You’ll have to forgive this post coming just a couple of hours before Panasonic is set to announce the shiny new GH6 but with the gear lust I’ve seen in Micro Four Thirds groups lately, it actually seems like some pretty fortuitous timing. Photographer Mitchell Kanashkevich just posted a video about gear and how it doesn’t matter. And, yes, we’ve all heard that before, “the best camera is the one that’s with you”, etc. But this one actually comes with some pretty compelling backup.
I’ve had people over the years swearing to me that they could tell the difference between images shot on APS-C cameras vs full-frame cameras for years. Usually, I challenge them by throwing down a stack of 18×12 prints and make them pick which is which. They always get it wrong. This video kind of aims to do the same thing but with a bit more of an explanation than I usually have the patience to give.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype whenever a new camera is teased, announced or we know one is on the way. We see some specs leak that shows us something our current camera can’t do or that’s a teeny tiny bit (for real, barely noticeable) better than what we have and want one, regardless of whether or not we actually need it. It’s often referred to as Gear Acquisition Syndrome or simply “GAS”.
It’s understandable. The lust is largely down to the fact that most people don’t really understand what the gear they already have is capable of. And they’re certainly not using it to its full potential because they don’t really know how it all works. They don’t know why they’re not getting their shots but it obviously can’t be them, so it must be the gear.
If you feel personally offended by that statement then it’s probably true and this video is specifically targeted towards you. The simple fact is that the abilities of most people are far lower than the capabilities of the cameras they own.
You see, people who know for 100% certainty that they need that shiny piece of kit don’t take this stuff personally. They look at things objectively and don’t buy into the hype. They fully utilise the gear already at their disposal and they know exactly where the walls are that they’re hitting as a result of their gear. When something new is rumoured, patiently sit and wait for the official announcement or even wait until it’s gotten into the hands of other people to see if it can help them overcome those issues they’re facing, all the while carrying on using the kit they’ve got to the best of its (and their) abilities.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I like shiny new gear as much as the next person. I bought five Panasonic bodies in 2020 (two GX80s and three G80s) and just added another (a GH5 – yeah, not even a Mark II) three weeks ago, but I know exactly why I bought them. I bought them specifically to shoot video with a set of criteria that I know my old Nikon DSLRs will never be capable of. Investing into Panasonic was the absolute best value for money at the time that would give me exactly what I needed – and nothing more.
Sure, I could have gone out and bought a fleet of Canon, Sony, Nikon full-frame bodies or even a few Blackmagics at 2-10x the price but what would have been the point? What benefit would they have provided me over the Panasonics for shooting video? For my needs, zero. What benefit would they have provided me over the Nikon DSLRs I still use to shoot stills? Again, for my needs, zero. I also have no desire to get a GH6 because it doesn’t matter what specs it offers, the GH5 that I bought only three weeks ago (Panasonic was having a sale on Amazon) satisfies the few needs I have that my G80 and GX80 bodies don’t. And I have no desire to replace my Nikon DSLRs when they’re still doing everything I need them to.
The camera is a tool to create your vision in a form that you can share with others. If it can’t realise that vision for you and you don’t know why then it’s probably not the gear. It’s you.