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Are you an addict? Photographer blogs about 'Gear Acquisition Syndrome'

By dpreview staff on Jul 10, 2013 at 00:21 GMT

Florida-based Olivier Duong has been blogging about a common addiction among enthusiast and professional photographers  - G.A.S., or 'Gear Acquisition Syndrome'. Among its symptoms are 'hoarding gear that you don’t really need and getting stuff for the sake of getting it'. Does this sound painfully familiar? In his blog post, entitled 'How buying cameras and lenses made me miserable and lose thousands', self-confessed former 'gear addict' Duong explains how his gear acquisition got out of control.

Are you a gear addict? What he calls Gear Acquisition Syndrome cost Olivier Duong thousands of dollars.

Photo: Olivier Duong

Among the 'confessions' listed in his article, Duong claims that his addiction to gear acquisition actually got him started in photography, when 'I had a friend that had a cool looking professional camera and one day realized that I could afford it'. Once he had his hands on his own DSLR, Duong went about collecting more, and more, and more...

Admitting that 'I can't really remember how many cameras I owned', Duong claims that 'a sure way to know you have G.A.S is that you start not only buy cameras but also everything else like bags, gadgets and other gizmos.' He goes on to detail how his own addiction wasn't limited to just cameras, but also included smartphones, PDAs and watches - a collection which ultimately cost him thousands of dollars. 

Describing gear acquisition syndrome as 'a sort of idolatry', Duong explains 'normally idolatry is anything you put in front of God (yourself, money, etc), but G.A.S is a form of idolatry in the sense that you put gear in front of photography. The main goal [becomes] not photography but the acquisition of shiny new toys.'

Does this sound like you? (Some of us here in the dpreview office are shifting nervously in our seats). You'll be pleased to know that Duong did overcome his addiction. How? Well, he's teasing that for the next installment of his blog. We can't wait to find out. 

Comments

Total comments: 231
123
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (9 months ago)

There is a difference between a genuine love of cameras that leads to one forming a collection, and G.A.S, which borders on being an illness.IMHO.

I have a moderate film camera collection, built up over 50 years, but this is not G.A.S. However, when I consider my camera buying activities since I turned primarily to digital photography in 2003, I can see a pattern that may border on G.A.S. Starting with the Canon G2, there followed the G5, Olympus 8080, Olympus E-500, Sony R1, Panasonic LC10, Panasoinc Lumix FZ7, FZ8, FZ38, and now FZ200, Lumix LX1 and LX3, Sony Nex 5, now 5N.

Generally speaking, many will see the method in my "madness" - moving on in quality and/or features, but if I were being really truthful with myself, I could get everything I needed for my style of photography from just one, the Sony R1, which I still love, and which along with the LC10, LX3 and Nex 5N, are the ones I've kept. Only 4? Great :o) I don't have G.A.S. after all.

0 upvotes
km25
By km25 (9 months ago)

A camera comes out, every one wants one. Three years latter a new one comes out. Does the previous camera no longer, " makes some of the finest images seen by man kind ", no longer do this? Since digital photography, the march of megapixals marchs on. There will always be improvements. But if it took a great picture three years ago, more the likely it will today.
That is why I still like film cameras. Just buy the new better film.
Take pitures and cool off your credit cards.

0 upvotes
wyoming
By wyoming (9 months ago)

ahahaha i was nervous reading the article!
luckly the GAS syndrome the autor describes is a bit different from mine: i never sell old cameras to buy a new one! i used them untill they fell into pices or just leave to take dust.
i have a 100mm nikon i litterally took 2 shoots with and never sold it
i recently bought a worn out tlr camera for 20$, i opened it and cleaned only to discover i don't like it so i bought a medium format kiev. i could sell the tlr for 40-50$ but never did.
i bought a lot of 3 folding camera and still haven't decided the 2 that must go!

funny thing is that my digital compact is in pretty bad shape after some 20000 pics and everytime i say "must save some money to buy a new one"!

don't know what is worse ...

0 upvotes
cosmonaut
By cosmonaut (9 months ago)

Guilty as charged.

2 upvotes
ThomasSwitzerland
By ThomasSwitzerland (9 months ago)

As I cannot get fully rid of the „GAS“-syndrome, I have arranged myself to live in peace with the addiction. One cannot optimize everything in life. At least, good cameras and lenses with great haptic feelings do enjoy; and one even can take pictures – this is just pleasure.

