Why camera buying sucks right now.

Of course the long tonal range and high sharpness of the images above and just below could only have been made with the latest, high resolution, low noise cameras on the market. Right? How else to explain the smooth transitions and convincing level of detail? The image of the child with the basketball is one of my favorite work shots. When I made the image our original target was a full page in a  printed annual report. Later, the agency called to see if they could blow up some of the original raw files into "larger prints" to use at a fund raiser for the client. I gave my permission and looked forward to see how the images from this state of the art camera might look when blown up a bit bigger. Little did I know how big they would go...  When I walked into the fundraiser there were many of the images that had been used in the annual report distributed around the room on easels. Large easels. The files had been enlarged to five by six foot prints. You could walk right up to the prints and put your nose on them. A good use of the new, super high resolution cameras like the D810, the Sony A7R2 and the Canon 5DSR, right?  Right?

Except that this all happened a decade ago and the files came from a 6 megapixel, cropped frame (APS-H) camera that capped out, performance wise, at ISO 125. It was, in fact, a Kodak DCS 760; and inspite of its "limitations" it was actually a very FUN camera to work with. Nice finder. Good focusing acquisition, etc. The shots worked because we understood whatever limitations the cameras might have had and compensated by working on the lighting. We didn't use window light, we emulated window light, but we did it with more lumens on the sensor and a bit more contrast. Could we do this with "modern" cameras? I believe so but it might be tricky to work around the unmitigated hype....

But, of course, this imager from the musical, Aida, had to be done one of the cameras with one of the newest, Sony super sensors because there is no noise in the black background and no burn out in the specular highlights. Wow, pure blacks and wonderfully delineated highlights. But with flesh tones this nice it surely must be something special like the new Fuji. Ah..... no. This is from the same, old Kodak DCS 760. Just lit and processed with care. Also used in print and as a life-sized duratrans on the side of the theater. 

But I won't try to fool you again. The image just below was really done with a Fuji camera. And it was shot nearly wide open and mostly lit with the soft glow of the X-ray reading monitors in a small, windowless room. There was a small flash from the back corner of the room but it's just there to provide a little separation for the hair. Since it's shot wide open and the eyes, lips and microphone are tack sharp I bet you can't guess whether it was done with a Zeiss Otus lens or maybe the Batis, or one of the new Fuji primes....right? Oops. Nope. It was shot on a Fuji S3 or S5 camera using a very crusty and well used, used Sigma 24-70mm f2.8. No, not the latest ART series lens but one from the period that made Sigma's previous reputation as a producer of opt-mechanical junk. So, another six megapixel, cropped frame digital camera and a nothing special lens. Pattern here? Maybe. 

This is a tough audience to fool so I'll cut straight to the chase. The image below was also done with one of these older, CCD chipped cameras. It's snapshot for sure but I like the overall look and feel. I blew it up on the screen to look at (the original) when I was thinking about new cameras last week but I do believe it hangs well with the three images above. Since it was an older camera it was slow and kludgy to use and the buffer was extremely poor, as was the auto focusing of this ancient thing. 
But I like the image quality and I think it's in the ball park with the 6 megapixel files shown above. It came from the 40 megapixel Leaf AFi7 camera along with a 180mm f2.8 Schneider prime lens (made for 6x6 cm medium format cameras).  Once reduced to web viewing size it's in line with all the other stuff we've shot with over the last twenty years....And now you can probably pick one of these up cheap, maybe 90% off the original asking price of $40,000 (no lens). 

The final print I was considering as I browsed through the new camera offerings (hurry, hurry!!! Pre-order NOW. If you wait you MIGHT NOT get to own the latest $1,000 miracle camera with NEW knobs and EXCITING wireless features SURE to Enhance your creative vision. You know, Candy Crush! Words with Friends!). I picked it out because it's a photo of Ben as a much younger person but also because several professional photographer who have seen the image liked it so much that they subsequently asked me to do their own headshot in the same style and with the same camera and lens... I shot this with a great camera that no one liked except for the people who actually owned one and used one. But I could never use it today because it was ONLY!!!! a 12 megapixel camera and, of course, no pro today would be caught dead shooting for money with a camera having only 12 megapixels. In fact, a lack of initiative in rushing to adapt to the largest megapixel count camera may be the thing that precipitates your business's ultimate demise. What client would want to shoot with less than ALL the megapixels? 

