We’re all guilty – not just photographers but anyone who uses a ‘tool’ in their work. We are easily convinced that the latest, flashest, whizziest product on the market is essential. How can we possibly continue in business without the newest model?
Photographers must be worse than most – how else can you explain the regular upgrading of cameras, the introduction of new models with more megapixels, faster processors, more focus points, higher ISO capabilities and an even longer list of features that any self-respecting photographer should (according the blurb) be ashamed not to have.
If we believe the marketing hype, our rubbish old camera bodies that must be getting on for 2 or 3 years old, should be consigned to antique shops. How could we possibly hold our heads up in the company of our peers if we’re using an outdated model? How on earth did we manage to take any sort of picture with that old thing.
How quickly they forget the fanfare that greeted the arrival of our now outmoded kit. Somehow we fell for it then and have struggled on with a mere 20Mb and a processor that is positively pedestrian compared to the shiny new one. Somehow, we’ve managed to produce high quality images despite these terrible handicaps.
I’m writing this after digesting the news of the new Canon 5Ds – all 50.6 million pixels of it. Of course I want one, wouldn’t we all – OK so Nikon users may disagree but it won’t be long before the yellow label brings out something equally tempting.
But do I need one?
Will it improve the quality of my pictures?
Will it win me more business?
Sadly the answers are; no, no and no. I’d like one but I could spend the money more effectively elsewhere and I know it won’t be long before they are available to hire for those occasions when, for bragging rights alone, it’s worth having one for a high profile job.
We’ve all seen plenty of dodgy pictures taken with top-end cameras by people with “all the gear and no idea” and equally there are some cracking shots out there taken by talented creative photographers using fairly ordinary old gear – even smartphones!
Don’t believe the hype; what would manufacturers, retailers, distributors and marketing gurus do without a new model to shout about every six months. Great photography is all about creativity, timing, composition, perspective, lighting and experience; the camera is just a tool.