0 upvotes
johnmcpherson
By johnmcpherson (9 months ago)

Gear is so seductive; it can almost be like the dark side...
As the old saying goes "you can use any camera to take a good picture."
But, sometimes you need a different perspective...

1 upvote
crow24
By crow24 (9 months ago)

Pshaw! Now lets discuss the Nikon D400....

0 upvotes
huyzer
By huyzer (9 months ago)

Speaking of addicts, if there are any photo addicts who would like to get rid of their drug, I wouldn't mind getting the variety called, "Nikon D800". :D

3 upvotes
ThomasSwitzerland
By ThomasSwitzerland (9 months ago)

And even worse, mostly I watch pictures on the monitor!

0 upvotes
ThomasSwitzerland
By ThomasSwitzerland (9 months ago)

To Provia_fan:

I have all major SLRs and still using them. All of them operating as the sunken Japanese brands like a Miranda. Cut from a block of metal. Leica is nothing against this. I am in IT with digital stuff. But, taking photos with those antique machines relieves the mind from those ugly “upgrade” industry moves. Thanks for your confessions, I am in a similar league.

2 upvotes
johnmcpherson
By johnmcpherson (9 months ago)

Don't forget the ole 'film vs digital' argument and die hards like me still insist that there ie 'something' that film has that digital does not.
At least for me it's almost intagible, sorta more like how we 'percieve' exsitstance in some sort of two dimensional way.
A bit more artistic in my opinion. Probably because I used to develop and enalarge all my own work. Now, digital makes it too easy. Again the artistic thing, I can still beat any printer with the right enlarger set up. May be not in the crispness of the image or technical perfection. What you are creating with an enlarger is technical imperfection but, that's why it has that different feel. There is just something about the silver process, you can't get it with digital.
And, if you like black and white, I think there is no contest. Black and white siver based prints are, in my opinion, superior in their there look compared to digital. They also last a lot longer, hundreds of years if preserved properly.

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
1 upvote
ThomasSwitzerland
By ThomasSwitzerland (9 months ago)

Analog has got a chemical emulsion which shows an irregular pattern known to the human eyes. Digital is <yes> or <no> – bits. They do not demand imagination, everything seems in correct squares when we zoom in. That’s why we might find digital amazing but boring after a while and need new things.

Nevertheless, I take many pictures digitally. The main reasons are: I like the filing and metadata processing, and ease of use. I got better by the immediate feedback from the screen. I don’t have much time for processing, sorting etc. with film. If I had time, I didn’t have the money. So this is very difficult.

I fully agree with you that B/W is the greatest artistic expression solution. It does not allow for glitches or a poor photographer. With B/W - if you have the abilities, you can reach the utmost artistic impact.

Therefore, film and silver prints will keep their sector and are helpful to improve on true skills.

0 upvotes
Provia_fan
By Provia_fan (9 months ago)

It's a malaise that affects the digital generation much more than the traditional photography one. I have over 25 film cameras and use them all, I collect and use them as a relics and an hommage to the roots of photography, so I can't really say I suffer from this syndrome and I am sure there are many others out there like me. With digital, you are virtually forced into this, because every 6 months manufacturers make people think that they have to have the latest gear and everything with, so it's virtually forced into you. I have kept my DSLR equipment for years now and I have seen nothing that makes me want to "upgrade". My equipment does the job, so no need for that and I make sure that I only buy equipment that I will use or need. To me it doesn't sound painfully familiar at all.

1 upvote
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (9 months ago)

Could be worse,You could be addicted to planes or boats.. or worse,high maintenance women...

5 upvotes
ThomasSwitzerland
By ThomasSwitzerland (9 months ago)

Cameras are concrete. High maintenance women turn to the best offer instantly. Better to avoid, sometimes hard to detect.

1 upvote
keepreal
By keepreal (9 months ago)

Judging from readers of DP Review in particular, quite a number of people replace their expensive equipment merely because there is a new model. Of course, a few do so legitimately because they do need the new features. And sometimes the improvements are not just marketing or splitting hairs.

But I am quite sure that the overwhelming majority never take pictures of sufficient quality or reproduce them in way that justifies the original outlay, let alone for the replacements.

It is all a part of the consumer society, this mad acquisition as a way of life.