Won't keep you hanging, it was shot with the Kodak SLR/n 12 megapixel camera and an ancient, Nikon 135mm f2.8 lens. Still my favorite portrait of Ben. 

So, what's the point of this blog post today? Well, I was wondering why, with the launch of the Nikon D500 and D5, the new Fuji XPro2 and the Olympus Pen F, I was not interested in any of the new camera introductions. I'm wondering why I've been resistant to the Sony offerings and defaulting to using point and shoot cameras instead of my enormously expense and surely talented Nikon D810 camera. The truth is painful. I've finally stumbled onto the realization that, for me, none of these camera will change anything in my work as a portrait photographer. 

The cameras, with all their bells and whistles, are being designed for someone who does things I don't care about. I've never used "Art" filters on any of my Olympus cameras so the idea of dedicating a large front dial to them seems silly. The sensor isn't much better than the one we had in the original EM-5 and I think I would feel ashamed to be manipulated into buying yet another camera just for the styling. How many pairs of black oxford shoes does one need in the closet? And, of course, I still don't give a fuck about having wi-fi on my camera. No matter what you tell me about GPS or clicking the shutter from my easy chair...

The Fuji cameras bore me because they are boring. I'm sure the lenses are good and the Jpeg files are pretty but every Fuji I've played with since the original X100 faux rangefinder has had flaws that make me want to fling the camera against the wall as I'm trying to shoot with it. I am sure the new body appeals to everyone over 50 years old who ever wanted a Leica M but feared the retribution of their spouse and didn't buy themselves one. Now you can have "almost" one for about a quarter the price. But did we really need it? Does it make sense if no one (including the Fuji SpokesToGrathers even uses the optical viewfinder in everyday practice (see the review on TheCameraStoreTV). 

And why buy a camera that still doesn't play well with the world's largest, most ubiquitous and powerful professional imaging software? Eventually you'll want to shoot raw, don't you want the images you get to look at least as good as those you could have gotten out of a boring Canon DLSR from six years ago? I do. I just don't want to have to work that hard. 

You know what the biggest improvement was on the new Fuji XPro2? It was the inclusion of an adjustable diopter for the EVF. Think about that for a minute. They added a diopter. Just like the ones everyone else has had on every entry level camera since the dawn of digital. Enhancement complete. 
But let me tell you right now; if you have ever shot with a Leica M series rangefinder camera you wouldn't put up with any of these fake rangefinder cameras anyway....Fuji. Humph. 

So, why no love for the Nikon stuff? Oh, I'm sure the D500 is a great camera. Great sensor, big buffer, great focusing. But then so was the D7200 and the D7100 and the D7000 and the D5500 and the D610 and the D750. Will a couple frames a second faster make your image of a sleeping cat look better? Will the "tweaked" autofocus really matter if your existing camera already locks focus where it is supposed to be? Do you think high ISO REPLACES creative lighting? The folks at Nikon just trotted out another iteration of the same cameras they've been churning out for a decade and they are hoping they've increased the horse power specs just enough that, in conjunction with the new seat warmers, you'll be anxious to immediately dump your perfectly good photographic machine for the latest style.

And same to you, Canon. We changed the color of the shoe laces to see if we could get you to spill some cash on a whole new pair of shoes. 

I guess that what I'm really thinking is that if you are a new photographer and you are buying your first good camera then "congratulations" you've got lots of good options to choose from. Yay! Go cameras. But if you are a salty old dog with a shelf full of last year's miracle cameras and you feel the tug of the newest model it might be time to sit back and really examine the tug.

Could it be that all this camera buying is a manifestation of your subconscious resistance to doing ANYTHING you find meaningful with ANY camera? Maybe it's time to LAUNCH that long planned project instead of using the IDEA of that project as just another excuse to buy yet another camera. 

In many ways I pine for the simplicity of the old Nikon D100 with it's 4 shot raw buffer. Six giant megapixels and a look that changed the look. Or the Kodaks which were all mostly as good as what we've been working with since. 

