That wonderful new piece of kit. And all the reviewers are raving about what it can do. It’s just what you want. This is going to answer all your prayers. With this camera you will be able to walk into any situation and always get the photograph. Tempting isn’t it.
It’s a funny thing about camera reviews and new cameras. There’s what’s called the honeymoon phase where everything is new. Isn’t it amazing. And during that initial phase it’s surprising what can be said about the performance of a camera and the performance of camera equipment. I remember years ago reading a remarkable review about a camera that canon had released. And it was an amazing camera. The reviewer waxed lyrical about the performance of the battery and how it would make professional shoots so much easier because you didn’t have to take out the battery so often. Later its replacement was released and the same reviewers were commenting about the fact that when the original camera had been released the battery hadn’t been so good. Funny how time changes things and how perspective changes things.
The initial phase of testing a camera and discovering what it can and cannot do is always exciting but it’s always good to stop and think whether or not the person who is making the comments in the review has been using the camera in the field and actually putting it through its paces for at least a couple of months. It’s when you’re in the field and you have to get the shot that you often discover what a camera can and cannot do. In reality you don’t have lots of time to set up for images the way you can set up some sort of scene that you want to use to evaluate the performance of a camera or lens. You don’t have optimum conditions and you rarely have perfect light. Your time is limited. The gear has to perform and it’s in these situations that you discover that some of your initial thoughts about equipment may need a drastic revision.
So if you’re tempted to buy a new piece of kit make sure that you read reviews that are a little older than the initial honeymoon reviews. Better still find a camera shop that will let you hire the equipment for a few days. Speak to professionals who have perhaps had a go with the equipment and they can give you a bit of a idea. Some of the most well marketed ideas in photography are not necessarily the ones that photographers who have to earn their living in photography agree with. You may find that you don’t actually need that wonderful new piece of kit and that it isn’t an awful lot better than what you’re using now. Discovering how to improve your photography technique may take a little longer but it will be a lot cheaper. Not all upgrades are much more than just a few changes. So think carefully and make sure that you really will get your money’s worth when you want to buy new equipment.