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Reaching a « pro » altitude with an enthusiast but amateur budget! 


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 The question is: Do I have to spend a lot of money to get beautiful pictures? The answer is no as everybody already know perfectly. But why many of us cannot resist to the professional gear temptation?* That answer is less simple and far away from the usual assertion of getting more skillful, robust and durable camera gear.

In the bottom of our mind (but without admitting it), we love to own pro stated photo equipment of any kind and camera manufacturers have understood that ever growing trend into the consumer market. We like to mimic the "pro" perception that has been developed during the past four or five last decades of the traditional and analog photography era. It seems that nobody escape this "Graal" attitude even among the newest generation that have never been present during this "golden" era of photography.

So spending this huge amount of money for professional level camera gear is now a known fact that have spread all over the Web planet and can be seen for many other similar consumer toward product attractions including cars, electronics of all kind, computers, phones, etc. Are all these "pro" things really useful for us? We can debate it for hours, days, months and years but there is no definite answer. What is also symptomatic of this obvious trend is that the race for the best seems to never end because each manufacturers is renaming their products in reference with the previous ones but with updated improvements that you cannot ignore.
 
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We are seeing this high-level or high-status consumerist phenomena That is corrupting almost all the space occupied into the photographic Web articles, chronicles, reviews or blog posts. And most important it seems also never end or, at least, reduce in pace or in importance because people are asking for it and if you don't respond to this appeal, you fall in disgrace and indifference. 

Is there a remedy for the "pro" enthusiast consumerism? Simply put, No! I would like to say yes but it isn't realistic today to go back to the basic idealistic interest for photography as it was decades ago. What we can assert about the pro endemic attirance, it is its obvious always rising cost. Since a few years the price level for such supposed niche photo gear have skyrocketed meaning that many of us are beginning to reflect about the futility to maintain this peculiar materialist attraction.

We won't try to launch an appeal to reason and ask people who are already determine to own pro photo equipment but we may say to the others that have a more realistic and practical approach about the gear they really need that, at the end, it will be for most of the time your pictures that will finally be seen and appreciated compared to the pile of "pro" ones that will not ever be finally show.
 
* P.s. I confess that I'm the first one to fall in this "pro" tempted people category! 
 
Photos Daniel M: Fujifilm X-E3 / Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS ; Canon ELPH 330
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A trace of light that survive a little further than the actual moment of flash.

photodanielm.blogspot.com

Daniel M on Flickr

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I often wonder what my life would look like today if I had never bought my first Nikon SLR back in year 2000. 

 

I got it bad. GAS that is. So bad that it was probably the main reason for the end of my marketing career at the bank I worked for. Yes, I have always loved great photography, but I think the gear seduced me into a place that is very dangerous. I've lost track of all the gear that has passed through my hands in the past 22 years. It's been a lot. 

 

And now I am looking at Fujifilm gear with eyes and a heart that are not completely cured of this affliction... 

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33 minutes ago, Dallas said:

And now I am looking at Fujifilm gear with eyes and a heart that are not completely cured of this affliction... 

From my little life experience, we cannot really be completely cured (with more calm episodes but also with frenetic others to my financial dismay).

Have a good day!

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A trace of light that survive a little further than the actual moment of flash.

photodanielm.blogspot.com

Daniel M on Flickr

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I think the word “pro” can be overused for marketing consumer products, sometimes to a ridiculous level.  Look at the iPhone Pro - what does that even mean?  Can I take a business call on a lesser iPhone?

 

As for cameras, “pro” doesn’t appeal to me.  When I see “pro” gear, I see big, bulky and heavy.  In the past “pro” may have involved durability, but these days with the constant churn of new models and new features, most people will be moving on long before gear wears out.  Nowadays, in a marketing driven economy, durability is probably seen as a liability rather than a benefit.  Given the constant marketing and management talk about growth and market share, camera companies (and many other consumer product manufacturers) need you to keep rebuying new versions of the same product over and over again.  I read a little while back that the vacuum cleaner manufacturer, Dyson, was stopping development of cabled vacuum cleaners and focussing on cordless models.  You might ask why - I think the big reason is the lifespan of the product, a traditional vacuum cleaner might last 10 years, the battery in a cordless model might only last 2 or 3 years depending on usage.  

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I usually try (and fail miserably) to keep things reasonable. For instance I swore off any new digital gear in favour of returning to old cameras using film and paper for negatives. I'd been doing pretty well, my last digital purchase being a Sigma sd Quattro H in early 2017, and that in itself was because it's really the only camera, film or digital, which can produce proper infrared photographs with no structural modification (digital), or trying to find usually out-of-date IR film (film cameras) that can actually still return a result.

 

Until an hour ago, that is, when I pulled the pin on a Fujifilm X-T5, which will be immediately followed by a 30/2.8 macro lens to join the camera, both of which will almost exclusively (and unusually) be used to give me pixel-shift-hi-res copies of my large format paper and film negatives without having to stitch segments of individually copied portions for stitching to get the same resolution that I have to do now with either my X-T2 or the Sigma sd Quattro H.

 

At least that's the intention, we'll see how that works out as soon as the items become available and are delivered.

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For a beginning: I´m guilty, too 😅

I like the technical side of my hobby, and from time to time I´m thrilled by new additions to my photo equipment.

And btw, the new XT-5 ticks a lot of boxes 😉

 

Maybe a crucial difference between a (real) Pro and most amateurs is that

the Pro

a) knows exactly what he needs (and what he doesn´t need) and

b) knows whether a feature "pays off" for him, literally.

So naming something "Pro" is more of a marketing thing, targeted to the photographing crowd.

If it´s "Pro", it doesn´t get any better. You can even make a living using that tool. Serious Stuff... What is better to show to others (photographers!) that you are serious than to use the Pro-labeled tools?

And people, especially enthousiasts sometimes buy things just because it feels good to have them - in the end it´s a hobby meant to have fun and feel good.

And it is a nice thougt to use a tool that you might not be able to bring to its boundaries, so in the decisive moment it´s just depending on you - the Pro-tool will do its job.

 

But if you really know what you need to make the pictures you want, most of the time some used equipment well just do fine 😉 Especially in these times...

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14 hours ago, crowecg said:

a traditional vacuum cleaner might last 10 years, the battery in a cordless model might only last 2 or 3 years depending on usage.

 

Our Dyson cordless vacuum has required one new battery in six years, at modest cost. Its usability is far higher than any corded model I have had. 

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14 hours ago, Alan7140 said:

I usually try (and fail miserably) to keep things reasonable. For instance I swore off any new digital gear in favour of returning to old cameras using film and paper for negatives. …….

 

Until an hour ago, that is, when I pulled the pin on a Fujifilm X-T5, which will be immediately followed by a 30/2.8 macro lens to join the camera, both of which will almost exclusively (and unusually) be used to give me pixel-shift-hi-res copies of my large format paper and film negatives without having to stitch segments of individually copied portions…….

 

At least that's the intention, we'll see how that works out as soon as the items become available and are delivered.


I suspect some of your other lenses will sneak a turn on the X-T5. And you will want to give pixel shift a try outside of your studio.  Looking forward to seeing what you can do with it.

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