It's something to think about. There is a post cognitive dissonance that sets in after you realize that you have what you need to shoot whatever you need to shoot but when the buying is done and the credit cards are cooling off in the refrigerator, you finally hit the wall and feel ashamed that you spent so much time in the selection and rotation of ever newer cameras that you actually never got around to going out the front door and shooting anything more than "just a test of how sharp the new camera and lens is." It's something to ponder. Unless you are in the camera making or camera selling business and then it behooves you to just tell me to shut up. 


George Beinhorn said...

Excellent and spot-on. I traded DOWN from a D7000 with lovely 70-300 VR, 35/1.8, and 12-28/4 (Tokina) lenses. I bought the Nikon V1 used for $175 with kit lens, plus 4 wonderful lenses.

Why? Because I felt it was time to stop upgrading cameras and start upgrading the photographer. Seriously, I need a hand-some camera that would be mobile in my hands and disappear, like a pair of perfect running shoes.

To make Photographer 2.0, I am focusing on showing up early, scouting the venue with high energy, and kicking my mental and emotional butts into gear to see the shots. I am also killing myself - i.e., the ego - because ego and a warm and beautiful heart can't stand in the same space. (I discovered this when I would take long walks in nature with camera and make a solid, solemn, disciplined vow to take NO photographs that didn't come from a genuine heart.)

The V1 does the job for me. It's like a pencil, or a good keyboard, or a Logitech trackball instead of a mouse. It gets out of the way. Just a tool. What I doodle with the pencil is what matters.

Doug P. said...

Kirk I've been reading your blog for a very long time, and nodded my head in agreement much of the time, and this is the first time I've felt compelled enough that I actually wanted to leave a comment.

I sold all of my "pro" gear last fall because I had realized I had fallen into a marketing trap. I had all of this gear, and my enjoyment factor had not improved at all. (I only shoot personally now, a few pro gigs here and there) I actually loathed taking out expensive gear, only to bury the results in Lightroom at the end of the day.

I now shoot with a bargain of a micro 4/3 body..the Olympus E-P5. It's simple, built like a tank, and pushes out beautiful JPGs. No viewfinder, but I actually LOVE the optional VF-4 for its clarity and the height at which my eye must be compared to the body. I liked this body so much I bought another one as a backup. If I wanted to take my total "kit" which also includes 4 primes, I can fit it in a small shoulder bag. That's a beautiful thing.

I've also been considering a RX10 ii or FZ1000 since my interest in video is growing rapidly. I'm glad to know that even you can't land on one of them.

I love taking photos again, and that's a great feeling.

Kirk Tuck said...

A refreshing and wonderful comment. Thank you for sharing it! I'm heading out to a shoot with lots of light and minimal cameras. I'm taking your advice, leaving early and looking harder to find more ways to shoot instead of just the first strategy that comes to mind. Thanks again.

Kirk Tuck said...

The comment I left above was in response to George. Here's one for Doug P.

I agree. I'm heading out for an assignment with an fz 1000 in the bag and a Sony RX10 as a back-up. Absolutely more fun that the massive ordnance of tradition.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kirk,
been reading your blog (among many others) for some years now. Especially enjoy it because you are one of the maybe half a dozen who think off the beaten track. Oh sorry, forgot to mention, your pictures are also nice, as well as your stories and your writing.
About new stuff not being interesting:
I think its only logical for several reasons in addition to the one you illustrated in this article. In a world in which technological advance happens at such an amazing pace, you soon realize that you dont have a chance to stay up to date equipment-wise unless you constantly rebuy. Doing so simultaneously devalues everything previous, and I dont mean in terms of money alone. Who wants to have say to her/himself regularly that yesterdays purchase is todays junk? Which it of course is not.
Incremental improvements may not always impress, but that does depend on the personal point of view, and nobody can realistically expect repeated revolutionary developments.Its very often the sum of many details that lead to which camera (system would probably be more appropriate)you choose anyway.
And any self conscious person taking pictures (I purposely avoided the term photographer) knows that only on the rarest occasions technology will be the limiting factor in achieving satisfactory images. In my case, I know most of my pictures are lousy. Having been in the business for more than 30 years now doesnt change that, its simply lack of practise and dedication. Which is why I totally agree with you about the megapixel race, and which is why I opted for micro 4/3 instead of 35mm a while ago. Without regrets. Even though I know what Im missing (theoretically).

