The answers to all of your questions about photography:
Do I need a better camera to become a better photographer?
Not really. The trick to becoming a better photographer is learning to see. Training the eye by looking at art, learning composition, learning what you like and what you want to show the world is the key to becoming a better photographer.
Great photographers can create compelling images with handmade pinhole cameras, plastic toy cameras, Poloroid instant cameras as well as the most expensive equipment available. It more a matter of seeing in the mind the images you want and knowing how to use the equipment at hand to capture your vision.
As Ansel Adams is quoted as saying – “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” The key is knowing what you want to create. He called it pre-visualization. Being able to see the final print in your mind before you press the shutter.
You can only reach this level of craftsmanship and artistry from knowing your equipment and process to the point of not having to think about it. The equipment is just a tool to create your vision.
Of course if your vision include technical requirements like being able to shoot in low light or with a wide lens or fast to capture motion, then your equipment has to match your vision.
But rest assured that your vision as a photographer, as an artist, has nothing to do with the name on your camera, how much you spent on your equipment or if you have the sharpest lens in the world.
Being a better photographer depends more on bringing a interesting perspective on the world then your equipment.
As legendary photographer Jay Maisel puts it “If you want to make more interesting pictures, become a more interesting person.” Simply by putting yourself in more interesting situations is going to bring out more interesting photography. The camera is just a tool, its up to you to apply this tool to capture what you see, not what everyone else sees.