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Less and less interested in trying different gear...

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Luckypenguin, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    After having been a member here for a while now, it's fair to say that I have seen more gearlust talked about and acted upon than any sane person may want to witness in their lifetime ;). I spent a lot of time in 2009 and 2010 trying all manner of different cameras myself, and I'm now surprised (and pleased) to say that exposure to websites such as here, mu-43, and flickr has seemingly begun to cure me of such ills.

    One thing that I have realised, particularly from the large variety of cameras represented on sites like flickr, is that the measure of a good (or great) image is almost completely independent of the camera. Sensor size and lens availability has an impact of course, but all things being equal a Canon is hardly different from a Nikon, Olympus, Sony, Panasonic, Pentax, et al when it comes to producing an image.

    I certainly still keep track of all things new: read the reviews, compare 100% crops, etc. I also read the usual talk such as game-changer, renders existing cameras obsolete, blows Camera X out of the water, etc, etc. However, once the user images start coming through, I look at them, study them, seek out full-size OOC images...and wonder what all the fuss is about. Of course the real kicker is watching others switch from camera to camera and still produce the same consistent style, and at the same time watch others genuinely improve whilst using the same camera all along.

    I see some stunning images still being taken by cameras long since considered obsolete, and some of my own favourite images were taken on a Canon 350D which dates back to early 2005.

    So where does this leave me with respect to the good old fashioned GAS? Well, I'd still like to eventually have a set of lenses for my Micro 4/3 gear that will allow me to have a mirror of my Canon DSLR gear, with the intent of probably replacing that setup entirely with the smaller system. The new rule is though, if anything new (to me) comes in, something/s of equal or greater value goes out.

    I guess what I am saying is that I am more than happy with the current equipment that I am using, it doesn't limit me in any serious way nor cause me to think that the grass may be greener elsewhere. Having been there myself I fully understand the desire to try the next big thing, I'm just glad that it is no longer me churning through the different brands.

    Sorry rampant consumerism, I'm taking a break for a while.
     
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  2. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    ah Nic, what a lovely breath of fresh air ... I'm very happy with my E-P2 and the lenses I have, I have no desire for anything beginning with X, whoever manufacturers it, and I've even decided that a Leica wouldn't suit my style of shooting ... such as there is one I mean ... the images that have most impressed me by their beauty recently were shot with a 6MP r-d1 ... and despite that I shan't be spending a grand on one of those either ...

    I just hope this thread doesn't turn into one of those "gear makes a difference to your images" ones ... well it doesn't ... and it does ... all at the same time.

    lets just take pictures :smile:
     
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  3. vincechu

    vincechu SC Veteran

    316
    Sep 14, 2010
    Exactly how I'm feeling at the moment, after my gear advice thread and trying out a few Pannys last week I just felt like I couldnt care less. I used to change gear a lot Panny->nikon->pentax in 12months lol I guess I switched gear initially because I was new to photography and didn't really know what I wanted at first - as in I didn't know what type of photos I wanted to take and what would 'help' me achieve it better

    But after seeing some stuff taken with a Canon20D which blew me away, I felt embarrassed that I was going through so much gear.

    Currently I'm just challenging myself to use the gear I have and to try and have a camera on me all the time - the best camera, is the one you have with you afterall ;-)

    Nevertheless I enjoy looking at other cameras and drooling over them, just I don't buy them because I know I'm fine without them :)
     
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  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Well, I've certainly been one to try all sorts of different gear lately, but I hear you nonetheless. I was never under any illusion about any of it making me a better photographer. I think I'm one of the people who's images look about the same (for better or worse) regardless of what I'm shooting with. But having recently gotten back into photography, and into digital really for the first time, I had a lot of ground to make up in terms of learning what was out there, what was the most comfortable fit for me, etc. I feel some settling coming on, like I've tried most of the options that I was interested in and have a pretty good idea what's working for me and what's not. But I can't say I'm done. There's probably a camera out there on the horizon somewhere that will pull me back in, but for now, I've got so much of what I want that I can't really see what it is... Maybe if Oly or Pany really does come up with a super-pen with all of the features I love from various cameras combined into one, I'd find the money for that. But until then, I'm pretty good with what I've got.

    Anyway, I agree with everything you say, even if I'm not yet ready to fully adopt your action (or non-action) plan...

    -Ray
     
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  5. vincechu

    vincechu SC Veteran

    316
    Sep 14, 2010
    Ray - after reading what you had to say (type lol) I guess what I was trying to say is that the buying/selling part for me was like courtship, finding the right partner that fits my needs and felt right. I guess since K5 and I have been together the whole buying/selling bit has slowed down, though we still have our ups and downs, and I've come close to dumping her :tongue:

    More seriously though, I guess I do actively think and make myself not buy/sell gear because it uses a lot of money :( perhaps this is why I'm less interested in trying different gear these days.
     