Ongoing success with your blog

PittsburghDog said...

Kirk, your possible inclusion on a future camera manufacturer sponsored jaunts has just been rescinded. I'm sure you are distraught over that. (sarc)
I agree with all you comments, but was curios about one. WiFi. I thought I recalled one of your shoots where you realized (belatedly, I think) that the client's marketing director could have looked at the shots from a tablet, while you were shooting, which is only possible through WiFi. I've always thought that was a solid reason for it. I could care less about posting online from the camera, but the ability for others to see what is being shot was always a plus...or so I thought.
Happy shooting.

Ken A said...

Great post! I've gone back and looked at images from my first DSLR, the ancient Canon D30 with a whopping 3.3MP and those actually still hold up pretty well...I was surprised. Then the Olympus E-1, still an all time favorite. This post surely rings true.

For the past 4+ years, I've been primarily a Fuji shooter and with an RX10 tossed into the mix. I've recently decided to simplify and have gone back to 4/3 sensors as I was very happy back with the E-1 / E-3. I've gone with a simple setup that is, overall, smaller than the equivalent Fuji or Sony offering. The GX8, 12-35 f/2.8, 35-100 f/2.8 and the Oly 25 f/1.8. Great stills (not up to Sony FF or Fuji's jpg, but very nice) and great video (hangs in there with the RX10 IMO but without audio monitoring, my one complaint). I get video which was horrible in Fuji, an improvement in IQ over my RX10 (not massive, but noticeable) and much smaller f/2.8 zooms than I could have had with Fuji. I'm still shocked how small they are.

Oh, I still have an GF1 sitting around from my initial move from 4/3 to m4/3 (sold a previous GH1 years ago) and that still has files that hold up very up to ISO 400. It's fun to play mated with the 25 f/1.8.

Simplicity. No worrying about "do I take the Fuji's for the IQ and suffer the video", or "the RX10 for it's great video but, man, I wish I had the still IQ of the Fuji's, but the RX10 is so much fun!!! But, I'll miss the Fuji". That was driving me nuts. No more.

Thanks for helping us look at what's important to each of us, and it will be different, so that we can find more freedom and creativity without the constant worry of gear. The GX8 is just getting out my way and letting me shoot. I'll miss the RX10, but I really want just one system and, for me, that's looking like I'll be back to 4/3 sensors as I used from 2006-2011 so happily.

George Beinhorn said...

Hello Kirk. Thanks for responding. I riffed on this wonderful article on my Joyful Athlete website - the parallels were too tasty to resist. FWIW, see http://www.joyfulathlete.com/2016/02/01/the-sucky-side-of-sports-today/. And thanks.

Tilman Paulin said...

Yes, it's a funny thing these days.

We're spoilt for choice with the most customizable image taking tools ever.
Yet, (as with so many other things in life) all these decisions that we can make (have to make) can get into the way of seeing the image for all the options...

One of the camera I enjoy the most these days is a 5MP Olympus E1. Nails the white-balance, thanks to an additional white-balance sensor. Meters exposure well enough.
Beautiful, subtle colours right out of the box. And all the controls you need on the body.

That's all you need really. Kind of freeing.

Anonymous said...

George Beinhorn said it well in his comment...Photographer 2.0

Much cheaper than new gear...which requires software updates...and OS updates...which requires new printers and hardware...and on it goes.

I'm with George on this one...and thanks to Kirk for prompting this discussion.


George Bishop said...

Thanks for this post . . . I apologise for not commenting more often, but be assured I always enjoy your blog and rarely have any reason to disagree with you. I too loved the D100 (given to eldest granddaughter . . . . wish I'd kept it sometimes) same handling as the Kodak Slr/n which I still have (3 copies and I can't seem to part with them). Seduced into buying Fujifilm but cant get on with them; then took your advice and bought Olympus OMD-EM5 and LOVE it!

Carry on the good work and keep us focused on what is important (and that isn't new gear!!)

Thanks again . . .

Dave said...

