Tuesday 26 June 2018

It's Not The Gear

The Creek 
D200, Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6

I've a tendency to focus on gear, largely because I'm still searching for the camera/system that truly fits me perfectly. I've not found it yet, although the A7II is working well.

But the reality is pretty much any DSLR or Mirrorless body from the last 10 years can produce more than acceptable work for 90% of situations. Maybe not in the real edge cases, where you need the speed, high ISO capability or some other aspect of the newer, higher-end bodies, but otherwise any reasonably skilled photographer can deliver the goods with most anything.

That's worth calling out, because too many chase the latest & greatest because it's 'Better'. But most only actually need 'Good Enough'. If you're looking to upgrade something, the first question that should be asked is 'what will it give me that my current body can't?'

For me, with both my upgrades this year, I'd had that pretty much nailed down.

When I got the D800, it was going to give me better compatibility with my manual focus lenses than my D300 did (specifically the angle of view & rendering I expected). I was also gaining high ISO performance (significant) and dynamic range (less important but still quite useful for a landscape/cityscape shooter like myself). It delivered on all three expectations, and also proved to be generally a better DX camera than the D300, which I didn't expect.

When I swapped the D800 for the A7II, it was to give me a better hit rate when manual focusing, as well as a smaller, lighter carry kit when not using my Zeiss 85/1.4. It's also delivered in spades.

So if you're looking at the shiny new toy, be sure you know what you're going to get. The quickest way to be disappointed in your new camera is to have unrealistic expectations of what it can deliver.

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