As im researching now it seems to me that to make decent photos i need atleast a $1000 camera.
So sayeth the gear collectors. Photographers are out shooting, and say otherwise. Many of us, myself included, still shoot film on vintage rigs. I've also shot with digital since ~2004 and my current digital camera is a 5Dmk2, released in 2008!
Here's an image that I took with said 5Dmk2 (click to enlarge):
This image was made by bouncing a 430EXII strobe off the ceiling (handheld) while using a 70-200 f/4 with some amount of extension tube.
So, there you have it. A sharp image taken by a camera from 2008 using a lens from 1999. Gear valued at ~$1K total today.
I'm getting into photography and got myself a used canon 1200d with tamron 12-200 lens.
There's your problem right there, lad. The lens maketh the photo. Now, skill does wonders and the question here: Why are my photos not crisp? will help you build that skill.
But, even a pro can only do so well with certain gear. And SuperZooms are that certain gear. Most SuperZooms need to be stopped down a bit and also have a sub range that is absolute junk. If you aren't stopping down and don't know your lens well enough to know its performance at all ranges, this will cause image quality to suffer.
In short, all lenses make design sacrifices. Key pillars here are image quality, speed (aperture), size, cost, and ability or amount to zoom.
SuperZooms that cover a massive range, like your Tamron, prioritize the zoom range at the expense of image quality and aperture speed.
In general, try to avoid zooms that go over 3x. Pro lens groups are along the lines of 16-35 (~2x), 24-70 (~3x), 70-200 (~3x). You don't have to use lenses like this but start to become aware of the tradeoffs that the lens designers made in creating the design and start to pick attributes that mean a lot to you.
So, do you need a $1500 rig to get sharp photos?
Well, no. You don't need a $1500 rig for sharp photos in some situations.
Your camera + a 50mm f/1.8 (~$100) will get you nice sharp photos for street shooting, portraits, etc.
But what if you wanted to shoot wildlife? Chances are you'll need a longer, and more expensive lens.
So, you'll likely spend way more than $1500 along the way to get the photos you want in all situations. The whole point of an interchangeable lens camera is in having the best lens for the job. This means having multiple lenses. This means spending money. It's probable that you'll have more than $1500 invested at some point in the future.
For example, I personally prioritize image quality and aperture (speed) and am constrained by cost (aren't we all?). This has led me to obtain and use the following lenses over the last 20 years:
- 16-35 f/4 (landscape lens) (~$1000)
- 50 f/1.8 II (~$100)
- 100 f/2 (~$500)
- 70-200 f/4 (~$550)
- 300 f/4 (~$700 used)
- 400 f/5.6 (~$1000 used)
Now, this is my kit. Many others here have vastly different kits. It is true that you can get sharp glass for cheap (like the 50mm), but the sacrifice there is in the fact that it's a prime lens (no zoom).
You need to start getting a feel for what you prioritize in a lens. But, I will say...if supreme image quality is up there, then be very, very careful when looking at super zooms as the vast majority won't measure up at all and of those that do, they'll only measure up for a limited amount of the focal range and only after being stopped down a tad.