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  6. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I recently started a thread at mu-43 titled "what is your approach towards towards gear" or somesuch, asking the question if you were a one camera/one lens photographer, or the complete opposite. In answer to my own question I placed myself in the second catergory, with the qualifying statement being, "give me the gear, any gear, and I'll try to make an image with it". While I still believe in this statement, I think that I have satisfactorily proved the point to myself enough that I don't need to try to prove it again and again, lol.

    I will admit to going off the rails though with the acquistion of two new pieces of equipment that weren't subject to my new "buy one, sell one" rule: the Nik software suite and a new 17" laptop to run it. To be honest a more significant upgrade for me than just about any new camera or lens could have been.
     
  7. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    The key is to sell it FAST - don't hold onto anything long enough for its market value to drop very far. Which, while sort of a joke, sort of isn't. I can usually tell pretty quickly if something is gonna work for me. I sold the GH2 after about 6-7 months and only lost $50 on the whole deal - not a bad "rental" fee. I just sold the EP3 VERY shortly after buying it, having settled on the EPL3 and got very close to what I paid (although I did take the ebay fee hit on that one). The Nex I lost some on but I got a LOT of use out of it and really thought I might stay with that system for a while, so no regrets. But on past EPL1 and GF1 cams I came out nearly whole. I lost a fair amount on my EP2, but that had been my main, primary, go-to camera for nearly a year and I had gotten a huge amount of daily use out of it. No regrets there.

    So if you know pretty quickly that something isn't gonna work out, it doesn't end up costing you much. And if you like something and use it heavily, you take a hit when you sell it, but that's as it should be. I've spent very little on cameras I didn't end up liking and a good bit more than that on those I did like. Which seems about right. I have yet to feel like I got burned. And still, when I look at all of my expenditures over the past year, netting out what I sold stuff for and what I still have, I'm still a good deal less out of pocket than a pro DSLR and a lens or two would set me back and far far far less out of pocket than a Leica M9 and even one nice lens would have cost me, so I don't consider this a hugely expensive habit. You wouldn't believe what a nice custom bicycle can cost and I'm out of that line of spending now, so this seems pretty tame in comparison. And my wife's father made a hobby of racing sports cars, so she's never even THOUGHT about complaining about any of my relatively low-rent hobbies. :biggrin:

    -Ray
     
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  8. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    Nice post Nic, and thanks for sharing. I've reached a plateau as well. Somewhere, it has to end, and right now I seem to have the tools that work really well for me. A few cameras and lenses are going up for sale this weekend and I don't plan to buy anything new for a while. I have two pre-orders pending (the Ricoh GXR Mount unit and the Olympus 45mm lens), and once those arrive I'm done for the foreseeable future. The only camera that might truly interest me is the Ricoh GRD3 is due for a refresh anyday now. But we'll see.

    I've also been buying up used and new photobooks and I need to stop that as well. But that is hard because there are so many from the long history of photography and so many creative people with photography as their art form. I relish these. I study them, read them, enjoy the feel of the paper and the smell of the ink. Something real, not digital, something tangible.
     
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  9. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    The case, maybe, for a used Leica, M8 now, maybe M9 in the future

    If your M8 was bought used at around £1400 it is still worth that after a year, or two

    Provided that it keeps working as it should it will still be worth that in a couple of years time

    If it needs a repair - that's probably going to set you back max £750 - then you get the Leica 1 year warranty on the cam

    probably the costs of ownership for an M8 are £200, - (say at the outside £300), per annum

    probably not bad compared with the GAS exercise that most of us go through

    PS - the majority of M8s out there have been problem free - plus some of the reported problems are cosmetic, (i.e. i would never change the LCD unless it failed completely regarding access to the menu and settings - i.e. I would not replace the LCD if it were scratched, "coffee stained" etc.,)
     
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  10. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Just to clarify in case of any possible misunderstanding: I don't mean any criticism by consistent output regardless of equipment. Indeed, adaptability such as this is a fine attribute to have.
     
  11. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Jason
    This is similar to the thread at dpreview titled "chasing the unobtainable".

    I got my first digital camera in 2004, a Panasonic FZ3. A few years later I picked up a Canon A 560. It took more than 3 years after that purchase I got the E-P1. I have now on order after 2 years at a really good deal an E-PL2. I'm not even sure if the latter can be considered an "upgrade" from the E-P1.

    So where does that leave me?

    I have no illusions that any camera, no matter what it is, will make me a better photographer. However, there are features and improvements which will allow me to enjoy photography more. Slow cameras frustrate me. Poor ergonomics frustrate me. Poor control frustrates me. When it comes to technical IQ issues, limited dynamic range and poor noise qualities also frustrate me. If I'm frustrated while taking pictures, obviously I'm not having fun. This is why I went ahead and got the E-PL2. Its faster focusing with the kit lens will be less frustrating for me. No, the camera isn't as fast as the E-P3. I have played with this camera in store so I have an idea of what I'm getting into. When I originally purchased the E-P1, on the other hand, I had no idea of what I was getting to. I hadn't even putmy hands on the camera.

