"The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it." --Ansel Adams
Cameras and related equipment are never as important as the skill of the person using the equipment. People seem to think that great equipment is the starting point for great photographs. The truth is that great camera equipment has never been a prerequisite to crafting great photographs. Great equipment is not a necessity, but a luxury.
I think there are people who are more interested in collecting equipment than making art. It is as if the camera has some sort of status cymbal associated with it. But when you are showing your images (whether as a print or on the internet), does anyone really care what equipment created it? The photograph that he or she is viewing is the only thing that matters.
|Artificial - Tehachapi, California|
Captured using a cell phone.
For more serious work, I have a lightweight kit and an even lighter-weight kit.
|Pentax K-30 DSLR|
The K-30 is a well-built, versatile camera. It does a great job in pretty much any situation that you can throw it in. In low ISO (which is what I use for most of my photographs, especially if they are "serious" photographs), the image quality from the K-30 is right up there with full-frame DSLRs.
|Old Tracks - McKinney, Texas|
Captured using a Pentax K-30.
I used to own a k-mount prime and zoom that would have been great to still have. I had several filters, too. And a nice flash. Unfortunately, a thief also wanted them, and they were stolen out of my car about six months ago.
Anytime that you'll be carrying a camera around for hours at a time, you want that camera to be as small and lightweight as possible. A heavy DSLR will get old fast.
|Gathering Pollen - Tehachapi, California|
Captured using a Samsung NX210.
Also, the 20 megapixel sensor on the NX210 allows one to "zoom" by cropping. There is plenty of resolution to spare, so you don't necessarily need a long telephoto lens to capture the image you want.
|Horse at Fence - Onyx, California|
Captured using a $20 Holga 120N film camera.
I think keeping the camera kit simple is important. Too much bulk and too many options slow you down. Having a simple kit will force you to be creative with what you have. Creativity is far more important than equipment.