My readers know me as The Wildlife Ho-tographer. I have used Canon gear for over a quarter of a century and have embarked on global wildlife photography tours for years. You can follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter. See my equipment bag and works on MichaelDanielHo.com
Throughout my travels, I have encountered many people who assume a photographer carrying 'impressive' camera and lens gear must take good photos. Labels like professional and amateur mean little to me. I have seen amateur work from 'professional' people and gear and vice versa.
Mass market digital photography has been around for about twenty years, depending on how one counts the affordability and availability of the early cameras. Nowadays, anyone who has the basic understanding of lighting and aperture, plus ample amount of experimentation and practice, can produce quality digital photos. Once armed with the basics of photography, one can improve with better equipment and experience over time.
In my opinion, the three most important components in a good photo are : Opportunity, Skill and Equipment, in that order. When all three come together at the same time, an excellent photo is usually achieved. The video below kind of make the same point.