It’s been about 3 years now since that infamous article I wrote, confessions of an ex-gear addict. It is by far the most popular article I ever wrote, it’s the one I hope to overdo someday and the one that birthed a bunch of me-too articles. It’s been a while now and I’ve been a good boy when it comes to cameras, but here are a collection of ideas that came during that time about camera buying and more.
Photography is dangerous. Just editing a photo and getting ok results is enough to get you hooked.
Then you get an entry-level DSLR. And a cheap 50mm lens and play with depth of field. And you need a tripod. And an extra battery. And memory cards. And a zoom lens. And a remote. And a flash.
We all have problems in life. Some of us are overweight, depressed, or tired all the time. Some of us lack creative inspiration, skills, or outlets for our work. Some of us lack motivation, willpower, and strength to take action in our lives.
Many of us feel that technology is the savior. If we only had that one kitchen appliance, we can finally become a great cook. If we only had that one camera, we could fully realize our potential in photography. If we only had that one lens, we would be more creative with our photography. If we only had that one GoreTex jacket, we could be a more adventurous backpacker. If we only had that one smartphone, laptop, or tool— we could be more productive, happy, and optimized.
I’m totally guilty of this myself. I always blame my tools and technology – never myself.
Do you have an insatiable lust for the latest and greatest gear? If so, you probably have Gear Acquisition Syndrome, a made-up cheekily known as G.A.S. throughout the web.
While it’s fun to play and experiment with the newest gear that gets released month after month, the reality is it’s not the gear that will make you a better photography. It’s practice and knowledge, two things you can gain with even the cheapest of camera equipment.
If you’ve been bitten by the G.A.S. bug already though, don’t worry. Miguel Quiles and Jeff Rojas, known on YouTube as ‘These Guys’ have come together to share three tips to help cure G.A.S. [Read more…]
2015 was definitely a year of video for everyone, especially with Sony and Canon releasing the A7RII and 5D SR which made (semi)pro video available at a pretty low price point (assuming you consider 3K low).
If you think that 3k is too high, here is some perspective for you. The other side of the production continuum has cameras where 2-3 thousand dollars can be their daily rent fee. Of course there is a reason for that, and those cameras provide superior image quality (usually at low light), dynamic range and bit depth, as well as other non-quality related features.
To get your GAS going cinematographers Tom Fletcher and Gary Adcock compiled a list of all available production cameras for 2015. Starting with the Alexa 65 which shot parts of The Revenant through the Sony F65 (shot Tomorrowland) and Red Epic Dragon (The Martian) all the way to the affordable Canon C300.
Dear friend, life is brutally short; live a life of leisure.
I don’t mean to say suddenly quit your job, but to enjoy every moment as if it were your last.
Imagine you are stranded in a desert and you are dying from thirst. You see a stream of water, but it will only flow for a minute. You rush over, and swallow all the water your stomach will hold, because you know it won’t flow anymore.
This is a good metaphor for life (credit Seneca in his letter, “On the Shortness of Life”). Life is a limited stream. Sooner or later, the stream will no longer flow. So why waste our time and our lives chasing distractions (pleasures, material things, fame) which will no longer exist when we’re dead?
There are only two things which are certain in life: death and taxes (unless you live in Dubai). Everything else is uncertain.
So why waste time researching cameras online, trying to save up money to buy that new lens, or fantasizing about traveling abroad? Why not use the small time we have on earth to shoot to our heart’s content?
I stated pretty innocently with my first camera, and then slowly but surely I became a camera and lens addict, throwing money out of the window. The result after all of these years is wasted money and all the stuff I got never made me happier besides the initial high. When others make mistakes one can either learn from them, or….not. Here’s my story, I’m not too proud of it but I am sure this will serve as a lesson for countless others. Here are my confessions of an ex-gear addict.
The most popular (and worn out) “advice” given to aspiring photographers is probably “It doesn’t matter which camera you use”. But is that really true?
A while back photigy.com ran a little experiment, which involved the comparison of two images: one was shot with an iPhone, one with a Hasselblad. The results did in fact support the claim that gear doesn’t matter.
So we went ahead and created our own “on a budget” challenge, where we tried to realize a rather complex shoot just with a couple of Yongnuo flashes and an entry level DSLR with kit lens. Of course, it worked out pretty well and the final image is still one of our favorites.
Let’s face it, with how rapidly camera manufacturers are improving digital technology and releasing new and improved cameras, it’s hard not to get caught up in gear acquisition syndrome. At some point, you may have even caught yourself saying, “If I just had (fill in any piece of equipment here), my photography would be so much better.” I’ll be the first to admit the thought has ran through my mind at least a couple times. That’s exactly why this poignant video from filmmaker, Simon Cade, hits home so much.
If you were to take a look inside Cade’s gear bag, you’d find the same CanonT3i and Canon Elph 300 that he’s been using since the beginning of 2013. Yet, despite shooting with older and (what could be considered) entry-level gear, upgrading to a new DSLR isn’t even on Cade’s radar. And, the logic he uses to battle the nagging desire to spend tons of money on new gear and gadgets seems to be pretty flawless.
“My theory is that the people who don’t prioritise equipment & technical things end up being successful enough that they shoot on high end gear just because they can. It’s definitely not the equipment itself that makes them great / successful.” [Read more…]
Be it Gear Acquisition Syndrome or simply the misbelief that excellent gear equals excellent photos; I bet that many photographers will relate to this video during some point of their hobby or career.
The ad, titled ‘Camera Accessories – Do something smart with stupid purchases’, will touch a nerve for those who have had high hopes and expectations of their new gear, only to discover that an expensive lens won’t automatically get your photos published in National Geographic.