The Pursuit of Gear is Not Photography

Camera companies come up with a new iteration of their cameras and lenses pretty often. And whenever they do, they make it feel like the old version is obsolete. Then there are people arguing on the internet about which camera is great and which is not. Photographer Jamie Windsor believes that none of this makes sense:

Needs Differ

These days, it has become common for people to compare cameras and lenses based on the spec sheet. Specifications aside, people tend to forget about need. What suits you may not be suitable for others. Everyone has a need of their own, so arguing how one camera is better than the other is useless.

Don’t Go for Instant Gratification

While it’s quite important to have gear that works right for you, it’s also important to understand that the pursuit of gear is not photography. Moreover, it’s a distraction from photography.

While you can be easily tempted to buy shiny new gear, it can take you years and years of hard work and practice to learn photography. Your desire for new gear often stems from a desire for instant gratification. Something to make you feel happy for a short period of time. However, in the long run, it can leave you feeling unhappy, guilty, and dissatisfied.

Do You Need It?

When camera companies come up with a newer version of their gear, they make your “old” gear feel inadequate. This urges you to upgrade your camera. Otherwise, how would camera companies survive? The only rational thing to do if you find yourself influenced by camera and lens ads is to evaluate for yourself if your current equipment is really holding you back. Will the newer model fill a void?

“I recently bought a Fuji system because I found that having my Canons and walking around with them was getting very heavy and it was fatiguing me. It was impacting me negatively on my desire to take photos.”

So the next time you get an urge to buy new gear, ask yourself if you really need it or you just want it. Do you really need that high resolution? Will that super high ISO performance be of any use to you? Evaluate it for yourself.


The reason why you’re into photography has everything to do with creativity and not with camera specifications. What you own at the moment is far superior to what the best photographers had in the past. Put less time into studying cameras and more into understanding light.

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