Two or three years back I had over 50 cameras. Even worse, most were untested, as instead of using one I already had, I was incessantly buying more.
Thankfully I’m nowhere near this place again, but I’ve reached a point where I just have too many cameras.
How do I know when this happens?
There’s a significant shift in how I feel when I glance at my camera shelf.
And any over-spilling surrounding shelf and floor space.
Instead of looking forward to the next photowalk with one of my handful of favourite cameras, I’m noticing how cluttered and crammed the shelf is looking.
So when I think about the camera I want to use next, it’s not a clear choice.
Because too many of them I haven’t tried often enough to make a real judgement on how much I like them.
Put another way, the “untested cameras” start outnumbering the “tried and tested cameras”.
So then I go into mental gymnastics about the pros and cons of using each of the candidates, and end up destroying the enthusiasm I had to get out and photograph, before I’ve made a single shot.
This in turn triggers a whole set of feelings I don’t need to expand upon here, needless to say I don’t like them and they start to diminish my overall enjoyment of photography.
So it’s time for another purge.
Staying are my favourite Gang Of Four – a Ricoh GX100, Ricoh GRD III, Pentax Q and Panasonic Lumix LX3.
Also remaining in favour is the excellent little Canon IXUS 870 IS I used exclusively for a month in January, as I’ve realised it’s about as perfect as a tiny pocketable compact can be. I don’t need half a dozen other compacts that do much the same, but not quite as well.
A surprise remainer that’s also earned its stripes is the FujiFilm S7000 bridge camera that I didn’t think I’d like much, but has impressed me on multiple outings so far.
Just about avoiding the chop for now is the Lumix GF1, the potential digital classic I desperately want to love, but can’t connect with.
The main reasons it’s staying are that it’s still the only digital camera I have that I can use my remaining few M42 film lenses with, and the 7Artisans 25/1.8 lens I recently discovered seems as good a combo with the GF1 as anything.
This has been enhanced by discovering that its lower contrast and far from perfect rendering suits family photos beautifully – it’s become my go to family portrait camera/lens combo in the last few weeks.
For more spontaneous family event type photos I still rely on either my phone or the trusty Nikon Coolpix P300 I bought new eight years ago.
Finally, there’s one camera I do want to test that I haven’t yet.
The Samsung NV10 ticks plenty of boxes – size, handling, build quality, screen, a lens starting at 35mm f/2.8, and a 1/1.8″ 10MP CCD sensor. It could become one of my favourite digital compacts. More on that in due course.
Aside from these nine, the other half a dozen or so that seem to have crept into my collection have gone, including the two miniature marvels from Sony and Canon I recently compared.
They’re both great, but that IXUS 870 IS is even better.
I always try to focus on what I do have, and enjoy it, rather than bemoan what I don’t have, despite the relentless onslaught on dissatisfaction based marketing we’re all under fire from a thousand times a second.
So I want to be content with the nine cameras I have and get out and use them. There’s enough variety (and very little overlap) that each one can be enjoyed for its own particular quirks and qualities.
But if there was a “gap” in my arsenal, I think it’s for an older DSLR.
Something small, around 10 or 12 years old, 6 or 8MP, that I could use my M42 manual lenses on, as well as perhaps a compact 35 or 50mm prime.
Enough for now though, being in single figures again feels good!
How about you? How do you know when you have too many cameras? What do you do to get back in control when it feels like the cameras are taking over?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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