Why people should care a lot less about The Next Big Thing

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Photography seems to me sometimes… a bit of a measuring competition (if you get my drift). Not that us micro four thirds users aren’t guilty of gear obsession - have you seen how many lenses I currently own! - but I do think, on the whole, the gear-heads tend to gravitate to full frame setups.

Why? Because it’s BIGGER.

And a big sensor will be the magic pill you need to take that elusive Greatest Ever Photo. Right?

Not exactly. 

While it is obvious that full frame cameras can and do take phenomenal photographs, the sensor doesn’t have very much to do with it at all.

See, photography is a skill. Like skiing, or cooking, or glass blowing. Who would win in a skiing contest? The beginner on the expensive skis, or the world champion on cheap skis?

I know where my money would go.

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And I think people often forget just how much technology has progressed. The world-famous photographers we all look up to probably all started out on film, or at least with much more basic digital cameras than even the most entry level camera around in 2018. And they managed to capture people’s imagination with whatever tools were available.

So why can’t we?

Me, I love micro four thirds for many reasons. I love that my Gx80 is small enough to be taken out everywhere with me. I love that my GH5 is amazing enough to get me booking commercial video work. I love that there’s no ego about it all: the menus are easy, the additional functions are a breeze to figure out. There is no longer a snooty knowledge barrier between the user and all these amazing creative tools.

I reckon if people took a step away from the New New New train, and truly hammered the gear they currently own, - and I mean, use it every day, in new ways, all the time - they’d see a huge spike in their skills. Much more so than throwing money at a new camera body.

We live in an awesome time where there is knowledge everywhere - on blogs, on youtube - and we no longer have to pay through the nose to study for years to garner knowledge that’ll no doubt be outdated by the time we graduate. There is SO MUCH free, amazing, inspiring content. Binge on that. Make a goal of learning a new technique every week. Master long exposures, and HDR, and indoor photography, and street photography, and portraiture. Have a go at everything. It’s free, after all.

Save your cash. Buy a second hand lens. Buy a sturdy tripod. Buy a good SD card. Invest in the things that will help you in practical ways. But, for the love of all things photography, don’t think that buying the Next Big Camera will instantly up your photography game. Because it just won’t.

Bigger isn’t always better.

Being better is better.

Time invested trumps money invested.

 

Oh, that’s a damn cool slogan. I think I’m keeping that one.