The most I’ve ever spent on a single camera is £150.
This seems to be some kind of invisible door stop, which I’ve bumped right up against on three or four occasions. A Pentax K30, A Ricoh GRD III and a Sony NEX 3N come immediately to mind, all costing £150 or a shade less.
Oh wait, there was one that was more expensive, the first “proper” digital camera I bought after years of using camera phones, a Nikon Coolpix P300, which I think cost £299 at the time.
But that was a rare anomaly in my photographic spending patterns.
This doesn’t mean that I’ve only spent a few hundred pounds on cameras in the last decade though.
If you add up all the bargain film bodies, lenses and digital compacts that cost only £10-20, plus a handful of more expensive ones from £50-100, it still goes into thousands.
I just haven’t ever even considered spending that kind of money in one go, on one camera. And, I’ve been fortunate with re-selling, so most of the outlay I’ve got back.
But what if I did suddenly win big on the lottery or otherwise have thousands of pounds burning holes in my pockets? Which camera I would rush out and buy?
My first thought is some digital Leica. Perhaps an older one with a CCD sensor, like an M9.
I’d be curious at how some of the near fabled attributes of such a Leica played out in practice, like the image quality, build, simplicity and feel. And that 18MP Kodak CCD sensor.
Or perhaps the Leica Monochrom, the only camera I’m aware of optimised purely for black and white photography.
But honestly, my desire for such a camera is very low.
I don’t need it.
I know it wouldn’t suddenly make me a far better photographer – if better at all.
And I’d likely be constantly paranoid about scratching or dropping or breaking it.
Plus I’ve learned over the years that the most expensive gear isn’t always (or ever) the most enjoyable to use.
The DSLR I’ve enjoyed the most is probably my Pentax K100D or similar Samsung GX-1S, which each cost around £25, and are delightful with lenses like my original Helios 44-2 that set me back £7.
These are the two cheapest DSLRs I’ve bought.
Perhaps put another way, any barriers I may have to enjoying photography more, aren’t financial ones.
So an expensive camera holds little allure, other than a passing curiosity, as with the Leicas mentioned before.
How about you? Which camera would you buy if money was no object? How do you think it might change you as a photographer?
As always, please share your thoughts 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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