    Don't get me wrong, I've made the best pictures of my life with the E-P1(keep in mind I'm making personal comparisons, not comparison's to other's work), but as of today, I find myself either enjoying the camera or highly frustrated, just depending on what I'm trying to do. Since I was an early adopter, I did pay close to MSRP for the camera. The real problem was, unlike some who are extremely experienced, I had no idea what I liked and didn't like. It took me over a year to figure out what I needed. Others more experienced can pick a camera up, shoot a few hundred pictures, and know whether they like it or not.

    From a logical point of view, the real problem is that ergonomics, which include overall size, is inversely proportional to image quality when it comes to noise and dynamic range. Even with the advances of the NEX systme and Samsungs NX systems, there is still that compromise in terms of image quality vs ergonomics. Ray, for example, has discussed this at length when comparing mFT vs the NEX system.

    I don't think there is really a perfect camera for everyone. For one thing, if there was, manufacturers would be out of business. The only thing that would be upgraded in the camera might be sensor technology, which is has a limited profit value. I also think part of the problem with GAS for many people is that local camera shops are becoming fewer and fewer, and the ones that are still in business don't keep these enthusiast cameras. Its either P&S or its big ole DSLR.
     
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  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Not to worry Nic - I didn't take it as a negative. I shoot what I shoot, I have an idea of how I want it to look, and it ends up looking about how I saw it. Which doesn't vary much by camera, although I find some cameras get in the way and others don't, so I tend to miss more shots with some cameras than others, but the ones I hit tend to look like my stuff.

    And a strong +1 to what DJ said about some gear being more enjoyable to use. I find that undeniably true, and I WILL shoot better in general with gear that's fun to use. But I can usually feel that within minutes of picking up a camera...

    -Ray
     
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  13. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    I'm sorry I didnt come to the same conclusion as yourself *before* I bought my K-5 and *before* I sold my K200D. My favourite images have not been taken with the K-5. Its been a very expensive lesson.
     
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  14. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    Hmmmm....the bigger issue here is about attention economy. If I stop focusing so much on GAS-related activity (e.g., reading reviews, comparing UI & IQ, researching street prices, looking at accessories, etc.) then I'd have the luxury of time to realise how spare I am at the art of photography. While I remain distracted on the context of photography (the equipment) - comparing photos taken of the same sunset or cow with different cameras - I am spared the knowledge that my content (the images themselves) is lacking. This way I can be blissfully lost in the talk of photography, while not worrying about the walk of a photographer. I can strive to develop better kit, this is tangible, but to misplace this drive to create better images - develop myself, my abilities, my intent, my communication, well this is simply fanciful and....well too hard! Better to ask me "what gear I want or used for this or that", than probe on "what is this, or more pointedly you, trying to say with this image?"...

    If I executed your proposal Nic I'd be holding up that mirror to myself and witnessing the dark vacuum behind the viewfinder. I know enough about physics to be clear that one who spies a black hole can never return to tell the tale. Your talk is dangerous, not only does it undermine the sound precepts that keeps our Western consumerist civilisation ticking, but would invite its citizen to look that little deeper at themselves and their place in this shadow play of life.

    Don't rock the boat mate! Thar be monsters in them waters!

    P.S., Wow that was almost cathartic....now back to my research on the NEX7...and more importantly which lenses to get for it....and how much I can get for my Pentax gear and....
     
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  15. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Oh, don't worry, I'm still helping the economy in other ways. For instance, I'm getting married in November, so I'm virtually flushing money down the toilet as we speak. I go out to dinner, grab a coffee at the local cafes...

    Finding a camera that you enjoy (love?) can be an enjoyable process in itself. The question is, once you've found one (or two, or three...), do you keep going and maybe find something even better, or take stock and enjoy what you have? And what causes you to fall out of love? Do your requirements change, do you get bored, does a camera become "less good"? Demand will continue to drive technology fowards, you just need to decide if that new technology is really what you wanted.

    Another point: one of the reasons I remember my 350D (and 50D for that matter) so fondly is because I travelled with them. New and unfamiliar scenery bought me a far more memorable collection of images than a new camera ever could of. If they didn't make me work 48 weeks in a year and I wasn't donating large amounts of interest to a bank, this is where I would be directing my spare cash.
     
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  16. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    I don't like this thread! :wink:
     
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  17. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    I can't understand why Armando. Nic's talking one-for-one on your gear and, judging by your signature block you're at a very healthy base-line. :thumbup:

    ...anyway isn't the K5 and others on the way out?
     
  18. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Lol, is this turning into Jerry McQuire's mission statement? "Less cameras. More personal attention". Oh, dear! No soapbox here, just thinking out loud. I mean, someone needs to be playing the field while I'm not.

    I had also best remove Ricophile from my signature soon. I think my CX1 is about to retire due to injury.
     
  19. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    ...and replace with Fujistu? :tomato2:
     
  20. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    LOL!! Yes, the K5 needs to go!! X100 was on the way too. But now I think GH2 needs to go. Along with NEX3.

    So that I can buy something that costs more than cameras but not nearly as useful ... :mad: