Monday, November 11, 2013

Do You Need an Expensive Camera?

Notice I said need, not want. If you want an expensive camera, an $80k SUV, or a golden bicycle, and you can afford it, who am I to stop you? :P

But if you wonder whether you actually need an expensive camera - thinking it will make a difference in your photography - then read on.

The inspiration for this article was Nikon's new...toy, the Nikon Df. It costs double the money of a D610, but it definitely doesn't add anything new. Not anything functional, that is. You pay for questionable retro aesthetics (the camera looks like a Frankenstein, with a retro front and top, and a fully digital-looking back). Oh yeah, there's also a new 50mm f/1.8 lens, equally more expensive compared to the regular AF-S 50mm f/1.8. It simply has a silly-looking silver ring. The people who will buy this camera will be either rich sheiks or that idiot blogger whom all Nikon users know. No real photographer has a use for this camera.

To clarify, I have not bought or tested the camera. But looking at its specs and components, we know what to expect. It's not that it's a bad camera in terms of sensor or features. It's just that it's too darn expensive - you can find the same and better features in other upper-level Nikon models.

NOT taken with an expensive camera. But taken having a clear idea what I wanted to achieve.

Still, this is not a discussion about the Nikon Df. This is about expensive cameras in general. The big corporations play this game well:
Look how cheap our entry level model is. But hey! With just a bit more, you get to have this other one. And you know what? If you're really serious about your photography, you should consider this model
 (A few months later, when the "latest and greatest" comes along, marketing departments make sure to emphasize how much better it is than the previous one - yes, yes! The one they were selling to you like in the example above - and that unless you buy it, you're as good as useless)

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. As I have mentioned to you in the past, I'm using a very capable D700 and before it an equally capable D300. Together with a D2x. These cameras are clearly upper level (the D2x was the flagship), but they're old. So what?! They give me what I want. Just like a D3200 gives you what you want, just like a D90 might give someone else what they want.

You don't need an expensive camera to make great photos. You need vision.

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