The Fuji XPro2 did get a lot more megapixels over the 1, but, yeah... doesn't really make a difference...

Anders C. Madsen said...

Ooookay....I feel I might be a bit alone here. :)

Although I don't feel the urge to run out and blow the entire savings account on new gear whenever an upgrade is let free to the market, I don't really buy the notion of "it's only the photographer, the gear is irrelevant". Just like anything else, better tools always have their place in a working environment, and I truly believe that to be the case for professional photography as well.

That is not to say that every tool is an improvement for every toolbox, and that is probably what this is mostly about. A Nikon D5 or a D500 has very little added value for a portrait photographer, but if your thing is professional wildlife and your current gear is the D3s and a D300 for backup, you will definitely be able to create better images - IF you know what you are doing, that is. You may shoot from a larger distance and crop more, you may shoot under less than ideal lighting conditions and save the day in post.

I shoot with a Nikon D610 and have a Canon 1Ds Mark II as a backup (this was previously my main camera with a Canon 30D as backup), and since I bought the D610, the Canon has taken exactly ONE image - and that was only to be able to do a readout of the shutter count for the sales pitch. Yes, the Canon is still a mean machine and you can still use it for hammering nails when not taking photos, but there is no way I will agree to it being as capable as the D610 when it comes to creating images for MY business (which is mainly corporate and portraiture these days).

The AF is on par, the build quality is a win for the Canon, the ergonomics is a matter of taste and the sensor is so much better in the D610 that it is almost ridiculous.

And let me qualify that "better" statement: The improved dynamic range and lower noise levels gives me freedom to react to the moment, to spot a mood and capture it without worrying that the image will not hold up when printed large because I did not have the time to provide adequate light and were forced to ride the ISO or fix the contrast levels in post-processing instead.

For me, that freedom from worry (and subsequently the mental freedom to focus on creating the actual image) is easily important enough to warrant the newer equipment, and I can think of very few things short of the threat of physical violence, that could make me pick up the Canon 1Ds again.

ReidWolf said...

Well a usual my Tuck Compass comes thru again

Greg said...

Thanks, Kirk. I needed that.

Ash said...

Pretty harsh on Fuji. At least they are trying to hard to create good products even if they don't always get it right.
Your point holds true for Fujifilm too, though - can current Fuji cameras create better portraits than an S3 pro? Probably not.

Ash Crill said...

Sorry to comment more, but I should note that I do shoot with a Fuji camera.

As someone who missed out on the early era of digital photography, and missed out on the film era entirely, manual controls are just more interesting than the standard mode dial.

What I'm trying to say is that shooting with my Fuji camera, working three dials for aperture, shutter speed and ISO, with one lens, trying to capture my subject in a relaxed manner and good light, is a lot of FUN.

Maybe Fuji X don't cut it for professional portraits, maybe they are just for fun. The skin tones look really nice to me.

HBernstein said...

The DCS760 had what was probably the best optical high-eyepoint viewfinder of any digital camera sold then or since, and it could be swapped out for a Nikon sportfinder, too!

If shot in it's comfortable exposure zone, the camera's files were beautiful, with Kodak's intent, no doubt, to emulate the colors of the company's line of color films. Of course, the camera weighed as much as a small car. I once carried one around for a couple of hours. It felt like I had nearly torn a tendon in my arm.

TMJ said...

I dislike all these fake look-alikes, I never wanted a Fuji ST 605, I definitely don't now. That front knob on the 'new' Pen F is hideous, a mean take-off of the rather useful slow shutter speed control on my Leica III.

What people forget with film rangeinders, particularly M2/3/4 is that you have the exposure and focus nailed before you take the shot, not whilst doing it.

Ken said...

Kirk, I'm basically your age - 60 in a few weeks. I've been photographing since the age of 15 and selling cameras for 25 years. Cameras were far more fun and interesting during the film days. The thrill has been gone since digital took over. You don't need to shut up, I agree with everything you've said. In fact, it's these rants and/or your philosophical jaunts that I hope for whenever I visit the blog. Keep up the insights and opinions.

Jim Hughes said...

