Camera Wishlist – Should You Have One?

I’ve always been a big fan of wishlists. They’ve been both a huge help and a headache of a hindrance at different times in my photography journey. Here’s how I’ve used them, and how to work out whether they might work for you (or not!).

In my early twenties when I was interested in a more diverse range of music than I am now, I had an extensive wishlist of the artists I wanted to explore, as well as specific records.

I have a fairly good memory, so whilst I had a scrappy paper wishlist in my wallet for some of the more obscure acts, it was usually enough to have read a review of a certain record, or a bio of a particular artist, to then remember them when I saw them in a record shop.

So when HMV or Virgin or Our Price (remember them?) had one of their sales, I would stock up on a few CDs to extend my collection.

I’ve used Amazon’s wishlist feature for as long as I can remember (it tells me the oldest items on there were added in 2002), again for music, but mostly for books.

More recently, since discovering film cameras in 2012, I’ve had an ongoing camera wishlist.

After major purging and simplification in the last year or so, my camera collection – as well as my wishlist – is drastically reduced.

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So how has a wishlist helped my photography in the past?

I’ve never been interested in being a camera collector, having dozens of cameras in glass cabinets, and going for complete ranges of bodies or lenses.

My intention – since discovering film in 2012 – has been to have a small, working arsenal of cameras I use frequently, and love shooting with.

So my journey through hundreds of cameras in the last five or six years has been about trying to find these fabulous few.

Having a wishlist helped me assess what I had, and see what the next step might be to get ever closer to this core photography kit.

The problem was – and to an extent still is – that there is no one perfect camera.

When you find one that’s close enough to your ideal to make you think you’d never want to sell it, there’s always a similar camera out there too that might just be that tiny fraction more enjoyable, and add an extra edge to your images.

The wishlist just feeds and drives this literally endless quest, far beyond the point where it would be wise to stop.

To illustrate this practically, here’s my current wishlist, why each camera is on it, and why I probably don’t need it –

Pentax Q7

Why?

I have the original Pentax Q which is fantastic. This later model has a larger and improved sensor. I’m curious about how the images compare with the original. If I could pick up a Q7 with a lens I don’t have (eg the 08 Wide Zoom) it would give me more options with my current Q too.

Why not?

I’m very happy with my original Q, and never think “I just wish I had a bigger sensor to get sharper, more detailed pictures for those 3m by 4m prints I want to make”. The funds would be better spent investing in a different lens for my existing Q, or saved for a few photography books.

Ricoh GRD (original)

Why?

My GRD III is an utter joy, as is its zoom lensed sibling, the GX100, the camera I’ve used more than any other in recent weeks. I’m curious about how the older, simpler, cruder and lower spec’d original GRD performs, especially given the grainy, moody pics I’ve seen others have made. Plus I’d like to pick one up before they’ve all died!

Why not?

I have the other two Ricohs mentioned. If I want more mood and grain I can use the GRD III and increase the ISO to 400, 800, even 1600 and use the Hi Contrast BW mode. The beauty of these Ricohs is you can set them up to be as close to a pure point and shoot as you want and just ignore the wealth of options and menus available.

Ricoh GR (APS-C)

Why?

The later evolution of my GRD III, with a significantly larger APS-C sensor. By all accounts this would be an utter DSLR destroyer in my arsenal. I’ve seen some quite incredible pictures made with these. I’m familiar with – and love – the design, interface and handling of these Ricohs, so the transition should be smooth.

Why not?

I’ve used my GX100 at 35mm more than anything else recently, because 28mm can sometimes be too limiting, and give too much distortion, especially up close. Also the price, being much newer it’s still hard to get one for less than around £400 new or £300 used. More than my GRD III, GX100 and Pentax Q cost combined.

Panasonic Lumix LX3

Why?

When I was looking for the definitive compact digital (a role now filled by all three of those cameras mentioned in the paragraph just above in slightly different ways) this Panasonic kept cropping up. The LX3, with its fast and highly regarded 24-60mm lens and a much vaunted Dynamic Monochrome mode similar to the GRD III that would likely allow me to use photographs straight out of camera, is still highly appealing.

Why not?

I have those three superb little compacts already, it’s unlikely the Lumix could offer anything radically different in the final image, or in the enjoyment of use. Again, whilst not expensive (probably around £100 used) this is probably money better invested in a different lens for the Pentax Q, photography books and prints of my own images.