If you wonder if I am as guilty as the people I am criticising, you will have some difficulty because, after a mere sixty years as an amateur photographer I have little to show for myself. I throw most of it away. That is because I have no time for the dreadful stuff I see everywhere, including among my own efforts!

However, I have kept a few of my best, some of the most recent being at http://www.ipernity.com/doc/contrajur/album.

2 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (9 months ago)

If people only bought the gear the needed instead of the gear that made them happy the photography industry would be bankrupt and/or all cameras would be as expensive as a Leica M series.

5 upvotes
Stollen1234
By Stollen1234 (9 months ago)

i agree with you..but
if photography is a hobby for you and you are enjoying the newest and latest..and you can afford it..not sure what is the problem with thats...
who said everyone need to produce the best and the highest quality of photos...

3 upvotes
Rainer2022
By Rainer2022 (9 months ago)

... and you can sell your old cams to us ;-)

0 upvotes
calking
By calking (9 months ago)

@Stollen:
The premise behind GAS isn't shooting with the latest gear....it deals with acquiring more and more and more gear over time, to the point that the gear inventory supersedes the hobby, or actually taking photographs.

You can only drive one car at a time. Yes, you can own more than one car, but the GAS principle discussed here suggests that once you have 10 cars parked in your front and back yard you MIGHT have a problem...like getting rid of things for sentimental rather than practical reasons. Now if all of those cars are collector autos you are a bona fide collector and GAS doesn't apply.

1 upvote
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (9 months ago)

I agree wholeheartedly.

0 upvotes
MaxiMax
By MaxiMax (9 months ago)

Photography is a very profitable business.... for the camera and gear makers.

2 upvotes
Stollen1234
By Stollen1234 (9 months ago)

thats true

it is also very rewarding for the people who enjoy photography too

0 upvotes
mr_landscape
By mr_landscape (9 months ago)

I passed through this. Plenty of money wasted... but on the other hand, i know pretty much about modern digital cameras and lenses. 80% quality of photo depends on your hands and your head not on gear. And this is true - to the bone.

2 upvotes
murphyincalgary
By murphyincalgary (9 months ago)

It happens to people in ALL hobbies!!

All the gear no idea.

2 upvotes
cknapp61
By cknapp61 (9 months ago)

Do I have G.A.S.?

I own a Kodak Retina III-c interchangeable range finder with three Krueznach lenses, the camera was originally purchased by an Uncle in the 1950s, handed to my Father, then to me. I sent it in for a CLA (cleaning, lubrication, and adjustment) in 2009 to a guy I found in Auckalnd New Zealand (former Kodak Technician) and still shoot B&W film with it.

I began collecting working models of FRANKA ROLFIX folding cameras including 6x9 and 6x6, including a range finder model Franka Solida III-E. While stationed in Germany I traveled to Beyreuth, Germany and found the Franka Camera Werks factory (now an apartment complex), but I found a plaque on the building and now have photos of myself holding a Franka Rolfix 6x6 folding camera in front of where it was made!

I recently re-acquired a Bronica ETR-S system (had to sell the first set in the mid-1980's due to divorce...another story) Nikon F2, Minolta X-7, Canon AE-1, I love the mechanical models

G.A.S., what? Me worry!

1 upvote
Rick Knepper
By Rick Knepper (9 months ago)

G.A.S. has long been a topic of conversation on BBSs, forums, email lists & Usenet where gear is a necessary part of the artistic or sporting endeavor. It was curious not to see G.A.S. discussed more often on DPR but I guess that is because DPR is a magnet for the "addicted" and the non-addicted move on.

It certainly is laudable of DPR to highlight the topic since it's parent ownership relies on acquisition addicts (of all ilks) to stay in business.

6 upvotes
Seagull67
By Seagull67 (9 months ago)

Acquiring more stuff than you actually use is of course very much a privileged First World 'problem' . If I put as much time in trying to take good and better photographs and learning about the art of photography as I do checking our 'gear porn' then I'd be a far better photographer. That said this site has helped me enormously to get the most out of a camera and lenses I really love using daily, those being the Fujifilm XE 1 with 35 mm lens and the 18-55 zoom. Perhaps on this site there should also be forums for Walker Evans, Cartier Bresson, William Eggleston, and Atget fans (etc. etc.) so art and commerce can go hand in hand? I'm interested in why we love photography & the power it has in our lives, but I'm passionate about technological progress too. We need the balance, but I'm striving to own only what I regularly use.

