Shooting with an "sub-par" camera means being very resourceful in terms of finding an interesting subject and good light. But an often unmentioned fact, even in these days, is how much an image can benefit from post-processing. The right cropping, noise reduction, and exposure/colour adjustments can make all the difference when deciding which photo is a keeper and which one is not.
99% of the shots with my cheapo E-Pm1 setup are plain garbage. Even the ones I keep are far from stellar, but some Lightroom/Photoshop magic makes them publishable. Many photographers shun this. Get it right in camera, they say. That's what real photographers do, they say. I don't disagree, I actually try to capture as much as possible in camera first. But digital retouching is just another tool you have at your disposal to enhance your images―just like $6000 cameras are to some "real" photographers.
This week, I'm also including the original unedited image, saved to JPG from the original RAW file. I have no shame in the digital retouching I do (most of my work has very minimal touch-up, in any case) and I don't think anyone should. Personally, it's just another skill/tool that takes time and patience to learn and perfect, and you should be proud to make good use―but not abuse―of them.
Here is the original....