If you’re a photographer, sooner or later you’re going to suffer from GAS. In this case I’m not referring to digestive issues (although the price of camera gear can certainly cause those!) but the familiar feeling of gear acquisition syndrome.
I’m sure that everyone reading this has been afflicted at some point. No matter how new your camera, no matter how good your lens, at some point you will simply lust for something else. Maybe it’ll be newer, maybe it’ll be more powerful, maybe it’ll just be shinier – but whatever the case, you’ll be jonesing for more gear.
This is most commonly experienced when it comes to the launch of a brand new camera model, which is why the manufacturers create so much pomp and circumstance surrounding every new release.
From sleek product renders to beguiling lifestyle photos to spec-stuffed sizzle videos to gushing YouTubers, we are bombarded with imagery that makes us giddy with desire – to the point that many shooters sell some kit, hammer their credit card, or simply hide the huge expense from their partner, and shell out big bucks for the latest and greatest gear.
I know these people well, because I used to be one of them. Juggling bills and bank statements to free up cash so I could buy the newest body… but then I got smart. Why do I need to buy that new body on day one? Why can’t I wait a month? How about six months? Can I even make it a year?
(At this point I should point something out: given the well-publicized production problems that have plagued the camera industry, many GAS-afflicted shooters have still ended up waiting six months for a new camera anyway – even if they pre-ordered on the first day! So given that you’re probably going to face an imposed delay on a new camera regardless, why not turn it to your advantage?)
Yes, having a brand-new, rip-roaring camera on the first day of launch is an amazing feeling. But you want to know an even more amazing feeling? Having a camera that’s still brand-new and still rip-roaring, but costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars less because you bought it a few months later instead.
Obviously you’re not going to find savings like that at retail, but you will find them on the second-hand market – which is exactly why I buy so much used gear these days. After some bad experiences I am very wary of auction sites, and reluctant to recommend them. However, shopping used kit at your local camera store or a specialist online retailer like MPB.com is an absolute revelation.
Like buying a new car, a new camera depreciates in value the second you get it out of the showroom and start using it. So why not let somebody else have the buzz of buying a new camera on launch day, then you can have the buzz of buying that same camera with a huge saving a few months later! Online dealers such as MPB.com even deliver direct to your door, with six months warranty for peace of mind.
I’ve saved so much money buying kit this way – enough to pick up a bunch of extra lenses and accessories that I couldn’t have afforded otherwise. So treat your camera GAS like your digestive gas: don’t have eyes bigger than your appetite, make sure to pace yourself, and your meal will be much more enjoyable!