0 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (9 months ago)

It is probably an example how our privileged first world life can create a dissatisfaction that we try to compensate for. It was interesting that when I was on Prozac for a short time my desire to constantly buy gadgets completely disappeared so it is probably just disrupted brain chemistry, probably from the rather mechanistic, form driven and cold world we inhabit in the West. Probably just too low a serotonin level in the brain and some of us can top it up it by rewarding obsessive interests.
It is interesting that a Doctor just laughed when I mentioned that the obsessive desire to purchase things disappeared which just shows how clueless medicine at ground level is about these problems, which can lead to devastating financial problems for many people.

2 upvotes
calking
By calking (9 months ago)

I don't know that taking highly addictive, anti-depressant drugs is that much of a solution to the problem of buying stuff -- in fact, I'd say its worse. Buying things will always be limited by the amount of cash one has and rarely does hoarding kill someone. The same cannot be said of drugs.

0 upvotes
Frenske
By Frenske (9 months ago)

I had GAS for a while but fortunately being a student at that time I did not have enough money to let it get out of hand. I had to resort to lurking on e-Bay and other 2nd hand sites. Often I made good deals and occasionally sold them with profit.
One point I realized that I had so many lenses that were never used and got rid of them. Nowadays I only have one camera, one walk-around-lens, one tele-zoom and one macro.

0 upvotes
Kid Plutonium
By Kid Plutonium (9 months ago)

Yes, quite an interesting post.
It makes me think of one particular phenomenon I've noticed on a number of forums in which commentators sign off with a long list of all their cameras and lenses. Why?

2 upvotes
photoguy622
By photoguy622 (9 months ago)

Something to prove perhaps?

0 upvotes
camcom12
By camcom12 (9 months ago)

Many hobby-oriented sites have users who ID their gear, whether it's cameras, motorcycles, telescopes, wood-working tools, you name it. I don't think they trying to prove anything other than they are advocates of a particular brand or system or technology, and yes to some extent, fanboys.

0 upvotes
Lord metroid
By Lord metroid (3 months ago)

According to the article, being a fanboy to your current gear seems to be one of the curating steps from GAS.

1 upvote
johnparas11zenfoliodotcom
By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (9 months ago)

I only go in the buying/upgrade mode whenever I have a wedding that i am hired to shoot.. i am more of word of mouth, friends of friends wedding photographer.. i have a a regular day job..

Although I salivate with new cameras being announced.. i think i still have self control ;-)

0 upvotes
calking
By calking (9 months ago)

There's a much better and far less expensive way of enjoying new / better / different gear than buying it with ones own income. RENT IT. Places like lens rentals.com and borrowlenses.com rent bodies, lenses, tripods and other gear at reasonable rates....much, much cheaper than buying. It's also what "real" professionals do when the need for outside-the-norm equipment is needed for a specific project.

1 upvote
Ferling
By Ferling (9 months ago)

Simply having the gear does not qualify you as someone suffering as an addict to gear acquisition (GAS) as stated in the article. If your job is reviewing gear, that's a given. If your hobby is collecting gear for the sake of preservation or you buy trade and sell it. That's not an addiction. If you're a professional and you require all that gear to make your living, it's a necessity.

Second. You can have an addiction without a room full of gear to prove it. The key term is possession vs. use.

I am of the opposite. I have a good deal of gear that I need for location and product photography, and it can be a burden at times, so I'm always looking for ways to trim it.

I do think it's important that you start with a minimum and only justify each new piece as it relates to getting work done. Even as a serious hobbyist, two bodies (one as backup) and 3 lenses that will cover from wide to 300mm will be ample for most folks, and fit into a single bag.

4 upvotes
jon404
By jon404 (9 months ago)

He's just published the second part -- how to kick the habit -- at http://www.f-stopeight.com/the-self-talk-retorts-of-an-ex-gear-addict-how-i-started-breaking-free-from-gas/#more-44946

A good read!

0 upvotes
robmanueb
By robmanueb (9 months ago)

Yes I am an addict. No I don't want to be cured. Can I have a pay rise please?

1 upvote
jon404
By jon404 (9 months ago)

Let's see. I have a Sony RX100 (gift from my son); a Pentax K-01 with a few lenses, and a film Pentax 645N, also with a few lenses. Plus an Olympus TG-320 for surf, and whenever it decides to rain in San Diego.