Leica Monochrom

Why?

I’ve never owned or used a Leica before. With my interest in film all but evaporated, the obvious choice for a Leica would be a digital machine. Since I’ve shot about 95% in black and white for the last nine months, the Monochrom stands out.

Why not?

Cost. I’ve never spent that much on anything, not even a car. Unless I win the lottery, it’s not going to happen. Plus, it’s a rangefinder, not my favourite kind of camera, and by all accounts the files need considerable post processing to get good results, again something I’m not really interested in. Furthermore, I understand that for much less I could use a DSLR or mirrorless and have the Bayer filter removed (or be brave and do it myself) so it’s a pure b/w sensor too.

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Once you reach a certain point of contentment with what you have, a camera wishlist is an unnecessary catalyst for restlessness and unhappiness.

It’s like buying a new car you love, then every day driving to half a dozen other car showrooms to test drive their latest models.

Or ordering a favourite meal in a restaurant, taking one bite then ordering something different in case it’s even tastier. Over and over again.

Or settling with one amazing partner, but still visiting singles bars and clubs every weekend to see who else is there.

If you’re curious about different kinds of cameras, and aren’t happy with what you’ve tried already, a wishlist can be helpful to redirect you.

Better first to really consider what you enjoy and value about photography, how your current camera(s) serves this well, and how they don’t.

Then you can carry out some informed research in the most helpful directions, with a wishlist being a part of this.

But if you’re happy with at least one or two cameras you already have – which I’m guessing is far more likely (here’s a test, if you lost all your cameras in a freak accident today, what’s the first camera you’d go and buy tomorrow, the one you couldn’t live without?) – then a wishlist will only feed and amplify a dissatisfaction that’s not really there.

The very name – wishlist – tells us everything. “I wish I had this camera, then I’d finally be happy.”

Instead, appreciate, enjoy and learn to get the most from what you already have.

Because a deeper and longer term satisfaction can only really come once you commit to what you have, learn it inside out and back to front, and give it your full attention and devotion.

Do you have a camera wishlist? How has it helped or hindered your photography?

Please let us know in the comments below (and remember to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking. Please share this post with others you feel will enjoy it too. If you’re interested, this is what my photography life looks like right now.

44 thoughts on “Camera Wishlist – Should You Have One?”

  1. Really interesting Alex. I have been terrible in the past for having wish lists! For motorbikes, bicycles, guitars, air-rifles and now , more recently, cameras.

    But when I stopped to think about WHY I really wanted those things, then my reasons have never been that robust.

    I used to really want an Olympus OM because it is the camera I remember from my Dad’s 1980’s National Geographics. I’ve also heard great things about them since getting into film photography too. BUT, would an OM be substantially better than my only remaining film SLR (Minolta XG-1)? I really doubt it and that camera gives me as much scope to slow down and shoot a bit of film now and again as I need. Like you, I’m shooting a lot less film of late and more digital. Film SLR’s are (for me) about the tactile experience of using a mechanical machine as they are about the pictures made. I recently developed 5 films which is all I’ve shot since January.

    Digitally speaking, I would also very much like a Ricoh GR. I’ve read so much good stuff about them (on your blog as well as other places) that I’d love to try one out. But would it be THAT much better for me than my Nikon Coolpix S9900? Sexier probably and with more “street cred” but those things don’t matter that much to me any more. The one outstanding niggle is that it sometimes bothers me that the Nikon’s sensor is comparatively small. Now, I’ve never shot a larger sensored camera to compare it with, but still the thought persists that “if only I had something that bit more “capable”, I’d be happier with my pictures.” The truth is though, that is rubbish and I know it full well. I know a different camera wouldn’t make me a better photographer. Furthermore I was really encouraged by the pictures you take with your Pentax Q as it has the same sized sensor as my Nikon. So GAS averted for a little while longer.

    For now I have thinned the arsenal down to:

    – Nikon Coolpix A300 – My first actual camera in years. It like it and it is so laughably light and compact. It’s all that I shot with for the first six months after buying it.
    – Nikon Coolpix S9900 – Takes great pictures, has a nice B&W mode and PASM modes if I want them. Bigger than the A300, but still pretty compact and a lot more capable.
    – iPhone SE – Goes pretty much everywhere with me and has an excellent camera. With that deveice plus Google Photos, I have almost as much as I really need. It certainly serves as my “family snapshot” camera more than any other.
    – Minolta XG-1 and a couple of lenses – for when I want to slow down and shoot a bit of film

    I can’t see myself adding to to very soon and the only likely change might be to sell the two Nikon at some point for a Ricoh GR.

