On Being Content
It seems to be a really exciting time for photo enthusiasts lately as far as gear is concerned. My inbox and photography oriented social media feeds are pumping a steady stream of new product announcements. Photography podcasts are devoting lengthy segments to discussion of new gear. The industry pundits and gear heads are all atwitter over the supposedly earth shattering, life changing, uberamazing new cameras from the likes of Nikon, Canon, and my preferred brand, Fujifilm. Mirrorless, megapixels, megafast autofocus…oh my. For the first time in my 10ish years as a serious photography enthusiast, I don’t give a rat’s ass.
A while back I purged all my digital camera gear, save for my Fujifilm X100F along with its two conversion lenses and, of course, my iPhone. It took a long time and a lot of money to figure out that I didn’t need all the other stuff for the kind of photography I truly enjoy doing. I was already feeling great about my decision when just a few weeks later the announcement of the successor to my recently sold Fujifilm X-T2, the (yeah, you guessed it) X-T3 came out. When the new models come out, the old models tend to plummet in price pretty quickly. I sold at a good time.
While I’m sure the new Fujifilm offering will bring nice improvements, I’m not spending any time looking at specs or reviews. Nope, I’m not tempted even a little. It’s a great feeling. I already have what is sufficient for me. The camera manufacturers will always have something new with another bell or whistle. We’re living in a time though when for the most part there are no bad choices in cameras. Rather than be swayed by the allure of the latest photon capturing box, just pick one and practice. It’s not the gear that holds you back.
Will I ever consider another camera again? Well, yeah, I’m sure the day will come. There would have to be a truly compelling reason to justify the cost and my attention to the matter — an absolute requirement for something that my current gear is unable to handle. Or maybe a truly revolutionary and exponential advancement in capability in an area that is important to me (more reliable low light autofocus comes to mind for my concert photography.)
I’m all for the advancement of technology. However, I will not allow myself to be a lemming chasing after the newest product offerings for no good reason. Nor will I allow myself to accumulate any debt to pursue a new bit of gear for the sake of owning the latest greatest new thing. I’m content with my camera and I’m choosing to be a better photographer with the gear I have, within the limitations I have self imposed.