Before the RX100 gift, was thinking about getting a Ricoh GR... but now I'm not sure. The writer makes some good arguments, doesn't he?

0 upvotes
rsf3127
By rsf3127 (9 months ago)

I have sold a huge lot recently and slimmed my stuff to a minimum after I figured out I worked too many hours a week to pay for lenses and bodies that set on the shelf unused because I worked too much to afford them. Now I have one camera and a handful of primes and an itch to get out and use them.

1 upvote
snegron2
By snegron2 (9 months ago)

If I could turn back the clock and start all over again I would have bought a Leica rangefinder with three lenses instead of the gazillion cameras and lenses I own...

1 upvote
gustabod
By gustabod (9 months ago)

how absolutely true

0 upvotes
nonuniform
By nonuniform (9 months ago)

A Leica with a 35mm Summicron + a 4x5 was my only kit for a loong time. I don't think my photos improved when I had more money and more kit!

0 upvotes
ThomasSwitzerland
By ThomasSwitzerland (9 months ago)

A camera body is just a frame taking body. A Praktica for USD 20 can do the same job like a Leica body. But a Leica lens sometimes was spectacular. I have mounted a 35mm R-lens to Canon FF and Nikon. Nothing else to my experience could match. But today, Leica is posh crap.

0 upvotes
Rod McD
By Rod McD (9 months ago)

I've turned over a few cameras too in my time. I think one of the key things that has driven GAS in the last decade has been the development of digital from its infancy (nerdy accessories to computers) to fully fledged photographic tools. In this short period, improvements were annual and every model was superceded when you walked out the shop door. It's slowing down now and people are lamenting that new models are appearing more slowly and that upgrades are incremental....... It'll take a few years to get used to changing expectations, but it has to be a good thing.

1 upvote
camcom12
By camcom12 (9 months ago)

Excellent observation, in regard to the wave of technological innovation over the last 10 years or so. First it was resolution, then it was low-light/low-noise, then auto-focus speed/accruacy, video, dynamic range and now its connectivity & integration, i.e. wifi/gps/android os/etc.

1 upvote
Paul Farace
By Paul Farace (9 months ago)

OK I read the article... yea this guy was hardcore. Yes, I too have purchased a 4x5 view camera (but for me at a bargain) took a few shots (still have yet to process the Tri-X holders!!!!) and then sold it. Yea, that is not good. But hell, it can be chalked up to the rapid progression of the technology. I sold the bargain 4x5 system for about 50% of what I paid for it... the loss was rent for the fun I had owning it... since I didn't really use it all that much. But I kept the RollsRoyce quality focusing cloth my wife made for me and my Ansel Adams kit. I will sometimes use it for viewing my digital camera backs outdoors at shoots or the laptop outdoors!

You have to have a business sense at some level... otherwise you hurt yourself like any obsessive compulsion.

Pass me that X100s dude... don't bogart it!!!!!

0 upvotes
Paul Farace
By Paul Farace (9 months ago)

My name is Paul... I am a camera gear addict... (Hello, Paul!!! is the response from the audience, amid various coughs and the random shuffles of feet among the metal folding chairs...)

Yes, I am hooked and the wonderful thing about this addiction is simply, we support a legit industry and when we go overboard, we go broke and can always sell our "addiction" for 85% of what we paid for it. Anyone every tried to sell "used" booze (in its various forms) or drugs?

We see other addicts on the street... and make fun of them... they're hauling L-glass zooms out at toddler play events, using multi-flash lighting rigs at high school plays, etc.

But we are still humans!

1 upvote
calking
By calking (9 months ago)

Ummm....no. Maybe you personally only buy top-shelf pro bodies and lenses, but you aren't getting anywhere near 85% of a consumer / enthusiast gear like a nikon d90, 16-85 dx lens, etc etc etc . I bought a d80 brand new in 2005 for ~ $950. I couldn't get $700+ for it now if it were the last camera on earth.

3 upvotes
Paul Farace
By Paul Farace (9 months ago)

All these years later, yea... but if you decided within a short time, say a few months, you could get the 85% ... but yea, time robs us all! And as for only buying pro top-shelf stuff, you haven't seen my equipment drawers, have you? :o)

0 upvotes
aftab
By aftab (9 months ago)

There is a wrong assumption that the sole purpose of gears is to take or help take pictures.