I think this is a lesson hard learned for a lot of us, whether it's the latest phone or camera or car or whatever. The differences between the latest and several generations older just isn't that great for all practical uses. But for our egos, that's a different problem. Thanks for the reminder.

Dave Thomas said...

Oh, but the lenses! That's the upside story. My poor little E-PM2 has same sensor as the E-M5 Mk.ii, but I could use the M.zuiko line of pro lenses if I wanted....

Kirk Tuck said...

Jim Hughes, I obviously agree. I just replaced my dead (my fault) iPhone 4s with a 5s this past Fall. No interest in paying more for a 6. My phone calls won't get more interesting or profitable. I guarantee it....

Eric Rose said...

The camera marketers are not interested in what we 60+ year old's like, want or need. I am still using my Nikon D700. I like the files better than what my wife's Canon 5DMkII puts out. I also like my D70s (gasp!). The files are nice and "juicy". Love it for macro work.

The young'uns are very quick to jump to the latest and greatest. They don't need it but they are compelled to change cameras, phones, and styles as fast as the manufacturers can pump them out. It's a change addiction. The companies that can deliver, plus maintain enough hype to keep them wet with anticipation, gets the most business. Look at Apple as a prime example.

The 20 to 30 year old's I have taught photography to can go on for what seems like hours about each and every feature their camera has and why it's better than brand X. They also know each and every feature Brand X has to offer as well. What they don't know and have a real hard time getting their heads wrapped around is that you just can't buy their way to mastering photography as an art form. I still don't know all the things my D700 will do and quite frankly don't give a hoot. I know what I need to know.

I will use my D700 until it crashes. Then and only then will I look and see what is out there that will take a beating, produce great files and be easy to look through.

All that being said I do enjoy your travels through different cameras. You approach things exactly as I would if I had the time to play around with such things. Yes I'm boring ;) and I'm the opposite of what modern day marketers are targeting.

Dave Jenkins said...

Curmudgeon much lately, Kirk? ;o)

Kirk Tuck said...

Naw Dave, pretty damn happy these days. Not having to upgrade cameras means more money in the bank, right? Just calling the market the way I see it. But never curmudgeon-y. Don't even know what that means. I just think my readers would find it boring if all I ever talked about was how good the market for commercial photography in Austin, Texas is and how much I love to swim....

You disagree with my assessment of the camera industry right now? Let it fly...

Dave Jenkins said...

Don't disagree at all -- I just enjoy being a gadfly. I haven't bought a new camera since my first E-M5 in 2012 (the second one was used), and I don't see anything on the horizon that appears likely to cause me to part with cash. Wouldn't mind adding a lens or two, though.

Nigli said...

Hi Kirk, one thing I've learned from you and your blog is how limitations promote creativity. Thanks for that.
After a period of illness, I just bought myself a Fuji X-Pro 1 with the 18mm and 28 mm lenses. Why? The area around 27-30mm is my natural focal length, and truly where I see. It cost EUR 650. In effect, I bought two lenses and a free camera. (The 28 will be sold soon, I surely don't see at that focal length). For me, it's an available light, stills-only device. It fits in my pocket and it handy to take when I take the bairn for a stroll in the rain. It's the right focal length for informal, rough people shots in our cafe.
PS: thanks for your Craftsy course. Its helped the product photography we need to do (with and old DLSR) no end.

Dave V said...

An ample quantity of well-controlled, juicy, delicious 5000K light is a great equalizer among cameras.

Nigel said...

I'll still shell out every two or three years, if only for a better EVF... to keep pace with my deteriorating eyesight.

Lenses, though.....

Goff said...

I agree with your message, Kirk. Here is my history of cameras.

I'm 76 years old and have been hooked on photography since having my first photos published in 1953. I documented the General strike in Paris, where I staying with my French godfather. The pictures were shot on my Granny's VPK (Vest Pocket Kodak).

