I still disagree, if a person only uses full auto and gets good results, why do you think he's not talented enough to own a DSLR?
This is absolutely true. Some of the most talented filmmakers and photographers I've met aren't at all technical beyond the minimum amount they need to be to get good work, either using assistants or highly automated workflows to get the technical stuff right.
I dont agree, being creative is hindered by tech knowledge you can be the most creative person in the world but not understanding what the camera can do, or how to produce the end result hinders the creation. You get 3 people, people who are creative, people who are technically minded and people that are both. You cannot be creative without being technically minded (with a camera, what the camera and lenses can do for your creativity) and you cannot make good imagery being technically perfect you need to be able to see. Its the same in any discipline, painting, sculpture, acting, production etc
Yet again i emplore you to give one example of a Pro photographer who uses auto or uses an assistant to take his pictures for him! The only person i can think of is Gregory Crewdson, who is completely removed from the technical, and uses film like stages for his photography with film budgets. We are not talking about films because it is completely different hundreds if not thousands of people are involved in making films! Even Gregory Crewdson is a ridiculous example of a photographer who doesnt know how to take a picture but can envisage it! because he is a producer and thats what producers do dream and envisage and i think thats the type of person you are talking about. The budgets for his images are millions of dollars and hundred of people are employed to create the effect, he shuts down entire blocks, employs actors, pays for the electric grid to be turned off because the colour of the lights doesn't match his film!! employs people from the film industry with cinematic lighting!! To take one picture, make a limited run of 50 prints and sell them for a few hundred thousand a pop. He is an anomaly, this just isnt viable for every photographer and for a photographer to get this kind of access is one in a million!
I agree that there is nothing wrong with buying a DSLR regardless of your talents, because it is a learning curve and everyone must learn and the DSLR is a creative camera, but the whole point of buying a better camera is to move up from a point and shoot auto camera right? to be able to access the manual settings and the specialist lenses, and a high end point and shoot camera wont take worse pictures that normal people can recognize. In fact for certain situations, point and shoot cameras are better without spending alot more, macro being one (1cm or less) and point and shoot cameras offer incredible depth of field for landscape and this has been proven many times.
But the question stands that unless you are already renowned in the industry for being an artist and you move media and your name follows you then there is a 99% chance that you struggle compared to someone who knows how to use his equipment, auto is only designed so you get pictures, it is not designed to be creative! You can spend 20k on a Hasselblad and get no better images than a point and shoot, the camera has to be pointed in the right direction and you need to know how to get the best of it! You take any image to a newspaper and they will reject it on a technical basis. Unless it is an image where no-one was there, like the london bus bombings and a mobile phone image was used.
"It's relatively easy to make a technically good photograph (f-stops, color temperature, shutter speeds, ISO, contrast ratio, basic studio lighting, photoshop, etc"
In whos eyes? its only relatively easy to make a good technical photograph if you know what those settings do! and how a photograph should look! You give an amateur a mid range DSLR and put them in a wedding i guaranty that the clients wouldn't pay them, and anyone who shoots weddings professionally would be able to see why the images are wrong. Many of the students that i went to uni with still couldn't understand how to sort out a studio by the third year of uni, and if you are in a studio you have to set up everything manually or your flash wont keep up with the camera. Anyone who shoots in a studio will know that your f stop doesn't matter, it is your shutter speed and the power of the lights. So no, anyone who has not been shown how to use or set up a studio will not be able to walk in a shoot.
Making a technically good photograph takes experience and it must suit the situation. There are many times where i have looked at work by photographers and thought, good photograph and good composition but it hasnt been taken right! Colours wrong focal point is slightly out, it has been over processed! That is the difference between a pro and an amateur. That is the thing about photography it is a constant learning curve but there is a point to where you can deal with any situation through experience. The process of creating images technically is second nature and the visual can get the full 100% attention.
A perfect example is using flash, loads of wedding photographers dont use flash and its obvious in their pictures you get shadows under the eyes when the sun is high, people shoot into the sun blowing out the highlights use higher ISO so the image quality isnt correct. Flash can be used without any visible signs that it is there! if you know how to use it. and that is exactly my point, without experience the thought wouldn't occur. A perfect image is where the viewer cannot tell what the editor has done to it. Subtle changes, less is more. When ever anyone asks me how i edit my images, they say they cant see what ive done, so i load up the image and turn off the visibility of the layers, then turn them on one by one to show the build up of an effect. The way pros edit shoot and think is alot more advanced than alot of people think. Which i suppose is the problem with photography the general thought is that anyone can pick up a camera meaning the true pro population is reducing.