Gears are much more than that. The pleasure I get from holding my Canon 5DIII or Nikon 14-24/2.8 is unique and distinct from taking pictures with them. The pleasure will be gone when newer versions of these gears are released. So, I will get the new versions if I am still interested and if I can afford. Yeah, I have GAS.

As someone said before, photography is overrated. Buy gears if they make you happy and if you can afford them. But if you continuously buy new gears thinking that they will help you take better pictures or make you a better photographer then you should stop.

3 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (9 months ago)

The thing is if you enjoy using your camera for whatever reason, be it the type, color, how new it is, ect, it will lead to you taking better pics vs using a camera you don't enjoy using, don't have confidence in or even resent having to use. You will also take more pics if you use a camera you enjoy which will lead to better pics though practice. Besides if it is hobby than who cares? It's supposed it be fun and if it is more fun for you with the latest camera or whatever than that is reason enough to buy it if you truly can afford to.

0 upvotes
calking
By calking (9 months ago)

I think it takes guts to be that honest about it. But at the same time I don't think one suffers from GAS by simply enjoying the feeling you get holding the gear you own. If you find yourself lurking about in camera stores asking to touch new or different gear for the sensation of it, then I think that's probably even worse than GAS. That is the stuff of a shoe fetish....

0 upvotes
Kevin Casey
By Kevin Casey (9 months ago)

I tried to read this article, but the horrific grammer and profound lack of proofreading made it impossible...or maybe it was undermining my GAS denial.

1 upvote
FrankParis
By FrankParis (9 months ago)

I just plowed through all the typos, but he lost a lot of credibility because of them. I was thinking, "No wonder he has GAS: he's extremely careless." The one thing I got out of it is what the acronym, GAS, meant. I could never figure it out from the context. Maybe because I didn't have the concept of GAS in my brain. (I've never been able to find a thing from the "Search on Dpreview" edit box. Maybe senility is to blame.)

1 upvote
harveysteeves
By harveysteeves (9 months ago)

Did you not read that English is not his first language or perhaps not even his second? The fact that he probably speaks at least 3 languages puts him far ahead of a couple of whining wankers in my books.

8 upvotes
Stephan K
By Stephan K (9 months ago)

To Kevin and Frank, why run down someone's typos if their first language is not English? (Kevin, your spelling aint so great either). Why not welcome whoever we can. What is indisputable is that he speaks at least 2 languages. How many do you speak?

0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (9 months ago)

If you are publishing a formal article in a public place like the internet doing one of the the basic things that is taught in grade school writing classes and having someone proof read it is advisable and the correct way to do things. If you are writing in a language other than your first it is doubly so. If you are too lazy or careless to do such a basic thing then you deserve all the criticism you get for typos, grammatical errors, and misspellings.

Comments on a news article posted on a website are considered a more casual kind of writing which is not expected to be to the same standard as a published article. They are usually written off the cuff often with no time for proofreading which the reader of the comment knows and so doesn't' expect perfection. Naturally because of this and the fact that they are usually in a hurry, people posting comments aren't as careful with their writing as it is not necessary. So comparing the two is laughable at best.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (9 months ago)

It's "grammar", not grammer... ;)

0 upvotes
PenGun
By PenGun (9 months ago)

I have been talking pictures since 1978. I'm on my third real full time camera.

My FM2 time lasted about 20 years. Three main lenses and a couple of others. It took maybe 75,000 pictures, most of them crap. Some good ones though. ;)

Got a 4x5, a sweet thing, lasted from 2004 till last year. Took quite few nice pictures but only shot about 100 frames.

Now I have Fuji X-E1 and two lenses. Bought this year. I have about 2800 pictures from it, many of them exceptional.

I am getting steadily better but it has nothing to do with equipment. I would spend extra money, beyond my next lens which will probably complete my collection for the camera, on getting to places to take pictures. I'd like a quad to climb to new places on my mountains out back. One of those photo cruises to Antarctica or something like that.

My technique is pretty good, I can use a camera, but more delicious food for it is where I spend most of my money and effort these days.

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Geoff Brown
By Geoff Brown (9 months ago)

Have a three or so cameras such as point and shoots but draw the line at buying anymore of them.I would upgrade my Nikon D300s if it is ever upgraded soon as rumoured. A few years ago had a spell of buying cheap and cheerful digital wristwatches but thankfully out grew this craze. Think I am cured now of such expenditure but if you look in the back seat of my car there does seems to be a lot of waterproof coats on it!!

