Are you one of those people that rush to the store the moment the latest gadget hits the shelves? Or are you one of those who stick to gear that works? There are just no two sides to the argument when it comes to gear because we all know here in the Community that there's a gray area where we all meet. Still, the question still burns (especially for those who collect cameras) — does your gear really matter when it comes to producing great content?
Upgraditis or GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) is real whether we like it or not. It's that urge to buy something newer, bigger, smaller, better, more advanced, more suited to our current taste. It's an itch that you can't help but to scratch. You just find yourself obsessing about that certain camera — doing research, cross-checking, and asking around whether it's a good fit for you or not. Or you just take the short cut and buy it on impulse. For once in our lives as photographers, we've had that feeling and sometimes if not often, we give in. The satisfaction lies in getting the camera or lens or accessory that you fancy, sometimes without worrying about the cost.
“I think it comes down to what you’re shooting. I think the right gear can absolutely make an image, but I don’t think having the ‘wrong’ gear is the end of the world, it just means you have to get a little creative in your approach.” — Aidan Klimenko
Getting infected by GAS or the constant urge to upgrade is somewhat connected to the belief that having the best gear with you gives you the best results. Of course, the performance of a $5 camera can't be compared to that of a $5,000 camera but the analogy stays the same. More expensive gear means it's the better gear to get, hence it will be giving you the best photos. Understanding that each camera has its strengths and weaknesses is important in choosing the right one for your shoot. It's the first step to learning what you can do with it and in turn, helps you become more aware of what you want to do.
We've interviewed a lot of skilled and experienced photographers and we love picking their brains. If you follow those interviews, you would notice that we ask them if they believe that their gear matters when it comes to capturing the mesmerizing shots we showcase in those interviews. All of them gave their own take on the matter and what they had in common is that they believe that it is the photographer that is the deciding factor. It's the photographer who dictates whether the shot is good or so-so. That's a good point of discussion because it gives more depth to the topic. It's up to the photographer whether the final frame is good or not.
There are a lot of examples of that idea blooming into full form here in the Community. Take the work of @hodachrome for example. We're no strangers to his artful use of his film cameras. He builds wonderlands out of ordinary scenery by injecting his skill and talent into the equation. His MX shots are a thing of legend here and it doesn't matter what camera he uses. He pulls it off. Of course, he's in a league of his own but if he can do it with whatever camera he has on him, why can't you?
“In a certain way yes, of course. But, I don’t believe you need the most expensive or state of the art gear to create a beautiful image. Some of my favourite photo’s I shot with a 30 year old Soviet camera.” — Rick Van Kruchten
Using gear that works for you can be enough to help you find your style or voice in photography. Having the best equipment that money can buy can't guarantee that you'll get the best shots. It does help if you're after a certain quality or effect but it doesn't necessarily translate to getting the best shots of your photographic career. Working on yourself and your skillsets are more important. You are the photographer, YOU are what makes the difference in the end.
Now, if collecting photo gear is what sparks joy in you then so be it. Make your collection grow and stay happy with your prized shooters. A good number of our Community Members love collecting different cameras. It has formed bonds between a lot of people here and that's a beautiful thing on its own. Always remember that owning a camera (and/or collecting a whole bunch of them) is supposed to be fun. Don't overthink it and just enjoy the ride.
What about you? Do you love collecting cameras and upgrading your arsenal? Share with us your thoughts and the setups you rin in the comment section below to get the discussion going!