I'll take a pass on getting excited about the new Fuji Camera. Or the new Sony Camera. Or the new..........

I'm feeling kind of flat about cameras right now. Maybe I've been through too many of them or maybe I've seen the way we've become in our constant and relentless thirst for the newest thing. It's almost scary. I have cameras I bought because I convinced myself there was some feature or another that I couldn't live without only to find that I could. And some of those cameras have the equivalent of one roll run through them before finding semi-eternal rest in drawer six of the red tool cabinet. That's the drawer that's set aside for cameras I have every intention of using but which somehow sit fallow until the batteries can no longer take a charge.

Why am I feeling this way today? A couple of reality checks. One client called to confirm a two day shoot next week and to talk about technical parameters. They'll be going up to poster sizes with some of the images and wanted to be sure that I'd be using a high res camera. Funny that last week my thoughts were about how good the m4:3 cameras have become and how a photographer could probably do a whole business with a Sony RX10 and yet here we are again spending the afternoon testing the sharpest apertures on the sharpest lenses I'll want to use on the Sony a99 or a850 at ISO 100 on a stout tripod with electronic flash lighting in a studio. You know, to wring the last drop of image quality out of them.

The big Sonys no longer seem sexy to me but I know that the 14 bit raw files from the Sony a99 have the best chance of fulfilling the client's expectations short of rushing out and getting a Nikon D800 or a Sony A7r (the shutter shock champion...). And I'd rather shoot with something familiar.

The other convergent event was finally getting around to opening up the folder of images I shot with an APS-C camera at the Photo Expo last Fall. To be honest I never liked the finder on the camera and I really could care less if my camera has Android Lollypop running inside but I think I figured out that what was really important was what I've been saying all along: Lighting and rapport. The cameras really are the team's second string. The varsity team is Lighting and rapport.

If we could make images that I really liked with a camera I found somewhat problematic to operate then why confuse the issue with yet another foray into the camera market and another search for the holy grail? I know, I know, I rushed out an bought a Sony RX10 but let me let you in on a little secret: That's a video camera, not really a still camera. And for what it does in video it's a freaking bargain/must have.

So, what cameras am I lusting after right now? Can't think of any and that's probably boring the hell out of the people who come here looking for product porn. I'm just not up to it this week. Not when I have so many pretty images to look at from cameras past. It just doesn't make sense. Or does it?


Larry Cordeiro said...


It's been making the rounds, and several of us have had mild cases of it from time to time. Perhaps it's just a little gas?



Steve Mack said...


Do something irrational, like pick up a really good example of a Contax IIa. I'm doing that, for something completely different (as reported on Monty Python' Flying circus...)



PS: Or maybe you already have, and I just didn't know about it.

Anonymous said...

Over the years since I first got into photography I’ve learned to stop caring about gear. In the beginning "If only I had the latest and greatest I'd be a better photographer," was an often thought. It was want want want, always thinking about the gear.

Now a days it’s all about focusing on the art of making better photographs. I only have two lenses, a wide normal, and a medium telephoto, it’s all I need. The best thing about cutting ones choice of lenses down forces you to think in those focal length. Composing a photograph often happens before I even bring the viewfinder to my eye.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, don't worry, it does make sense. It's just another natural mood swing of the big internal pendulum. We all get it at times. Well, quite a few of us, anyway. But just you wait, come spring, and you'll get the good ol' GAS again. ;-)

My relatively recently bought RX10 hasn't lost its new camera smell yet, so the video side of things is pretty much settled for a while, and conveniently enough, so are lensing, as the camera is a fixed lens case. Good deal.

On the stills side, I haven't been bothered by the latest Fuji or even Sony novelties despite all the hype. Apparently the pendulum is at the Tropic of Cancer.
Nevertheless, the closest thing to a nascent GAS was when I saw the first images of the new Sigma DP Quattro series. The weird looking thing that would make most people say "OMG, heck no!" made me thing "Man that's ugly ...but I want one!" :-)

Looks like it has my name written over it; it's big, quirky and all about details, colours and beautiful pictures in good light. Now that I've got the video side settled with the RX10, I found myself imagining how I could get either the DP2 for general shooting, or the DP3 for a dedicated, high-end portrait tool, a one that might even replace any other camera for portrait work, and perhaps even beyond that. Back to basics, in a way.
It doesn't seem to have an option for an EVF, but perhaps a lcd loupe from Svivi or another equivalent might do. Well, just a thought, as the GAS hasn't really attacked me yet. But chances are the pendulum will swing back to the Tropic of Capricorn again, at some point.

I'll sneak that thought in the back of your head, too, even though you might try to snort it off as utter silliness at first, but it may come back to haunt you later on, closer to June or threreabouts. ;-)

Meanwhile, the closest thing to GAS I'm having now can be limited to three or four things. I've been dreaming about a foldable 6 by 3 ft. scrim, a multi-purpose monopod and a new small camera bag for the RX10 and my existing audio gear. I actually do have a real need for one. Fortunately all those are reasonably affordable items to obsess about, and they are likely to make me use the existing gear more, instead of letting me obsess about new gear.

The fourth and by far the strongest urge has been for a quick change of scenery. A trip to some place new, anywhere, to give myself and my existing gear some inspiring things to do, just for the heck of it. I really don't need any new gear for that, but I think I need that trip. Soon.

Hardison said...

The last few years, almost every camera has been good enough for almost every kind of shooting. Good for you for sticking to the big issues.

Most of us read your blog to figure out how to become better photographs, not how to buy better cameras.

Blogging Photographer said...


Same thought occurred to me this week.

Last purchase was an RX10 - you can't buy any other lenses for it which I love. Just pick it up, take a spare battery and you're ready to go. (BTW I use it for stills)

Now must get out and take photos.


Carlo Santin said...

Well I've got a Contax G1 and 45mm on the way. It will be fun to play with that for a while, and a hell of a lot cheaper than going out and getting the new Fuji. Plus with a cheap adapter I can throw that Zeiss 45mm on my Nex 6 and have some fun with that too. It's shaping up to be a fun spring/summer of shooting.

Rufus said...

I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes the gear obsession leaves you crashed and hollow. No amount of tech is going to make you interested. When you are in that kind of mood, anything, but anything at all you buy will only result in buyers remorse.

But I will say this. You are rejecting the Sony A7/A7R unjustly. Maybe the camera caught you out and you weren't in the right head space, i don't know, but it really is a terrific bit of kit. As small as your GH3, but with ultimate IQ that will stop GAS for quite some time. And the shutter is not any noisier or harsh than the NEX7's you loved so much, only a couple of summers ago..
Give the A7 another go. The sheer quality of those files will ease your GAS for a couple of years. And you still get to use your old lenses....

thequietphotographer said...

Sometimes I feel to be in a different word: when most of people discuss megapixel, dynamic range and similar I think that almost any recent camera could satisfy me in relation to the quality. What is more important is how simple is the interface, how easy is the handling, size and weight.

But my problem is that this you can only know after a time you spent using it, a few minutes in a shop can only give an approximative idea. And in a place where there is almost no second hand market if you are not satisfied you'll loos a lot of money.
Bottom line: I have not yet decided to buy any new item, just keeping and using what I have...

Nick said...

Wow, I love that picture that leads this post! Wonderful energy and light.