0 upvotes
TitusXIII
By TitusXIII (9 months ago)

Are photography gear collectors G.A.S. addicts?
I don't think so.
So, what separates the two and where do you draw the line?

1 upvote
jimread
By jimread (9 months ago)

I quite fancy buying a new camera from time to time, so I come onto this site and look at the comparitive test results. I then see that the differences between models are so slim it's not worth bothering with.

I go off laughing, thanks DPR, great site.

Jim

3 upvotes
Etienne Muller
By Etienne Muller (9 months ago)

My problem is I buy quality and expect it to last for ever.

I finally retired my 1969 Nikon FTN (still going strong) a couple of years ago for a 5mp Lumix which served until now. Still use the old Nikon Lenses, which never seem to die.

I do art repro and have a 44 in printer, so was waiting for a digital SLR to do it justice. The D800 fit the bill, but I don't think it is going to serve me for another forty years like the old FTN.

With film a camera could last a lifetime. A strong body and good glass and you were set for life. All the tech in new cameras and in the new lenses is going to limit their longevity. Like everything else they have become consumables.

I do have GAS though. I have what is known as "kayak builders syndrome" (addicted to building kayaks). I have nine boats, and one in planning. I can only use one at a time, but I have to have a shed to accommodate those in the rack. I need help!

I suspect most of us have GAS in one form or another. With my wife it is shoes.

1 upvote
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (9 months ago)

Oh, I hope I avoid the 'KBS', as I just modify mine (just sold one, one left)! I did for a while have a lot of Pentax gear (three DSLRs, and a heap of lenses, both Pentax, Sigma, and Tamron), but now I have mainly Nikon gear! A lot!

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (9 months ago)

I suffer from LOK (Lack Of Kayaks), which is serious since I live by the most beautiful lake. So if you're in a need of a remedy, send your surplus over... :)
My current attacks of visions show two catamaran-connected kayaks and a sailing rig. My doctor says it's incurable (he's into sailing too...)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
nonuniform
By nonuniform (9 months ago)

I go through periods of intense buying and selling about once a year, usually when I want to try something new - a technique, a process, a new style.

At this point, I don't really need gear, I need an assistant that works for free. I'd call that my son, but he's over it!

0 upvotes
Tom Zimmer
By Tom Zimmer (9 months ago)

I would describe my own addition more a Gear Accumulation Syndrome. I seem to buy a camera and a bunch of lens adapter, use it for a year then buy another better while not bothering to sell off the old one. Perhaps a better description of my syndrome would be "lazy".

2 upvotes
vroger1
By vroger1 (9 months ago)

That's me- in my accumulation (see prior email)- I always get a "better" unit. I use it till a better one comes out- With certain digicams like the G series from canon I always traded up- getting 50% on the old camera which was always mint with the box, This was until the G12 and then I went for the GX1 for which I did not trade.- you see the pattern-

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (9 months ago)

I seem to be in the same class, but have managed to sell off most of my Pentax gear ;-)!

0 upvotes
vroger1
By vroger1 (9 months ago)

I have 23 digitals since 2003-Heeeelp!

0 upvotes
harveysteeves
By harveysteeves (9 months ago)

only 23? you are doing well ... I have or have gone through 23 Nikons ...

0 upvotes
ohiobio
By ohiobio (9 months ago)

My current cameras are a pair of Panasonic G2s, one with an Olympus 14-150 lens and the other with a Panasonic 100-300. Now four generations old, I was considering updating to the new G6. Then it occurred to me that the cameras I already have possess features and capabilities that I don't use. The cameras are smarter than I am! So why spend a bundle to increase the gap between my ability and that of my equipment?

0 upvotes
inasir1971
By inasir1971 (9 months ago)

There's more to cameras than photography - photography is overrated.
Gear is much more fun.

14 upvotes
Gary Martin
By Gary Martin (9 months ago)

Shorter version: "stop clicking on those Amazon links all over our site."

4 upvotes
Tom Zimmer
By Tom Zimmer (9 months ago)

So DPReview is an enabler for our additions.

0 upvotes
Babka08
By Babka08 (9 months ago)

Anything is an enabler, if we enable it. Kudos to DPReview for publishing this on their advertising driven site.

