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Gear vs. Skill

May 27, 2009

I’ve been thinking a lot about camera gear lately. Of course everyone has a mental list of toys they’d love to have if they ever hit the lottery. Focusing on the more practical end of that list, I’ve been mentally weighing the comparative benefits of different lenses and camera bodies.

For even a relatively modest upgrade — less than $300 — I could make a fairly big jump in equipment. I’ve looked at all the various different bodies available for Olympus and considered some of their features in the context of the type of shooting I do most. Ultimately, it turns out that I really don’t need a $1,500 camera body to get almost all the features I most want but don’t currently have. Of course, when it comes right down to it, I don’t really need a new camera body at all. The one I have still performs quite admirably and does most of the things I ask of it. It’s also as good as or better than what most others are carrying around. Still, the ability to add most of the features I most want for under $300 is quite tempting.

When I turn my attention to lenses, naturally there are several I’d like. Once again, there isn’t really much that I actually need. Some that I’m sure I will eventually get but none that I couldn’t make due without.

My wife says I’m cheap. It’s true, though I prefer to cast it as being practical. To borrow and paraphrase a quote from someone else I saw recently, you don’t need $1,000 in camera equipment to take $200 pictures.

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