    1. Er, who’s Alex?

      There’s a part of me that’s somehow soothed by having a wishlist of future stuff that I could have. Maybe it’s about always having the promise of something new or different on the horizon? I have a post in draft about this, in fact a couple, and haven’t yet quite got my head around it enough to finish and publish them.

      Like you Richard I have a Coolpix, which I consider my first “proper” camera after maybe five years of using just cameraphones. I shot something over 1000 images a month for seven or eight months, before I discovered film. Looking back, many of the images still stand up very well, and today it remains a very competent camera. I just have other equally capable cameras that seem a lot more fun. The Nikon is very austere and functional, it doesn’t inspire much excitement or joy.

      1. Ha ha! Sorry Dan – I was definitely having one of *those* mornings!

        That’s a good observation about the Nikon actually. I like them both, but don’t love either of them. Maybe the ultimate for me would be the experience of shooting with my Minolta (I do love that camera) but with the compactness and convenience of a digital.

        1. Last year I did plenty of long hard thinking about what I loved about film photography and how much of it I could get from digital. Your comment here pretty much sums up the ideal for me too.

          1. I think all three of my core cameras now are fantastic.

            The Ricoh GRD III is amazing, has the (joint) best handling of any compact camera, an incredible, fast (f/1.9) lens that focuses down to 0.01m and a wonderful UI. The only shortcoming is 28mm is sometimes too extreme when I’m up close, it gives too radical an angle or perspective.

            The Pentax Q is extraordinary in how much is packed into its tiny body. It feels as capable as my Pentax K10 DSLR but in a fraction of the size and weight. In fact the Q has all the control (that I need) of the K10D, plus some more direct and fun to use options like “digital filters” (works better than that sounds, eg I use the Bold Monochrome as the basis for my b/w shots, then need zero post processing, the Ricohs even on b/w mode with contrast up need further PP). If they’d have produced a prime 35mm lens for the Q it would have made it an absolute killer combo, and near perfection for me. Though the 02 standard prime goes from 28-85mm I believe and is by all accounts very good, so if I got that the Q could cover all possibilities.

            The Ricoh GX100 though is the one of the three that is the best all rounder out of the box. Lens is probably 90% as great as the GRD III plus whilst I use it at 35mm much of the time, it has 24mm at the wide end when I need it (occasionally) and 72mm at the long end (hardly ever). The way you can set up step zoom (so each press goes to the next step – 24, 28, 35, 50, 72mm, rather than zoom in infinitely small and undefined increments) AND set the step zoom as a parameter in the MY1 and MY2 modes on the dial is a masterstroke. I have MY1 as 24mm b/w, and MY2 as 35mm b/w, so never really touch the zoom buttons, just leave it on MY2 90% of the time, then if there’s a scene I need a wide angle for I flick it to MY1 for 24mm.

            The screen on the GX100 is smaller and lower res than the GRD III but still more than adequate. And the handling is perhaps fractionally better even, as your thumb has a little more space (due to that screen being smaller essentially). Both Ricohs have the edge on handling over the Pentax, though they feel more like one handed cameras and the Pentax Q with its larger interchangeable lenses encourages a DSLR like grip, ie right hand on side of camera, left hand under/around lens. (The 01 Prime is AF of course, but has a focus ring around the barrel which overrides the AF if you need it. Sometimes I half press the shutter for the AF to lock, then make a final minor focus tweak with the manual focus ring on the barrel. Very cool when up close.)

            Any of the three I’d retire my camera hunting happy with. On paper the Q is most versatile with its interchangeable lenses and DSLR like controls. But in practice the GX100 ticks more boxes, has the edge handling, focuses closer and sports that easy 35mm/24mm option, where at both focal lengths it gives prime lens quality results.

            Er, hope that answers your question Richard! : )

          2. Yeah it does thanks! I would really like a zoom with preset steps, that sounds very useful. I doubt that I’ll change any of mine for a while but will certainly look out for a GR when I do. Interestingly, I nearly bought one instead of my S9900, but my youngest daughter wanted me to get one with a flip out screen. She had aspirations of being a YouTube star at the time! But it’s a good camera and I like it for now.