0 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (9 months ago)

The finger is pointed squarely at the DPR. It's their fault people suffer from GAS. We need some healthy pessimism and negativism on this site.

5 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (9 months ago)

Steve Huff is worse, at least for me! One, or two, of my cameras are due to DPReview, most are totally due to Steve! But I have no regrets, just an empty wallet!

0 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (9 months ago)

There is something chemical behind everything right ? DSM-5 would give it a name and link it to a serotonin over-under-activity. Down-regulation or up-regulation of some neurotransmitter receptor sites. This lens, that camera, this much more opioid.

100 years from now none of us will be here and no one will care what direction your brain pushed you, let alone the piece of gadget that you tried so hard to acquire.

You are only paying for your own entertainment.

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (9 months ago)

Oh, but in 100 years we will be here (again) - at least those who will have to repeat the grade... :)
Which reminds me of an excellently formed musing about afterlife and reincarnation by J. P. Donleavy (approximate citing):

"There are two groups of people who believe in reincarnation. One group thinks that in the next life humans re-appear as a higher kind of beings.
If this is true, then it is highly likely that we can only come back as money.
The other group mantains that in the next life humans re-appear as a lower kind of beings.
If their theory is true, then for some people I know, this seems to be the last round..."

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (9 months ago)

Most reviews are either just another form of advertising or random ramblings of random people. Ignore them, chances are you won't want that gear the next day you bought it. But if you do buy that gear, do it from a place where you can return it with minimal losses in a reasonable time.

1 upvote
Olivier Duong
By Olivier Duong (9 months ago)

Confirmation bias =) If you want it, any evidence to the contrary will be taken into account :)

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (9 months ago)

I do love to be a random rambling guy, compared to all those paid wise guys!

Never felt DPReview as paid advertisers, nor the guys involved in Luminous Landscapes. Why should we ignore them?!

0 upvotes
Create Dont Imitate
By Create Dont Imitate (9 months ago)

I used my last film camera for 15 YEARS.

There has never been a larger disconnect between professional photographers and amature photopraphers. Amatures CLING to the mistaken notion that a new camera will make them better photographers. Pro's know it wont. No one can buy artistic ability.

"A fool and his money"... applies here.

4 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (9 months ago)

Hear, hear! A few can attain some fame by being rich, but not very many!

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (9 months ago)

There are good and bad photographers only, IMO, this relates equally to pros and amateurs. It actually depends upon self-education and interest, rather than anything else.
Nowadays we talk about gear more than about the creations made with it. People are forced into thinking that certain gear seems to deliver "better" results, and "better" remains undefined. If my only source of information comes from advertisers, I will crave newer and more elaborate cameras rather than try to become more proficient with what I've bought two years before.
Thus, if GAS-ridden people simply want to look like photographers, it's one pretty fragile way of thinking. They forget that their photos always show the truth, regardless of the hardware, since absolutely every creative work is and always will be 90% author and 10% equipment. This will never change.
On the other hand, liking and collecting new things is about the same as liking and collecting old things. It is simply what one likes: priceless.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
alegator
By alegator (9 months ago)

I love buying new and better gear, but I have a very strict rule: I never, NEVER buy new gear without selling my old gear.

2 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (9 months ago)

That simply means you may waste half compared to those hoarders. The old gear depreciates very quickly, so whether you sell it or keep it doesn't make a huge difference.
What people need to do is to define a reasonable budget according to their means and stick to it.

2 upvotes
alegator
By alegator (9 months ago)

I don't waste at all, in fact I even make a small profit sometimes. I buy gear in the USA and sell it at home where prices for electronics are ridiculously high (as much as twice or more). Also I try not to own gear for more than a couple of years so it doesn't depreciate much.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Olivier Duong
By Olivier Duong (9 months ago)

That's in the second article I wrote. Sometimes the temptation was so strong I bought without selling

2 upvotes
Tlipp
By Tlipp (9 months ago)

Great idea! I've been giving this old stuff away.

1 upvote
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (9 months ago)

We used to call this BNS, Black Nikon Syndrome. Having a Nikon F immediately identified you as a professional, especially if it was black (and in those days you had to focus on something, match the needle and remember to take the lens cap off).

Now it's much easier, but the industry survives on the fantasy. All you need to sound like Eric Clapton is the same guitar and amp so why would a camera be any different?

0 upvotes
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