The world is a vast place.
It’s impossible for any one person to follow any more than a tiny fraction of the subjects, developments and information that’s constantly changing.
The same reasoning applies even once we choose a single topic.
Let’s say, photography, for example.
The number of styles of photography, equipment available, and even the settings on any one camera again are all almost infinite.
So we need to hone down further to get some kind of comprehension, some route, some direction through this otherwise unending maze.
For me, this narrowing process has taken a couple of routes, broadly speaking.
One is with compact digital cameras, the other with DSLRs.
Let’s look at the latter.
My first DLSR was a Pentax K-x, and whilst I’ve since had a couple of Sonys and a Minolta in between, I have now settled on Pentax as my core DLSR and lens system.
I love Pentax, and right now I’m quite happy to not explore whether Canon, Sony, Nikon, Minolta or any other brand have possibly made an even “better” camera for me than Pentax.
Then, whilst that first Pentax was a K-x, the first I really fell for was a K10D, a much older camera.
Indeed it was a grand 11 eleven years old when I bought it in 2017, positively ancient in digital terms.
Though I no longer have the K10D, I do have a K100D, also from 2006, and a K-m, from 2008.
All of these cameras have an APS-C CCD sensor, which deliver lovely colour JPEGs (in my eyes) straight out of camera.
The K100D and K-m are both relatively simple for DSLRs, and I could probably tell you what every function in the menus does, and when/why you might want to use it.
This then has set another sub-framework, another hierarchy, within that wider one of “DSLR”, then “Pentax” – the CCD sensor, the age, and the simplicity of the camera.
If these were my only criteria for DSLRs I would still have a choice of perhaps 10 – all made by Pentax with a CCD sensor, over a decade ago.
I confess my boundaries are allowed some flexibility, and you may recall my on and off relationship with the K-30 I bought perhaps a year ago.
This is a CMOS sensor camera with a wholly unnecessary 12MP (edit – it’s actually 16MP, I set it to 12MP when I first got it then forgot the sensor has an even higher maximum MP!) and from 2012, so still a child at just eight years old – even though some would scorn anyone using a camera older then a couple of years old let alone approaching a decade or more.
But thousands of photographs later, the K-30’s benefits (viewfinder, handling, build quality, custom colours, still relative simplicity and ease of use) make it appealing enough to slightly stretch the edges of my criteria without it blowing my whole slippery grasp on restraint wide open.
And yes, there are a few other Pentax DSLRs I’m also curious about, some of which do have old 10MP or less CCD sensors, and some which don’t.
But overall my checklist is pretty strict, considering all of the potential DLSR options out there.
And without this kind of discipline and structure, this way of blinkering myself like a racehorse and hunkering down into a steady rhythm round the track, my head might explode.
I literally couldn’t handle all of the possibilities available to me, the anxiety from all that freedom I’d have without self-imposed constraints, and I’d certainly be a very unsettled and unhappy photographer, constantly second guessing my choices rather than enjoying and trusting in the camera in my hand.
How about you? How do you narrow down your choices to stop your head combusting with all the camera options available to us these days?
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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