Why maybe you should go out and buy a new camera or lens

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
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al_in_philly
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Why maybe you should go out and buy a new camera or lens
4 months ago

Like many of you, I've just read Kirk Tuck's thoughtful piece All the cameras are better than you are..., and probably like many of you, I was nodding my head in agreement as I read it. Now I'm not trying to reignite any sort of IQ wars, because I too feel those should end once and for all, but there is a very good photographic reason why getting a new camera or lens makes for better quality pictures.

Shooting with a brand new camera forces you to explore the photographic process all over again. Not just by having new capabilities to play with, but also with the fundamentals which you learned a long time ago, just because those comfortable old buttons, switches, rings and wheels are now in different places, and you have to think about everything you do. You become a novice again, and as such, you get excited (and a bit confused) with every time you try to take a picture.

This has happened to me every time I've bought a new camera. It's also why I don't buy a new one every time a newer version or model comes out--too similar to what I'm already shooting with. That's a big part of why I didn't sell my E-M5 when the E-M1 came out. I'll wait until there's something a bit more different than I already have.

The same goes for lenses. Whenever I get a lens that's longer or faster or something ___er than what I've been shooting with, taking pictures, even of the same subjects, in the same places, changes for me. "Ah ha, I see you differently now!"  It's as if photography isn't something that I've been doing for over 40 years now, but rather like something I've just begun to explore.

So while I agree with Kirk Tuck in that having the latest, greatest, gear doesn't often make for better photographs, it can make for better photographers--at least until the newness wears off. And ultimately, taking pictures only has a limited value for me in how they affect others, by far it's limitless value is in how the process affects me.

 al_in_philly's gear list:al_in_philly's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Leica Nocticron 42.5mm +1 more
Olympus E-M1
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