Camera System?

Started Apr 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
jcharding Senior Member • Posts: 2,399
Re: It doesn't matter

I agree with much of what you wrote.  I will be so bold as to offer my travels as a cautionary tale.

I started out using a Minolta film body.  My parents back then thought it best a full manual body was best so that I would learn the basics.  Don't think I ever did, at least no on that, but I had it for a decade.

Then I decided that I wanted something that had, you know, AF.  Bought I forget which Nikon film body.

Wanted a better Nikon film body.  Bought a 90S.  2-3 years.

Wanted a DSLR.  My Nikon glass wasn't enough to lock me into the system, and I really liked the Minolta 7D.  Used that for a 1.5 years.  With some of Minolta's best glass (G glass). At that point Sony had bought Minolta, and it really wasn't clear what they were going to do, and when.  But like computers the tech advances in bodies was staggering, and upgrading produced significant benefits on an annual basis. So....

I bought a Pentax K10D.  I loved Pentax's approach, and I really liked the Pentax limited primes.  Bought 3 of them and some other glass. Used that for a year until Sony woke up and...

Bought a Sony A700.  Used for just a few months.  Got to use my Minolta glass.  Until my favorite lens - the Minolta 80-200/2.8 G fell out of my bag and the mount was damaged on some Sedona pavement.  Sony refused to repair it (as they do with all Minolta glass), so I sold all my Sony/Minolta gear (made an overall profit as Minolta lens prices had appreciated) and ...

Bought a Nikon D2X. I had been doing more wildlife shooting - mostly eagles, and the Minolta 300/4 - while a great lens - just didn't have enough reach.  I suppose I could have sprung for a Minolta 600/4 or something, but Sony didn't deserve any more of my business and had it broke it was a multi-thousand dollar paperweight.  Loved the D2X.  Used it for 2.5 years.  With the Sony/Minolta proceeds I got great glass.  17-35mm, 70-200, and a Sigma 120-300 (which I ultimately flipped for a Nikon 500/4 MF).  Perfect....

But it was heavy.  It could really wear you down hiking.  It was also inconvenient for shooting a newborn baby.  So....

I bough an Olympus EP2.  Small.  Perfect for not taking up space while hiking or when with the kid (mothers can be very defensive about space in strollers and such).  it slowly phased out the D2X entirely.  No decline in image quality.  Eventually upgraded to an OMD.  Simply outstanding.  Sold virtually all the Nikon gear (at very little loss; kept the 500/4) to fund the purchase of the better m43 glass....

...but lately  have bought a couple of Fuji X items.  Very old school.  Fun to use (aperture wheels - awesome!)....

Now each of the above paragraphs demonstrated a distinct need that could not be addressed by not only the previous company, but any single company (particularly when you throw in stabilization - which I really liked on the Minolta 7D).  There is no way I could have known any of this when I bought my Minolta 7D, which was at the time a widely acclaimed body using outstanding glass.  Over the last decade, my priorities have changed.  From landscapes to wildlife to kids to small size.  One size does not fit all, and for anyone to try and guess at the beginning is again IMHO wasted effort.  Buy something. Use it.  Figure out what you need and it doesn't have.  Move on.  What each of us considers to be essential can be utterly irrelevant for many.  Still never used a tilt-shift.  Nor an 85mm (although I guess in some ways the m43 Oly 45mm comes close).   There are so many ways to enjoyably photograph, and lots of ways to do it. Basing system decisions on items that in all likelihood you will never need or use is....doomed to failure (assuming my history is at all common).

But I think you are right that we are probably never going to find common ground/agreement here.

And yes, its possible we are related - but unlikely.  Supposedly my family name changed from Hardin to Harding several generations ago because of a mis-spelling or something.

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 jcharding's gear list:jcharding's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Fujifilm X-Pro1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Fujifilm X-T1 +12 more
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