Before upgrading to my current full frame DSLR, the D750, I was using a D5200 for around 2 years. Even though the D5200 was an awesome camera for its price, it limits me during assignments, especially in dark situations. However, by using the camera's functions and fast prime lenses, I got results I'm still proud of. What they say is definitely true, it's not about your gear, it's about what you do with it and knowing that your gear, techniques and style in photography is more important than rocking the latest bodies and lenses.
Before I bought my D5200 I was using my father's Nikon D60 for half a year. This one was just pictures and no video! Even though the D60 was a crop frame sensor, I always had good glass (50mm f/1.4) which made me realize that good glass is everything. But because I needed the video option I went for the D5200. It’s perfect for amateur jobs and holiday videos, but I really needed something with better video capability as well for more professional productions. As I’m a big fan of shooting wide open (f/1.4) for video, I also had the chance to boost my ISO to around 1600 on the D5200 and still get well lit footage in dark areas like caves (illegal raves) and other events. However, whenever people hand me their cheaper cameras, I still find it fun to mess around with the settings to try and get the results I would want.
I started doing photography after taking a few lessons in photography back in school/college. We were taught the basics and had to experiment on the streets. By that time I was really into videography, but after a while I found out that photography was definitely my thing.
Get to know your camera in and out. Check out the web for tips and tricks. Find inspiration by watching other people's work and find your own way and style. I also think that using cheap primes (like 35mm f1.8 etc) at the beginning will make you a better photographer.