If you're reading this, the chances are that you're interested in cameras. This is good! I'm interested in cameras, too. But cameras are simply a means to an end – they're the tools necessary in order to practice photography.
Now more than ever before, however, a huge proportion of photographers are getting it ass-backwards – practicing photography has become the means to the end of acquiring cameras.
It's important that I put my hands up, here, because I am definitely guilty of stockpiling cameras. However, I'm not locked in a never-ending arms race with the rest of the world to upgrade my gear all the time in a ridiculous effort to own all the latest kit.
For better or worse, a lot of new photographers see cameras and lenses as little more than Pokémon cards. They don't need a 100MP camera, but Fujifilm makes one and it has more megapixels than anything else on the market (without selling your kidneys to buy a Phase One, anyway), so they go and buy a Fujifilm GFX 100S.
If you're a member of a camera club, you know the people I mean. They come in each time, brandishing their latest bit of gear, ready to play a glorified game of Top Trumps so they can "have the best" camera in the group. Whether they actually know what to do with it is another matter entirely.
Compulsive collection and GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) aside, I do understand somewhat. Cameras are a fusion of art and technology, and a lot of photographers are more interested in the latter – they admire cameras as pieces of boundary-pushing achievement more than as pure imaging tools.
Obviously, this phenomenon has been around pretty much as long as cameras have. However, the advent of YouTube has taken it to a whole different level. Hyperbolic gear reviews and clickbait proclamations and the constant bigger-better-more cycle of hype… no sooner have you bought that GFX 100 than you go onto YouTube and you see people saying how crap it is, and how psyched they are for the next thing.
There's nothing wrong with having the shiniest tech, of course. Buy all the cameras and lenses you want to – I genuinely hope that they bring you a lot of pleasure. Just do me a favor and learn how to use them properly so you can actually take a decent picture occasionally.
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