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Richard Michalski
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I can honestly say that for me $3,000 US (or $4,000 Cdn yikes) for a camera is more than I can justify to myself (or my wife!!) for spending on a hobby purchase. If you're making the same purchase for a business then I think it's a different matter. This is a my point of view and others may feel that it's the price you have to pay for staying current in what has become an enjoyable but expensive hobby. My approach in dealing with the costs is to stay behind the curve a bit and buy used versions of previous generation top rated cameras (eg. I purchased a used Canon 5d Mark ii a while back for Landscape photography, or a Fuji X-T2 which I'm considering for a future purchase). This may not be an approach that some would take but prevents me from being bankrupted in the continuous upgrade cycle being foisted upon us by the camera manufacturers. In the past I've bought lenses new but have found that used lenses can be just as good and can save considerable money versus the retail price. Again others may prefer to go the new route but it is more expensive. I’m quite happy with using something that isn’t the latest and greatest but is still more than adequate for my needs. YMMV.
Hmm A thought provoking article today Mike. I think that there is a prevailing thought these days that cameras are consumables as you said. To be used and then replaced in several years when the next “new and improved” version comes out. However I think we are at a turning point in this mindset at least when it comes to DSLRs and Mirrorless systems. In the last 10 years there have been yearly improvements in noise performance, megapixels, IBIS, etc. The pace for these improvements has dramatically slowed as manufacturers are starting to bump into practical and/or physical limits (who needs 50/60/80 megapixel snapshots when 20 will do?). There’s been a subtle shift to adding more features to cameras in the last few years on account of the market maturing. The problem is that more features doesn’t necessarily mean a better camera or more enjoyable photographic experience. My personal feeling on the matter is that any decent quality camera these days should last and be useful for a long time. The trick is to buy into a system that meets your needs and where you won’t be orphaned down the road (ie the manufacturer goes out of business Minolta, Samsung, stops supporting older cameras because they’re on to the next new version, etc..). The other consideration is a manufacturer’s ecosystem when it comes to lenses – a decent selection of quality glass is I would say just as important as the camera body. I’ve been sitting on the fence about updating my (what many would consider ancient) Canon 50D for a while now but you know it does still take great pictures. I’ll probably be switching to a Fuji XT-2 with a few lenses to start in the coming year. I find Fuji’s camera build quality to be very good, their design aesthetic very appealing, their lenses are also very good and finally their customer support great. I recently bought my wife a Fuji X-E2s with the kit 18-55mm lens and she and I are quite impressed. Obviously Fuji is a personal preference going forward but my point is whether it’s Fuji or Nikon or Canon or Olympus and so on, cameras these days are more than good enough. They have a much longer useful life as the most important attributes (image quality, noise, light sensitivity and resolution) have been addressed. This is something that may not have been the case 15 years ago when digital was still relatively new.
Hi Mike, I can see it from both sides (yours and Thomas Rink) but I'm starting to lean towards keeping it lean and simple when it comes to lenses. For me it's a single FF body, a Canon 6D and two lenses: the 24-70mm f/4 IS L (which I have) and the 70-200mm f/4 IS L which I'll be getting soon. The more lenses you have the more likely you'll be reaching for the one you don't have on the camera body. Or worse you'll miss a shot while deciding on which lens to use. I won't even open the door to the debate on having several primes vs zooms... In my case the above two lenses are more than enough for my needs (image quality, focal length range and being weather sealed). I have other lenses in my kit but for travelling/landscape these do the job.
Hi Mike - I think a lot of Mac owners feel your pain. Timmy has promised that "Great desktops" are on the way so one option would be to wait and see what's coming down the line. Something else to consider if you need something now would be to buy a used Mac Pro (3,1 to 5,1) which are going for a song these days. Unless you're doing heavy duty video editing one of these circa 2008 - 2010 systems will be more than enough and buy you some time to consider your options and see what Apple offers in the coming year. I checked Craiglist and there's a Mac Pro 3,1 listed for $400 - add an SSD and you're good to go (https://fingerlakes.craigslist.org/sys/5903775894.html). Just a thought. Enjoy your blog a lot - all the best.
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Jan 5, 2017