is newer better?

In Digital, Inspiration

Viewfinders Manifesto #3:
We believe that the best camera is the one that feels right in your hands as you make the photograph.

In the current technological climate, newer/better/updated seems to be what many are striving for. I have a perfectly fine smartphone, but apparently it’s not good enough – the newer version has a better camera and better features. It’s all a little exhausting.  And potentially expensive.

When I first became a hobbyist in the photography world, I bought a sweet little micro four-thirds camera (the Panasonic Lumix GF1) and used it for years. I loved that little camera. When I finally upgraded to a newer version that allowed me to do more of the video work I was pursuing at the time, I kept that first camera around just for the pleasure of shooting with it but ultimately gave it to my sister. I used its successor for a number of years but never fell in love with it the same way.

When I ultimately started dipping my toe into shooting professionally, I started borrowing my husband’s Canon 5D Mark II and still use it to this day. I go back and forth between the 35mm and 85mm prime lenses and haven’t felt the need to trade up, although I admit to hankering for a macro lens now and then. Needless to say, my husband doesn’t get to use the Canon much anymore.  Although it’s big and bulky, and although there was a big learning curve making the jump from my user-friendly Panasonic, I now enjoy its heft and have learned its controls in a way that works for me.

From time to time, I explore the idea of a smaller camera that I love the way I loved my first Panasonic. And in an effort to confirm that I’m not missing out, I recently rented a bigger, better Panasonic micro four-thirds from Borrowlenses just to test the waters. When the rental arrived I headed out for coffee and a walk around my favourite seaside town.

There was a welcome familiarity to the camera and I took some respectable photos with it, but in the end I sent it back and continue to sling my hefty Canon over my shoulder.

I don’t need newer/better/updated… I’m fine with tried and true. A paintbrush is a paintbrush, a tool is a tool. Don’t get me wrong, I look at the used sales of newer camera bodies longingly now and then and at some point, maybe I’ll make the leap to something with more features than I currently enjoy. But with time and experimentation, I’ve learned to make images that have a style that’s all my own and which is more to do with my eye and very little to do with the equipment.

But it sure is fun to play!

cheers,
kim

2 Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more! I love this about viewfinders – the understanding and acceptance of our differences – not only in the pictures we make but the tools we use.

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