          3. With the zoom steps I just like to know what focal length I’m add so I can be consistent. Some compacts just give you the zoom ratio (eg 1.0x 1.1x 1.2x etc) which is better than nothing. For example my Xperia phone has a 25mm equivalent lens so I know that 1.4x means 35mm and 2.0x means 50mm, the two focal lengths I’m most comfortable and experienced with. With family shots sometimes I just point and shoot the Xperia, but usualyl I go to 1.4x so I know there’s not going to be as much distortion, especially when closer to people. I’d rather be seeing “35mm” written though, like with the Ricoh GX100 (and many other Ricohs in the CX and R ranges I believe).

            Don’t like zooms where there is no feedback whatsoever about what focal length you’re at. I don’t want to one day be making images at 42mm and the next day 37mm and the next day 40mm. I just want consistency!

  2. I never had a wishlist for digital cameras. For me they were just “home appliances”, like toasters or vacuum cleaners – I bought them quite randomly, depending on availability (mostly second-hand), budget and intended use. Currently there are no digital cameras that I would like to own. I like the Leica D-Lux series, but right now I do not see enough extra value compared to my smartphone.

    For film cameras it was a different story. Those are more than just objects, the aesthetics of a camera or a certain look of the photos might play a role. So I did have some cameras on a wishlist and I even got a few of them. Sometimes that worked out well (Olympus XA), and sometimes I sold them again quite quickly because we could not get along (Konica Hexar) or they turned out to be unusable for my style of photography (Polaroid).

    So no wishlist right now – the smartphone and a Holga of two will have to do. I like to focus more on why I want to take photos instead of what to use.

    1. Robert, yes I know a number of people make this kind of categorisation too, and up to a point I feel the same, digital cameras are just clever devices. But, there are a few that are interesting enough, well designed enough and make really pleasing images, to inspire rather more devotion than I generally have for home appliances.

      Both the Ricohs I have and my Pentax Q have charm in abundance, and they are certainly more in the camera class than device. I had a Sony NEX for a few years that I took tens of thousands of images with, mostly testing and playing with various vintage lenses. It was super capable, technically excellent, but always seem like just a clever device. I respected its abilities, but never loved it, never really had any chemistry with it.

      I think for me the age of the (digital) camera is a factor too. There’s nothing around these days I’m interested in, but my 12 year Pentax K10D remains, despite its bulk and weight, a very endearing camera. Past maybe about 2011, my interest in digital seems to evaporate. I could quite easily disappear down various rabbit holes of research and spending of 10-20 year old digital cameras (Ricoh GR Digital, R and CX series, Panasonic Lumix and Olympus Camedia, to name three!).

      1. I understand your remarks about the old digital cams, Dan. Now that smartphones are getting more and more sophisticated, I certainly miss the “lo-fi” look. For that reason I could buy a first generation D-Lux or an Olympus C-8080 (Magnum photographer Alex Majoli shot beautiful black and white documentary with the old Olympus p&s cameras) on eBay – instead of the camera phone. But I am rather hesitant about that. The risk of technical defects with these old digital cameras is quite significant.

        And as said before, I first have to decide why I still want to take pictures – maybe a Holga and an affordable amount of film rolls are actually enough.

        1. Funnily enough I’ve been looking at some of those earlier Olympus Camedia bodies, the ones that are like a baby DLSR with a big grip on the side.

          Regarding technical defects, yes true, but the majority of film photographers are using cameras with some kind of electronics in that if they fail will make them pretty paperweights. Not a problem for your Holga of course, but true for many of the classics people talk about like Canon AE-1, Pentax ME series, Minolta X series etc.

  3. No camera wishlist for me. I have two examples of my favorite camera of all time – the Leica IIIf RD ST – and three other Leica screw mount bodies.

    I have some other 35mm and MF film cameras too but their only use now is to remind me of the futility of trying to improve my photography with hardware.

    Unfortunately, lenses are another matter. I’d like a lighter 85mm or 90mm lens – the 85/1.9 Canon is wonderful optically but it weighs more than the camera! I’d like to have a faster 35mm lens with lettering I can read in bright sunlight – the aperture and depth of field engravings on the 35/3.5 Nikkor are tiny and indistinct. And for no good reason at all I’d like a 50/3.5 Elmar of the same year as my 1941 Leica IIIc.

