This morning while photographing some professional headshots for a friend of mine, I decided to do a quick test.  After finishing the “real” session using my 5D Mark II with the 24-105 f/4L lens, I picked up my point-and-shoot G11 and took a similar image.  Since the lighting was already set I simply put the G11 in ‘Manual’ mode, set the exposure to match the scene (f/8) then attached the PocketWizard to trigger the strobes.  For processing I used the same steps in Lightroom for each image and then combined them in Photoshop.

From the sample I have posted, can you tell which image is from which camera?  I know, I know – you would like to see larger images to evaluate.  If that were the case the 5D’s result would be obvious, but for the sake of this little experiment I wanted to see how noticeable the captures would be at a typical web-usage resolution.

So – which is which?  Can you readily spot the $3,000 difference in equipment cost?  And what would clients think if they showed up to have a “professional” portrait taken and saw the photographer using a little rangefinder-camera-looking G11?  Or maybe, what would Judge Joe Brown think?