|Shot with an iPhone, please excuse any errors|
Like any hobby there is some amount of money involved in photography. Some hobbies are cheap and some are expensive. Unfortunately, if you chose photography it's quite expensive and could get really, really expensive. One may argue that it's not that expensive anymore, specially with the huge amount of camera choices and that compact cameras are now available with manual controls and are very capable of producing high quality images. So true, not that expensive anymore, however, there's the topic of this post and that is what could break your wallet.
I bought my first DSLR in 2007, a Nikon D40x. It did not take long for me to upgrade to the Nikon D80 mainly because the lens I wanted at that time, the 50mm f/1.8 D, did not auto-focus on the D40x (at that time the G version was not available yet). No money lost because I did an exchange from the same shop I bought the D40x from. Of course the D80 is more expensive so I had to pay extra to get it. It was not necessary at that time but I'm glad it happened because my D80 experience was unforgettable. It reminds me of how great the CCD sensor on that camera was and it was the first camera I fell in love with. I should have kept it and used it until it no longer works but obviously I made the wrong decision. Not long after the Nikon D300 came out and I remember being at London Drugs and I saw it on the shelf. The camera salesman being the salesman told me I need to see it so he showed me the sample unit. The second I felt it on my hands I was sold. I did not buy it that day but that made me list the D80 on eBay and as soon as it sold I ordered the Nikon D300.
So why do we buy cameras anyway? The logical answer should be to make photographs, right? I know others collect them but that is a different story. If I retained my D40x and given it still works now I should still be able to make photographs out of that camera. Whether I produce good or bad photos is a different story. Sure there are pros and cons but just think of the people that still use film nowadays. Most film cameras are full manual, it's definitely slower to use but it does not prevent a good photographer to make great photos with it. The point is why should a hobbyist need a new camera every year? I think there is no reason, I believe it's purely lust, that desire to own the latest and greatest even if it's not needed. It has been said many times and I think almost everyone knows this, it is a business driven model. And what makes a business successful? If it makes a lot of money! And in the camera business the only way to make money is to sell cameras and camera accessories as fast and as many as you can. The camera makers want us to buy new gear all the time. Why do you think they come up with new cameras all the time? Sometimes their business decisions don't even make sense. It's because they want our money. For most people (even pros), a new camera is not needed every year.
So let's go back to my gear history for a bit, what happened next was kind of crazy. I have a photographer friend who shot Canon and asked me if I wanted to trade systems. Trade my Nikon D300 with a, guess what, Canon 5D Mark I. Of course I agreed because yes, I'm getting a Full Frame camera, finally! I was one happy dude and I was so impressed with the results I got with the Canon 5D. It was the beginning of my Full Frame experience. At this point I have not realized yet that Full Frame glass was a lot more expensive, specially the one with red rings. If you're an experienced photographer you know how important the glass is to maximize the output. I also did not realize that due to the shallower depth of field it was a harder tool to use. No wonder my images that were shot at f/1.4 were blurry. Bokehlicious background is great but when your subject is also blurry because the DoF is so shallow that is not very good. Anyway, if you remember your camera history the D300 (Aug 2007) was a newer camera than the Canon 5D (Aug 2005), they were 2 years apart meaning a new release was forthcoming for the 5D line. Folks, I still did not learn, if you guessed upgrade you're right. When the 5D Mark II was released I succumbed and sold the 5D and a lens I should have kept, the 24-70 f/2.8L. In order to fund the upgrade I had to sell the 24-70mm too. As you can tell by now, I had too many bad decisions ever since I picked up this hobby. If I were to go back and change something it would be to keep the D80 and invest my extra money on lenses. I think we all know when you need a new one, it is when the old one no longer works or is unrepairable.
For a few weeks now I found myself lusting again but this time I'm really really fighting it. I know the right decision is to stick with my E-M5 and if I really want to spend then it better be on lenses. What I need to do and perhaps those in the same boat is to divert the feeling to improvement. Develop your skill further, experiment, practice! And stay away from the camera gear sites. This is where it begins and once you find yourself reading more about new camera gear releases then watch out. It would be way better to grab your camera, go out and shoot. Remember, a new camera doesn't make you a better photographer it simply makes you a new camera owner.