Saturday, March 5, 2016

I Regret Selling These Cameras

On A Brighter Day - Tehachapi, California
Captured using a Sigma DP2 Merrill.
I've gone through a lot of cameras. I've bought and sold tons of gear over the years. Some I was glad to see gone. Some I wish I still had. I think this is very common for those who have been photographers for any length of time.

The first camera that I regret selling was a Canon AE-1 35mm SLR with a great 50mm prime lens attached to the front. This was my only gear for several years early in my photography pursuit.

The camera worked great and I loved using it. It was a perfect tool for learning photography. I travelled many miles shooting landscapes, transportation and architectural images with this gear. I made plenty of memories, too.

I sold the camera with the intention of getting into medium-format photography, but life happened. The money went elsewhere. I ended up getting a very cheap 35mm SLR instead. It worked, but wasn't great. It certainly wasn't an AE-1!

Many years later I had a Sigma DP2 Merrill digital camera. It's capable of fantastic image quality, but with many quirks and limitations. And it slowed my workflow to a painful crawl. Finally I couldn't take it anymore and sold it. I used the money to buy a Nikon D3300. I sold a different camera to buy some lenses for it.

While the D3300 is a capable camera, it wasn't compact enough for me. It's one of the smallest and lightest DSLRs around, but it's still a lot bulkier than the Sigma camera. I kept it for a year and then sold it for a Sony RX100 II.

I wish that I still had the DP2 Merrill, but just not as my "primary" camera. For occasional use in specific circumstances, it's nothing short of fantastic. I could have still sold the other camera I had (that I used to buy the lenses for the Nikon) and, with a little extra money thrown in, purchased the RX100 II. Then I'd have both cameras right now.

More often than not, the gear that I've sold I've been happy to get rid of. Not because it was bad or incapable, but because it wasn't exactly what I wanted. It's difficult to find a camera that's truly crummy.

The average photographer nowadays keeps their camera for only two years. The main reasons that we sell so much gear is due to our own dissatisfaction and our own insecurities. It's about us more than the camera itself. If we learned to be more content with what we have, we'd keep our cameras longer than we usually do.

With this in mind, I regret all of the gear that I've sold. I wish that I'd been happier with what I had. I wish that I'd been more content. I'd certainly have wasted a lot less money on cameras that I kept for only a short time.

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