    1. Doug, thanks for your thoughts.

      I think, Pentax Q aside, which has a pretty limited range of lenses anyway, a reason I’ve moved towards digital compacts is to eliminate another layer of choice – the lens. I had a Sony NEX for a few years and must have had at least half a dozen different mount adapters, and anything between a couple and dozens of lenses for each. Plus I didn’t actually like the NEX all that much anyway, it was mostly an efficient lens testing device. So using the cameras I mostly do now means I’m not lusting after lenses for them, because they’re not interchangeable.

      I understand what you mean about the same year Leica body and lens. I bought a 1956 Kiev 2A plus Jupiter 8 lens from the same year, which I like to think was the original lens. Just something satisfying and completest about having the original kit together.

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/danjamesphotography/28457195405

      1. I certainly understand the attraction of using just one lens. On our 50th wedding anniversary cruise two years ago I took just the IIIg and 50/2.8 Elmar so I wouldn’t spend too much time fiddling with camera(s). At the time it didn’t feel like a limitation but looking at the prints back at home it’s clear that several of them would have benefited from a different focal length. Lesson learned.

        My standard travel kit is now one body and two lenses, usually a 50 and either a 35 or an 85, depending on where I’m going and what I’ll be doing. (If we were doing the cruise again I’d take a 50 and a 35.)

  4. I have a list:

    Canonet (19, original Canonet)
    Rollei 35
    Yashica Mat 124/124G
    Kodak Signet 35
    Canon A-1
    Canon F-1
    Vivitar V3800N
    Canon P
    Minolta Hi-Matic 7sII
    Contax 139 Quartz
    Praktica MTL 50/5b/5

    It’s an actual list I keep on my computer. I forget now why I added most of these cameras to the list. Especially now that I’m actively trying to thin my herd, I’m not sure I want to accumulate a lot more cameras.

    I discovered yesterday that the meter on my Minolta SR-T 101 no longer functions properly. I’d love to have a working body to use with the delicious 50/1.7 lens I own for that mount. I also wouldn’t mind to have a single working mechanical Canon FD mount body.

    Beyond that I know there are many cameras I’d like to experience, but not necessarily own.

    1. I used to write down camera wishlists then look at them six months later and wonder why half of the cameras were on there too.

      You definitely need to try a Contax 139 though. If we lived on the same continent I’d give you mine on long term loan… : )

  5. Well, not a wishlist … no … I’m trying to use – step by step – each one of my herd (like that term) and so there is little room for a further wishlist. Well, … wait, … there is one … a fully working Pentax ME Super … that’s my dream 🙂

    1. Reinhold, are you using them one by one then with the aim to sell those you don’t like, like Jim Grey’s Thin The Herd project?

      Re the Pentax ME Super, wouldn’t be easy enough to get a half decent one and have it CLA’d so it’s good for a few years?

      1. Well, so far nothing is sold, but Jim’s project is interresting.
        Regarding the ME Super, I just posted a short fairy-tale about that on my little “blog”. Your approach would be a valid one.

        1. You’ve been really unlucky! I must have had maybe ten M series, including the original ME, ME Supers, an MV, an MG plus a few Super/Program As and all have worked fine except one or two had a minor thing with the film wind on which once you got the knack of was fine. I know Jim has had CLAs on a number of his favourite cameras now (mostly Pentax). If you really want a particular camera it’s worth doing. For say £25 plus another £50 for a CLA it’s less than paying £25-50 three or four times over taking your chances.

          Hope your latest ME Super works fully! At least you have the others that could probably be repaired if/when the new(er) one fails?

          1. I tried one repair shop “near” my location and they asked for 100 + x EUR per camera. They call it a repair-accompanying pricing 🙂

            Checked a German (Pentax) repair shop on the internet and they asked for 150 EUR per camera.

            This is why I wrote that I can buy a couple of used cameras for that money.

            BTW, what I found is that my latest model has a serial number in the 5 mio and the other four are all in the 2 mio range. Seems the latest one is also the “newest” one of them.

            As said … keeping my fingers crossed.

