Hopefully this simple list will act to control my future belief in Gear Panacea. The idea that a new camera will instantly resolve all the perceived problems you experience in photography.
It has been worrying to realise how many camera's I've forgotten I purchased. I've trawled through my eBay purchases & sales as well as my photo library to work out the dates when I've purchased and sold these cameras. This isn't even to consider the lenses and accessories.
What's most relevant is how much I remember obsessing about each purchase to read every review & comparison and waste so much time being convinced X camera would change my approach to photography, only to now forget I've even owned it.
I'm not sure if this is a confession or a 'shine a light' moment, I've always known I've made some bad and unnecessary purchases. I hope it's a prompt back to myself when I start doing the same things again (as I still do) in trying to weigh up for example if having the new Sony A7rii or the RX1rii will suddenly make some significant change to my photography. Or should I wait for the X-Pro 2 Fuji and ditch the Sony A series ? ahhhhh
Overtime I might add some of the old reviews of these pieces of gear which still exist online as it might be amusing to see the grand statement about camera performance for what will now be regarded as a dated piece of technology.
I'm sure i'm not the worst for this kind of gear panacea, but I'm certainly not wealthy enough to afford the mistakes made in this list either.
Various Film Cameras with no manual controls including a Pepsi Can Film Camera
Nokia 6630 & Other Early Phone Cameras (1mp)
HP Photosmart R817 (5.1mp)
(still lives somewhere in a box)
Sony HX5V (10.2mp)
(technically not mine, purchased as a birthday present but you know ...... & still lives somewhere in a box)
Panasonic DMC-FZ38 (12.1mp)
(first camera with some kind of manual controls, purchased to practice the tutorials in photography magazines and the like. I'd say my first real intent to take photography on as a hobby)
Sony SLT-A55V (16.2mp)
(first interchangeable lens camera, purchased with a 50mm & zoom/macro lens after a small bonus from work. This was the first camera that prompted me not to go for a walk for a walks sake but to go out to make images)
(a compact to accompany the DSLR, purchased after reading how it was much better than any other compact and had some manual controls etc. In the end I found it a little too big to use as a compact)
Sony SLT-A77V (24.3mp)
(purchased before Christmas as an upgrade to the A55V and purchased with a Zeiss zoom lens, and sold on eBay a month or so later for at least £150 loss. Nothing wrong with the camera, I just got post purchase remorse and decided a used full frame canon would be money better spent)
Pentax K-5 (16.3mp)
(after deciding against the Sony A77, the Pentax seemed like a good option, smaller, good lenses, well regarded for it's skin tones (i don't really take portraits)
Canon EOS 5D (12.8mp)
(entered the full frame world for the first time, but I entered without enough money or balls to buy good enough lenses and so I wasn't blown away with the image quality. It was also massive compared to the Sony's and very different to use so it only left the house 3 or 4 times before being sold)
Panasonic DMC-GF3 (12.1mp)
(a temporary foray into micro four thirds world, which of course it the perfect balance of image quality and camera size. I really didn't enjoy the quality of the images from this camera and rarely used it)
Nikon Coolpix P300 (12.2mp)
(decided the micro four thirds wasn't pocketable enough and this compact was a good price at the time as the replacement was coming out. I did actually use this a lot for family events etc and it's still owned by my mum today.)
Sony NEX 7 (24.3mp)
(the first camera I really fell for as soon as I picked it up, it felt perfect in the hand and the control system seemed to just work for me. I still hold sentimental feelings towards it hence why it sits in the draw loosing re-sale value. At least with the Sony A7 being the same lens mount it comes out every now and again with the zoom lens for a trip to the zoo or travel)
Sony RX100 (20.2mp)
(purchased for a trip to Florence and finally the perfect pocket camera (until the mk iii came out). One of my most used cameras perfect for street photos, gigs, family events and travel)
Panasonic DMC-FT4EB (12.1mp)
(because I needed to shoot snapshots in the rain and underwater of course, which I did, once)
Fuji X100 (12mp)
(tempted in by all the talk of it's retro goodness but found it difficult to use & slow to operate compared to the RX100)
Canon EOS 5Dmkii (21.1mp)
(purchased used with a good set of lenses as now I knew my panacea was to be found in the world of EOS 5D mkii, used for so many images that I loved, used for wildlife, landscapes and really what more could I need. Well, only lasted a couple of months before the size & familiarity of the Sony became too much of a temptation )
Sony A7 (24mp)
(the camera that seemed to tick all of the boxes! Similar to the Nex 7 but full frame, I could maybe use some existing lenses and it would all make me feel like I could never need another camera again (until the mk2). I went for the A7 and not the A7r as I didn't feel I could use the extra megapixels or afford the high end lenses required, I still think this was a good decision as it meant I could purchase the kit lens. The A7 & kit lens was the combination I used to take my photo of the Arts Tower which won Urban View in LPOTY 2014)
Fuji X-E1 (16mp)
(seemed a good price for used camera which got rave reviews from Landscape Photographers, I need to get this Fuji thing out of my system I guess. However, it has kind of stuck for me and I was really blown away by the image quality of the 18-55mm zoom. The first time I purchased a print again it really stood out from some of the Sony A7 images so I went on to purchase a full lens set.)
Fuji X-T10 (16mp)
(seemed a good price for extra features from the X-E1, but in the end it produced the same images so was purely for a few conveniences that I can live without.)
Sony RX100M2 (20.2mp)
(needed to replace the old Sony RX100 for travel, wanted the mark iii version but decided to make a saving. Still might return it.)
So here we are as of today (October 2015) and I am genuinely still obsessing about gear, I'd like to have the Fuji System at it's best and get some more prime lenses, a wide angle lens and possibly get the next generation of cameras, especially if they do manage to go to 24mp with the same quality as it's great to have the extra crop factor for some macro shots.
However there is also then the question of why keep the investment in the Sony A7 world, I feel like if I could get the higher cost lenses for that system (probably £3000 worth) it would then push out my desire for the Fuji, but I know I'd then be seeking to upgrade to the A7Rii which is reviewed as being a stunning camera with the best image quality around.
Basically if someone could give me the following gear for free I guess I'd be happy, maybe for a few years. Happy to accept second hand or cash (around £7,000 should do it)
Fuji X-T1 and upgrade to X-T2 when that comes out
Fuji 10-24mm lens
Fuji 23mm Prime Lens
Fuji 35mm Lens
Fuji 50-140 lens
Sony 35mm F1.4 or the Sony RX1rii
Sony 90mm Macro
or if I just kept 1 camera and spent all this money on travelling to stunning places...........
Somebody save me from myself.
Dan is a landscape & nature photographer from Sheffield in the UK.
Catch my latest travels on Instagram here.