You can take good pictures with just about any decent camera but having nice equipment makes the process easier, adds more options, and generally produces better results.
I started off with a fixed lens Petri 35mm film camera, then later moved to a Asahi (Pentax) Spotmatic. With both of those I was able to take nice pictures of people and scenic landscapes. I tried very little real nature photography. Neither camera was really suited to any kind of closeup work. I added a 300mm lens which helped with some types of nature shots. But it wasn't until many years later when circumstances changed and I was able to afford much better equipment and accessories. My interest in photography and the results of my efforts made a major leap forward.
Then after I got busy with so many other things (work), I slowly got rid of all that equipment.
Six years ago, I bought a Nikon D60. It was mainly for my work involving antiques and estate sales. Since my return to nature and to nature photography, I have added another camera and a few lenses as well as a lot of accessories.
Here is a list of my major photography equipment, much of which I use on a daily basis.
Nikon D60 camera
Nikon D3300 camera
Nikkor 55-200mm zoom 1.4:5.6 GED lens
Nikkor 18-55mm zoom 1:3.5-5.6 G lens
Nikkor 18-55mm zoom 3.5-5.6 GII lens
Bower 500mm f8 lens
Various filters: Polarizers, UV, CS, Skylight
Nikon SB-400 flash
Vivatar DSLR 300 flash
Neike MK-14EXT macro ring flash
2 Nikon Wireless shutter releases
2 Tripods (Sunpak and Precision)
Viltrox Wireless digital timer
Pro Series Macro tube set
Goya Waterproof Sleeve (rain protection for camera & lens)
Various misc items
I know that I am very fortunate to have the equipment that I have. It is not absolutely top of the line, but it is good, decent equipment that offers a wealth of opportunites to produce good images. Unlike my early equipment, the limiting factor to excellent photography is the user, not the equipment. I know that I can take decent pictures and sometimes come up with something exceptional, but I also know there is so much I can improve. That is what I strive to do all the time. I want to take pictures that will excite and add to the joy of nature. I know I have a long way to go, but it sure is fun learning each day and seeing the improvement in the images I take.
An example of that is in the image below. This is a newborn praying mantis that is about 1/2" (13mm) long. It would have been very difficult to take this image with a general use lens and flash.
Hmmm.... Maybe I should challenge myself and see what kind of images I can get now with a more simple camera. Watch for a future blog.