The camera I own now is 4-years-old…and counting. Should I be thinking about upgrading? An “improved” model was introduced two years ago and an upgrade to that will be coming this Fall. Undoubtedly, more pixels, newer sensor, more menu choices, and more buttons are on the way.
There are several ways I could approach an answer. Does my old Fuji still work? Yes, it does everything it’s supposed to do.
Am I one of those guys knee-deep in technology, who, as soon as an upgrade to their equipment is announced, go to their supplier and put their name on a list to have it shipped as soon as inventory is available? No, I am no “tech nerd.”
Or…am I rich or do I just have some spare cash and would really like to try something new? No, to both questions.
You no doubt could add other things I might consider, but I want to add what I think is the best answer to my question. It has been only recently that it dawned on me that most of my images are not PHOTOGRAPHS THAT MATTER. My work is ok, I suppose, but generally lacks wow factor, at least on any consistent basis. Now why is that? I can guarantee that it isn’t the camera, because I have seen tons of photographs that matter by people using the same equipment that I have, both body and lenses. These folks know something that I don’t. An equipment upgrade is not what I need, apparently.
So, I now think that it will be time for me to think about upgrading my camera when I have mastered the one I already have. In addition to all the knobs, buttons and switches on the exterior of my Fuji, I have estimated that there are about 400 options on its internal menu! As with any camera, my choice of settings plays a major role in the quality of the images I capture. Then there are the lenses I own, each of which needs mastering. I have not gotten total control: I haven’t the foggiest notion what some of them do, let alone how to combine one with another for maximum impact.
Learning my camera so well that I just don’t have to think about what settings to use is Photography 101. But there’s something beyond that which is more important to me if I am ever to create “photographs that matter.”
When I’m out with my “now-old” Fuji, I need to start thinking like a photographer.
- What is my subject? Really?
- Take a shot and move on or check out other perspectives?
- How can I make use of the light I have to work with?
- How do I discipline myself to regularly go out and practice?
- What aperture, shutter speed, ISO?
Replacing my camera would not have an iota of influence on any of these crucial aspects of my photography; maybe I just need to learn how to better use the one I now have?
Take a second and look at the photo above. It never even occurred to me at the time to “compose Eddie, and wait.”
3 thoughts on “A Question for You”
I have had that same conversation with myself!
Fuji will add some of the new features to old cameras through firmware updates. Focus stacking is a recent example of this. This makes it easier to stretch the life of existing equipment.
As I look at your work, I would say you have a lot less to learn about your equipment than I do about mine. Just sayin’.