Sunday, September 22, 2013

Simplifying stuff

Ages ago, I started in photography as a hobby. That was fun and I sold the occasional image also. That was back in the days of film when few had an SLR and those that had compact cameras found inserting the film to be quite a challenge. Some even found it a challenge to take a photo without their fingers in front of the lens too.

I tried my first digital compact in around 1999 and was hooked. It was just so much fun to see the pictures on my computer screen. Fast forward now a few years and I was getting my first digital SLR. After a lot of thought I went for Canon, ruling out Olympus because they don't have a good track record for sticking with making cameras. They quit making film SLRs about ten years before digital arrived. Looks like I was wise there as they now don't make any digital SLRs. Nikon would have been my first choice had they not frozen out all the people with legacy lenses.

I would have been happy just doing what I love to do which was landscapes and fun funky stuff but allowed myself to be talked into going professional. That was about the dumbest thing ever as there's absolutely no market for photography - I proved that several times over. No matter how much advertising I did, I could not get anybody to call nor anybody to view my website. The shame of it was that I set up with some quite nice equipment. Most of that I am now selling and it seems that I'm very lucky to get half of what I paid, back.  Some things, of course, such as camera bodies are now utterly valueless. 5 or 6 years has seen a $1,000 camera drop down to below the price of a cheap compact camera, despite the superior image quality.

So, I'm simplifying stuff. I shot my high-speed images to date with a Canon 580ex2 which I've now sold. I dropped a Hell of a lot of money on it but given that all I used the darned thing for was high-speed imaging, I can do quite well with a $50 Yonguno flash and not have to worry about depreciation as it's valueless to start with. Bought new, my 580 was $550. I got $350 back for it. I'm glad I did because now the 600ex is out, the value can only fall further.

My advice to all newbies is just to get the camera and the lens and to go secondhand. You just drop way too much money buying new. Not just that but if the time comes to sell then you will lose less, selling. Forget expensive Canon flashes - they're fine and dandy if nothing else will do. Real photographers don't need a flash and given that HDR is now so popular, they're ever less necessary. Simplify your ideas as I have, mine. Go with a low budget setup because I can guarantee that nothing ever pays for itself in photography. It's an even more expensive hobby than guns.

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