Let's get back to the fundamental principle here.
A great shot from a A1400 from a never attempted perspective very close to an animal very difficult to do so, would destroy anything ever done by any super-tele + $$$$$ 1D combo. That's the principle. It's Irrelevant how its done, but that's what makes a better picture. The photographer.
Well, your going to have to prove that one. You need to go get that shot, then prove to me that the only thing that matters to a magazine editor is the simple fact that it's unique. Words aren't enough anymore. Your going so hard against the grain here, so far beyond the point where you could have cleanly exited this debate without all the bumps and bruises, that you now need hard, irrefutable PROOF, actual physical evidence (i.e. your A1400 photo reproduced in a prestigious magazine...oh, say, "Living Bird" of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology).
You can say whatever you want. Doesn't make it true. I don't think you quite understand what it is your debating...and are just debating for the sake of taking the contrarian position? I mean, I can't think of any reason your still continuing. You lost the debate a long time ago.
I'm not saying the photographer is not a critical factor in getting a good photo. On the contrary, that has been core to my point ever since the debate started. You are still, conveniently, ignoring my point. That even when the photographer is as skilled as humanly possible, if you put a better tool in their hands, they will have the capacity to make better photos. The PHOTOGRAPHER is still CRITICAL to that equation...and a skilled photographer, the human mind aspect here, would KNOW about all of the factors I listed in my previous answer. That skilled PHOTOGRAPHER would KNOW that an aesthetically appealing perspective and clean low-noise output isn't going to happen with a wider angle lens, while treading water, with a microscopic sensor, from a few feet away!
No one is going to care that YOU, the great and powerful "photographer", risked your camera, intruded upon the territory of a bird (in rather rude and unethical fashion), and got yourself soaked...in order to get a photo of a Grebe that was "unique". That doesn't matter. No one cares. You aren't going to be getting any props, and in a circle if other bird and wildlife photographers, or even in any group of naturalists, they would probably be quite miffed at your lack of respect for the bird and it's environment. You'd probably get stoned to death for encroaching upon the bird's bubble of comfort and making it fly away in the first place!
Again...you should really quit while your...well, there is no "ahead" anymore, RL. You don't know what your talking about anymore, and I think that is paramount to anyone still reading this thread. Quite before you dig the hole so deep you can't see the rim. It's the less embarrassing, and still honorable, thing to do.
bird and wildlife photographers, or even in any group of naturalists, they would probably be quite miffed at your lack of respect for the bird and it's environmentWell, there is that! Funny I was just thinking that right before you posted it! It is a relevant point, if not pivotal with regard to the bird side of the argument... Sigh...