            Hm, … but you cannot take pictures with fingers crossed 🙂

  6. Hi Dan,
    Like Jim, i am in thinning the herd mode, so I don’t have a wish list for cameras right now. I think I only have one camera on your list, a Panasonic LX something. It is nice enough, but I haven’t used it much. The viewing screen is hard for me (I have poor vision) and the EVF for it costs almost as much as I paid for the camera on clearance. Also the menus are still baffling to me even after reading the manual and a book. I usually just grab my ten year old Canon D40, which is much larger, but easy to use. My recent film pictures were a disaster for various reasons, so I have been doing more cycling than photography. I am driving cross-country next month, so I may try the Panasonic again just because of the very small form factor. The Contax 139Q is one of my favorite cameras ever, and a joy to use.

    1. Yeh I wholeheartedly agree about the Contax Jon. Even though I rarely shoot film now, the only two SLRs that remain after owning 50-75 or more are a Spotmatic F and Contax 139Q. Simply the best M42 camera I’ve ever used, plus the best Av M42 adaptable M42 camera I’ve used (even better than any Pentax M or A series, which I love).

      Which Panasonic do you have, the LX3? I understand the LX2 was ok but the 3 was the first that really caused a minor sensation when it was released, and the LX5 successor I believe is very well regarded also (on its release, and still now, as the LX3). That is one camera I can see me getting at the right price, to see if it can compare with my Ricoh siblings and the Pentax Q.

      1. Dan, I just checked, it is an LX-5. It is very well made, and seems like a serious piece of gear. I lent it to an artist friend who only shoots Leica, and he was impressed with the lens. Or so he said.

        1. The LX5 is very well regarded and I believe the successor to the LX3 on my wishlist. If you can spend some time getting into it, I would suggest it would capable of excellent pictures. The lens is Lecia designed I think, so I guess that’s why it gets your Leica friend’s approval.

  7. The only serious item on my wishlist is a compact camera, but I don’t know which one I should purchase when I get some money. Possibly a Ricoh, because I’m after hearing so many good things about them from various sources. Nikon is going to bring out a mirrorless camera in the near future (next year?) and that might be worth looking at. The other item on my wishlist is the Fuji GFX 50S because I like Fuji colours and the design of their cameras. (That said, I had the X-Pro1 and gave it away to a friend because it didn’t feel comfortable in my hands). I would like to have one, but spending a lot of money on a digital camera makes me nervous because in the back of my mind they are still disposable objects. That’s not really true anymore; my Nikon D810 is excellent and I don’t think it will need replacing anytime soon. Still, it’s a thing I can’t get out of my head.
    Oh, and I’d love to have a Leica digital, but that’s just madness.

    1. I would strongly encourage you to look at used digital cameras. There have been (tens/hundreds of?) thousands released – and dozens of these top end pro level cameras in their day – that are still capable of amazing images.

      I would certainly recommend Ricoh compacts from my experience, amazing little things.

  8. I don’t think my camera wishlist has hindered my photography, but it certainly hasn’t helped my bank balance! I’ve always shot what I liked, and got results I was happy with, but there was always a feeling (particularly since joining the film community on Twitter last year) that I needed something with more advanced features or one of the more popular cameras that everyone was using and raving about. Peer pressure!

    When I first started shooting film, when I was just using Flickr, all the way back in 2009, I had 1 camera at a time (F301, F801, then briefly F90 and F100) and 2 lenses (50mm and 55mm macro) and was very happy with that setup!

    It’s only in the last year or two that I’ve found myself buying and selling quite a few different cameras, because they didn’t live up to expectations. For example, the Nikon D300. I wanted that camera for YEARS, and it’s a fantastic camera, but it was just too heavy for me. At the same time I’d also bought my GX7, and found I vastly preferred that camera because of the adjustable viewfinder, articulated screen, focus peaking, and in-camera filters.

    Then there are toy cameras. I keep trying them but shooting with them just doesn’t feel right, so I’m officially giving up on them now, except for my Superheadz UWS (it has the widest lens I own and light flares(!!!) and it’s bright yellow so..) and my Diana Mini (mostly because it’s bright pink and cute).

    Because of my ever-evolving wishlist, I’ve tried out a lot of cameras, and now have a much much clearer idea of what kind of cameras I like to use, and how best to capture the images I like the most.

