contrary! As I expressed, high-end equipment will enhance whatever, and if the whatever is bad, it will enhance the lack of talent. It's like a guitar amplifier. You don't want to hear a beginner guitarist on a stack Marshall set for wembley stadium.
The marketing brain washing does not work only in one sense to high-end equipment. It is ridiculous to get a P65 just because it's expensive and powerfull if one do not really need it, and it is also ridiculous to see people cueing in the Holga shop in Madrid just because it's cool, cheap, anti-system and fashionable.
When you see the DP review kind of pages, you have everything about cameras, but much less about lenses. And lenses are crucial. You can have the best sensors, if the glass you put in front is a wreck, you can forget about what you've paid for. It should be much more lens reviews than camera reviews. Very little about the connection with studio equipment, very little about sync-speed and its consequences etc... no, just jpegs isos comparaisons that make no sense in the real world. And nothing about distribution, customer service etc...just pixels, menus and holliday samples. And those are cult webs that influence a lot the new generations.
That's why we end with those DR and DxO stuff that nobody in the spheres that I know cares at all. Young photographers end preocupated by the brain washing. They see an Hasselblad as a 50MP camera, not as an overall system for certain needs and kind of imagery.
First, people are photographers so they are in theory able to express themselves with whatever they can afford, or whatever they feel like working with. Then, with the experience, the personal style maturing, the natural tendencies of each individual, the needs for particular imagery etc... precise the tools. Generally they are diverse.
The problem comes when tools are choosen not from a real field perspective but from ideas, advertising influences or lack of experience, desire to be cool or to belong to a select club etc...
Idea that the tool will make one a better photographer. This is of course not the case.
I doubt many truth artists are looking into gear testings. They choose their tools based on their work and their workflow. If high-end gear appears in commercial is not because it's expensive, on the contrary, if they could cut costs at any price they would do it, specially in commercial. It's for good reasons that have very little to do with pixel-peeping or social status.
It makes me often smile when I sometimes read this pro who's fed-up with MF switched to the D3x. Still it is high-end equipment. They don't switch from a P65 to a G12 for their clients. There is also a logic with equipment but this logic can be broken at any time exactly like the rules can be broken at any time..
Choosing a view camera with digital back because you want this kind of look, for example in terms of DOF, and you feel at home with the slow process is perfectly fine if it serves your art. As well as if somebody feels that he-she wants to use a 50euros camera and no crew if it also serves your art is a good choice. Gear matters because they are your tools, they matters as tools and those tools can be expensives or not as there is imagery that is expensive to produce and other kind not. But it does not mean that an expensive imagery to produce is necesarly brilliant art. There is no direct correlation.
The mistake IMO is when somebody takes a rigid position, for example that MF or LF are just non-sense equipment snobery, or on the exact contrary, when MF users are claiming that small sensor and cheap gear are just toys for the average amateur. None of those ideas are truth. There are equipments for everybody, styles and needs.
I remember when I was young in Paris I used the Nikon F3, wich was a camera that I felt very well in my hands. When they released the F4, a friend of mine bought it. The F4 was a far superior camera but I felt extremely uncomfortable with it the first time I used it and decided not to upgrade despite the enhancements. I didn't need it at all. In fine arts I was using a 100 euros (francs at that time) 6x6 russian camera because it was the only one I could afford and it worked perfectly fine for me. I never felt frustrated or desperatly in need for more sophisticated equipment, but when I had the Mamiya the workflow was indeed smoother, easier and more reliable and I apreciated it a lot.
In my assistance, I have to work with the 5D2 and 1DMK3 because that's the main equipment of my boss and I really don't like the 5D2. I would never buy one for me, and it is a great bargain. Neither it serves the imagery I'm working on, nor it feels right in my hands and my workflow style. I'm very much onto very small size view camera more I gain experience and more my imagery is maturing because I like the kind of shooting very much, it serves my personal projects-direction, but it also mean that I have to use digital back because there is no other option and I hate tether. No miracle but compromises that work for one and not for the other. Tools are diverse and I also like to take my cheap Pentaxes manually, my old DP1 or whatever. Just that I won't take a DP1 for the same reason I would take a Red camera or a tech cam.