Background: I've paid a local photographer for 3 sessions over the past two years and absolutely love her work. This last session I left with the thought that I'd love to learn to do what she does. So I did a little research, and bought a used Rebel XTi 400D, with the 18-55 and 75-300 lenses. Had it for a month, absolutely love it. I've played around with all the settings and bought a user manual specifically for this unit, so I feel I've learned my way around the unit pretty well. I've learned how to use/manage the aperture, shutter speed, ISO to get the results I'd like.
But, when I compare the pix I take to those from my photographer, viewing both on my iMac, her's are definitely brighter or sharper or clearer? Not sure. So that got me researching more, and I discovered that my EOS XTi 400D is a consumer unit, and there are prosumer units and professional units "above" mine. When using iPhoto to view her pictures, it shows our first 2 sessions she used an EOS 50D, the 3rd session she used a full-frame 5d Mark II.
My question (finally, right?) : are those two cameras 50D/ Mark II 22MP just so much better than my 400D that this is the reason her pix look so much brighter/richer/better than those I take? I understand scene creativity plays a role too, but I'm just talking about the clarity of her pix. I'm actually checking online for used EOS 5D (12.8mp, not the 22mp) thinking that full-frame DSLR must be the reason for the superb looking pix.
What's the chance that its more so because of any image editing software that she may be using, versus the camera hardware? I appreciate any discussion or suggestions.