    It took a long time, and I lost a bit of money in the process, but I am very happy with my current setup – FM,F80,FG-20,D50,GX7,Superheadz UWS+Diana Mini (you may notice a few are missing from this list… they’re being sold/donated) – and for the first time in ages I’m not lusting after other cameras! I literally do not have a camera wishlist anymore.

    A lens wishlist, on the other hand….

    1. Ha ha yes see my previous comment about lenses! Shifting to digital compacts means another bonus is you can’t change the lens, you have to use the one fixed on the front. My Pentax Q is interchangeable but at least there’s a very limited range of lenses available, and though you can get adapters for K mount lenses, it’s a very specialist option due to the 5.6x crop factor. eg a 50mm K mount lens gives a 280 equivalent field of view. I’m not into that kind of telephoto action!

      It’s a good point about the “dream” cameras not working out in practice, like your Nikon D300. Like people, they can appear to be 100% compatible in a dating app, but when you meet them you can feel there’s not going to be any chemistry. The cameras I have loved (including digital) are those that tick most boxes in terms of spec requirements AND have that extra something that puts a smile on my face when I pick them up and use them. Or put another way (again, like people) if there are too many things that annoy you and you just can’t accept, it kind of outweighs the good points.

      1. Exactly! Everyone has their deal-breaker 🙂 mine is heavy cameras apparently, and complicated menu systems. I couldn’t get on with my Olympus EM10 II’s menus so I sold it, even though I loved the camera itself. When you’re fighting with the camera every time to work out how to use a particular feature, it ruins all the fun!

  9. Nice cameras on your list. The APC-size GR – but it’s a fixed 28mm equivalent. So now matter how good it is…

    I have a Fuji X100s. I have been carrying it around as my carry-around camera for four years. It was supposed to point me in the direction of the camera I want, but it has failed to do so. I thought about a telephoto attachment for it – a cheap and easy-ish solution for a bit of reach.

    Do I have a list? I have a tantalising list that makes clear choices and then switches them on me. When I read X, I believe X. Then when I read Y, I doubt that X could ever have been true.

    I had a D700 full frame camera. It weighed too much, and in the end it weighed more than I could put up with. Now I am looking at a Canon 6D or a Nikon D610 – or a Sony RX100 Mk III.

    See – it is not a list, it is a tormenter.

    1. David, thanks for your input here.

      Completely agree the APS-C GR. It could easily be my only camera if I was happy shooting 28mm all the time. But I’m not. Whether you see that as being overly fussy, or non-committal or just knowing what I like, it’s the same outcome. Which is why I use the GX100 zoomed to 35mm more now than my 28mm GRD III. If the Pentax Q had a 35mm prime it would amazing. The 47mm prime or the 28-85mm zoom will have to do.

      Aspects like size, weight and handling are massively important, and for me outweigh (no pun intended!) the spec sheet of a camera.

      My Pentax K10D is fantastic, but a reason it handles so well and feels so right is it’s big and heavy. Like a massive armchair. The same reason I can’t see me ever wanting to lug it around for more than very brief excursions any longer, if at all. Like having the most comfortable and luxurious armchair ever but then wanting to take it on camping trips.

      I think the biggest problem with a wishlist is that it’s potentially infinite. You can be very happy with what you have (let’s say a Sony RX100) then you discover the RX100 II does all the original does plus more. Oh and then they release the Mk III. (On a rare trip to a local camera store recently they had five different models in a row available!!) This is exactly the spiral the manufacturers want to suck us all in to, always offering an “upgrade”.

      The only solution really is to find a camera (or small set of cameras) that we love and give us pleasing photos, then withdraw from all channels and sources that might tell us about another wishlist candidate.

  10. The Jpegs from the Leica Monochroms even in the highest contrast mode will not satisfy your no post processing need. They are no where near as contrasty as the Pentax Q bold mono. The Sony mono jpegs are more contrasty than the Leicas but not as much as the Pentax Q.

    While the Leica monochroms are the most interesting and least stupid Leica purchase, the Sony mono conversion is by far the better way to go. Also you don’t have to spend the money on an A7 full frame conversion. A6000 works, as does the RX100.

    My favourite camera is the RX1. The only way I can improve it is to get a second one and have it converted to mono.

    1. Now a used Sony RX100 converted to mono is a tempting idea… Though I’m exploring another (cheaper!) option currently (ie b/w images I like straight out of camera, like the Pentax Q) that’s given some very promising initial results.

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