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

Started 10 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
10 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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