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“Old” Cameras

July 6, 2009

I frequently hear people lament that they’re still using an “old” camera. The camera that I use has been upgraded and replaced by at least five new models. Here is the thing: a camera is not a banana. It’s not going to blacken with age. It won’t get overripe and mushy and eventually moldy and begin to attract bugs.

Just because some newer piece of equipment may be available does not make your current equipment suddenly “worse”. The only thing that changes is our standards and our perception.

In most measurable ways, almost every digital camera made in the last five years is better than almost every comparable film camera made twenty years before it. When we look at back at the work of “The Masters” — Steiglitz, Bresson, Adams, Ray, et al — we still see classic, beautiful masterpieces. No one ever stops to think that these were made with substandard cameras. Even though arguably better equipment is certainly available today.

Appreciate what you’ve got. Learn to use it better.

Better equipment will not make you a better photographer any more than putting on a pair of tap shoes will make you a better dancer.

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