I won't go crazy with another 1000+ word post but I wanted to clarify or explain my point regarding the influence gear has on dynamics between photographer and collaborator in-front of the camera. Specifically that it's not a matter of absolutes. The influence has a lot to do with your own approach as well if that's not obvious.
It crossed my mind that I happen to have a bit of off-kilter image sequences from early experiments with Sam for the Black & White project. This will be a bit picture heavy but may illustrate my point a bit more clearly? All these were made with my Fuji XT-1 in the first month or so I started down the road with the X-System.
The first few exposure test frames after we messed Sam's hair up doing something else and put her glasses on.
Sam's a bit on the pose-y side when you aim a camera at her and typically isn't very active when on camera on her own so I chucked in a bit of specific direction. Honestly I forget why I did the move a bit this way, turn a bit that way, put your hands here and there. I almost never work that way. Probably just to see the way the light was working at this point with no fill.
No matter what camera I'm using if I continued to work this way I would by and large get similar results. Sure there might be a minor difference here and there. If I fast forward to a minute or two later things look completely different while she messes with the props.
Now there's actually a mission to focus on. The difference is quite blatant in muscle tension, gesture, expression, all of it.
I much prefer directing people I'm working with to do things vs manipulate their position in direct ways. Depending on the situation some of that direction is intended to achieve the same positioning effect as a more direct route but in a looser more natural look for the most part.
Just some random samples. Now watch what happens the moment Sam is finished with that last bit of prop.
That sudden flash of camera awareness. Neither good nor bad in and of itself, just depends on what feel you might want. Here's where the camera gear part comes in with size, sound, etc. The very next frame.
This is what I was talking about that takes a bit of time working across more than a few situations and a few different collaborators to get a feel for when it comes to how certain camera gear may produce a more or less frequency of certain moments one may be after. Right now, for my purposes and for the purposes of most of the feel I've always gone for smaller, quieter cameras like the Fuji X cameras definitely produce a higher frequency of candid moments. Put another way they seem to produce a lower frequency of camera awareness than my larger louder, cameras, lenses, etc.
Proof… Or Not
Well gee, that's kind of an extreme situation right? Not really and it doesn't matter. You'll have to trust me that a combination of approach, direction style, and camera gear will produce similar results in most circumstances.
Consider the next few frames some food for thought. First off there's a complete change now with no direction and a slight diversion in focus from "making pictures" to the bits of props introduced.
Well that seemed to cure a bit of the pose-y-ness with S. with or without the camera awareness.
Impossible to do a blind test and control all of the variables like you would with a test target or brick wall or something. I can say using the small quiet Fuji X cameras definitely have a tendency to give me a higher frequency of candid moments.
Sure there are those on-camera awareness flashes here and there as will happen with any situation. The difference is that I feel more in control of when they happen on average and definitely see a difference in how people react over a broad range of circumstance.
I brought up that part of the frequency thing and the feeling of me making that choice more often rather than my gear when working closely with someone in a post a while back. There's certainly a difference in feel in those more candid moments vs. purposely directing someone's attention away from the camera on purpose like; "Look over there at whatever".
All photos made with the Fuji XT-1 and 18-55 XF. Processing via Lightroom CC and a random grainy or even grain-y-er set of treatments slapped on of my own mood of the moment.