Since then I have owned mainly 35mm cameras, starting in 1955 with an Agfa Silette (still in use by my mother in the 1990s), then a Pentax (lovely screw in lenses but I hated changing them in a hurry; used it a lot until body bits started to fall off), so I bought a Nikon F as soon as it was released (great camera, still have it; lovely lenses). Switched to digital with the Nikon D100 (great images, but too slooooow for action shooting), then progressed through the Nikons to the D3, which remains a workhorse, or given its weight, a carthorse).
D3 and a D300 remain in regular use by my wife (D3 for low light; D300 for nature macros). She also has the wonderfully-lightweight Nikon V3 with its fabulous lenses (its her everyday camera, and the long Nature zoom is perfect for shooting butterflies).
I used Hasselblad with 70mm magazine and Zeiss in the 1970s; more recently I had a fling with Hasselblad digital, which is terrific for landscapes (great prints for exhibitions; I have several Hassy prints on permanent show in public buildings in London and abroad). But its too heavy for everyday.
So now I have settled on Leica: M8 to M9 to M240, and this year the SL. Great to have at last a Leica with no plug in bits and pieces (EVF, eyepiece magnifier, stereo microphones). This wonderful Leica camera body with my M lenses may see me out.
Meanwhile the older cameras are on display in my study, and can be taken out for use when needed.
Keep up the great articles, Goff

Soeren Engelbrecht said...

Some very good points, Kirk.

I downsized my fairly extensive Nikon DSLR kit (DX with lenses from 12-24/4.0 to 80-200/2.8) to an Olympus E-M10 with primes from 14-45 (and a 14-45 zoom) in the summer of 2014, and I am certainly not missing anything.

My last camera purchase (for a very long time, I am certain) was a lightly used Leica M8 that I bought three months ago. I just love both the shooting experience and the pictures that I get from it :-)

Ken Norton - Image 66 Media said...

I've upgraded my cameras. I now shoot weddings and portraits with KodakPortra 400 film. My customers are not only requesting it but paying extra to get it.

Ron Dubin said...

Couldn't agree more. I just recently decided to dump all my heavy Canon gear and jumped on the Olympus E5 MK II bandwagon. I didn't think twice about going "backwards" to a 16mp sensor and learning a new system this past month has been invigorating on quite a few levels. So far I've had a chance to put it through its paces on wildlife and the Rolex race this past weekend and couldn't be happier. The fact that my bag now weighs next to nothing is a huge relief both physically and mentally because I was at the point of looking for reasons not to shoot. I also found myself shooting with my iPhone a lot more and decided to help that out with 2 Moment lenses which are pricey but great. For me at.tthis point in my life simpler is better and was happy when I saw the release for Canon's new tank and didn't rush to read the specs...

Paul said...

I see your ulterior motive Kirk,
You want us to stop buying new toys, next there will be:
- Craftsy ads for your courses popping up on your site
- Subliminal messages in blog posts directing us to your ever more expensive courses.

Your new courses will extol the virtues of selling more equipment and spending the money on more Craftsy courses so we can all upgrade to Photographer 2.0.

Anonymous said...

You are right, great article !!!
Saved me 1000¢, I'll better use them for a extended photography-travel :-)

Kirk Tuck said...

Hey Paul, Do I need to have an ulterior motive? Are you serious or just being a dick today? P.S. The Craftsy courses are no getting "ever more expensive", in fact, I think they are on sale. Now.

Paul said...


Apologies if you took my comment seriously - it was very much tongue in cheek.

I've actually done one of your courses and really enjoyed it (I might do a couple more if they are on sale). I've rationalised my gear to just m43rds and a couple of canon lenses which I might get rid of soon - because I no longer have a Canon body to use them on. My purchasing recently has been to improve glass rather than bodies.
The EM-1 Mk 2 would have do be a big jump over the original for me to buy one - but I could be tempted to replace my EM-5 with another original EM-1 if the price is right :) I have still got a long way to got to make the most of the gear I have.

Sulman said...

This was really interesting to me, as my 13yr old EOS 20D started getting temperamental recently and I am looking at my options.

I found myself getting rather cross with Canon. One word: Video. Super if that is your thing; it is not and never has been mine.

Secondly, the sheer amount of DSLR models available is absolutely mind-boggling, and for a hobby shooter like me,they will all do the job. I just want a nice simple DSlR that I can use my (small) collection of EF glass on.

Then I questioned if I really needed that and would probably be happy with one of the cheaper mirrorless cameras; they are pretty decent.

I'll probably just get a cheap EOS body and be done for another decade.