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Use Creative Goals to Plan Your Gear

February 15, 2013
X Marks the Shot, Calgary

Hi. My name is Royce, and I’m a gearhead…

I’ve been a gearhead all my life. But when it turned into always getting new photography equipment for reasons I couldn’t explain, I knew I had to make a change. I’m happy to say I haven’t bought a new camera since November 2010. Although, full disclosure – I did stray just a tiny little bit in August 2012 when that sweet Sony RX100 came out; but it’s only a pocket camera, it wasn’t serious. Honestly, I really do have my gear addiction under control. Seriously. Well, I mean, you can’t count backup camera bodies or lenses; they’re just accessories, you know.

Click the link to read more in my post over at The Camera Store’s blog

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2013 08:59

    Well said Royce. I have not bought a new camera body in over 4 years and the last lens I bought was indeed the Canon Tilt/Shift about 3 years ago. I have however plunked out money for accessories and 2 (because apparently 1 is not enough) point and shoot cameras. In the last 8 years I have focused my creativity towards the nature, landscape and wildlife area. Wildlife of course is one of the most expensive areas simply due to the long lenses and fast apertures. But I have found a way around that. Renting. Much cheaper when you only need the lens once or twice a year. I have tried looking for these lenses used but it seems that once photographers have them, they keep them.

    I teach that to my students every time. Figure out what you want to photograph and then buy the equipment that works for it. And do your research. As you said, there is a HUGE variety of choices out there, almost too many to look at. So use comparisons on web sites such as DPreview.com and make sure you get the best bang for your buck and that it does what you need it to do.

  2. February 16, 2013 09:53

    Good addition on the idea of renting, Craig. Sometimes a piece of gear may be tempting but it’s not clear whether it would really work out or not. Rent the thing, or find somebody to borrow it from temporarily. Worst case — buy used, and if it doesn’t work out sell it on again for probably little net loss. Nothing beats experience to decide whether to bring something into your arsenal of creative tools.

    Research is also good but I do encourage readers of the comparison sites & online forums to remember to put the information into context of their own personal creative goals. Often reviews or user comments are colored by the context of whomever is making the review or posting the commentary. I’m on the editorial team of NatureScapes.Net, and we have a lot of gear talk on the forums. A popular post is the “what should I get” or “should I get A or B” post. People often don’t give the context of their goals when they ask these questions. And then responders start answering without providing the context of their own goals, either. My probably annoying opening line in any of these sorts of discussion threads usually is “what are you trying to do”… 🙂

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