Gear acquisition syndrome
It was a pleasure to read the article Success on a shoestring (AP, 22 September). It brought back many happy memories of my own ‘grass roots’ photography. It reinforced the fact that it’s the photographer that counts, not the equipment. However, I feel that the photography press is at least partly to blame for prevalence of ‘Gear Acquisition Syndrome’.
My first ‘serious’ camera was a used Zorki 4K and I used second-hand equipment for years, winning competitions and selling images to magazines in the process. Now nearing retirement, I was last year able to buy a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.
Not long after I bought the 5D, Nikon launched its D850 – without doubt, a stunning camera. I was still very pleased with my Canon, but I was astonished by some of the reviews I read, mostly online.
Many of the reviews drew comparisons between the 5D Mark IV and the D850, and had I been susceptible to GAS I could have been influenced. In one review it said the ‘EOS 5D Mark IV is dead and buried’; another one advised Canon users to ‘check the trade-in value’ of their gear with a view to ‘upgrading’ to the Nikon.
AP is to be congratulated on never being guilty of doing this. Yes, you feature reviews of new equipment because there will always be times when we have genuine reasons to replace or upgrade our gear and it’s helpful to be able to read unbiased and informed reviews.
I learned so much by using basic, used gear and I’ve carried this knowledge and skills forward into my own ‘digital age’. My advice to anyone would be start with the basics, in terms of equipment and learning, and save some money in the process. John Anderton The internet is full of nutters, John, for whom every camera that comes out is either the best or the worst thing ever made. We’re a bit more level headed. We’d also like to say thanks to MPB for providing the cameras for our cover shoot – Nigel Atherton, editor
John Anderton loved our Second-hand Special issue