People regularly say that your camera doesn't matter, but unfortunately it really does. Yes a good photographer can probably make use of any camera to make satisfactory images. It does take special tools to make outstanding photographs. Photographers at all levels should and do spend copious amounts of time choosing cameras on their performance, handling, features and lens sets. I am no exception. My favorite blog is a camera rumors site. Yes, I do admit to being a gear junkie.
Besides, it is important. No, it is crucial to love your camera. You must know your camera intimately, its foibles, its limitations, how it handles and how to coax every last drop of creative juice from it. Choosing a camera is no lesser of importance than choosing your life partner, though luckily you can trade your camera in, and keep updating it. Some even recommend that a new piece of equipment can help break that creative deadlock that many of us find ourselves in every now and then.
Spending time on the couch, playing with your camera (an exercise promoted and described by Bruce Barnum called 'Camera Cuddle'), learning and practising using it until it becomes second nature. An extension of you. Just today I was reminded of this as I had my camera suspended upside down, just an inch from the ground taking close ups of a stunning red fungus that Emily Reader found. Suddenly I was changing my settings, basically from memory and feel. I was glad that I had spent considerable time memorising every control on my camera. All of those hours practising on the couch while watching tv certainly paid off.
Lens love is worth considering as well. How intimate are you with your lenses. I don't mean taking them to bed and doing a camera cuddle, but time with that lens in an exclusive relationship. I put a new lens on my camera and it has to stay there until I become intimate with it. I have to know it inside out, be able to pre-visualise all aspects of it.. And then when I do, the images flow so much more easily. It is easier to get to know a prime lens, which might go some way towards accounting for their popularity.