is newer better?

In Digital, Inspiration
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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!



  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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