Saturday, March 1, 2014

'2013 In Review' or 'The year the dSLR died'

So it's been quite a year. I intended for this to be a new year update, and it's currently March 1st.
Something something family ... something something work ... something something busy.

Whatever, let's just get to the point.

The most noteworthy event of 2013 (photographically speaking, of course) was the DEATH of the dSLR.

Ok, that's a tad dramatic, but this was the year that I finally embraced the minimalist movement and sold my "gear". All of it.

(Not pictured: the $600 tripod legs and head, $200 unused crumpler backpack, and sundry items that I also parted ways with.)

All of it was replaced with a Sony NEX-6 mirrorless and three small, cheap, fixed/prime lenses.

Crazy? Maybe, but my reasons were (and are) numerous:

-  I was tired of all the gear.

There's a burden that comes with owning every piece of equipment under the sun. It's one that actually LIMITS photographic creativity, beyond the oft-quoted "the best camera is the one you have with you", though that was certainly a factor. While it's possible to reach a level of familiarity with that much gear, I always felt an almost intimate connection with my f717 that I was unable to replicate with any of my Nikon stuff. This smaller mirrorless camera, while not perfect, is a good step towards a succinct setup that I can take everywhere.

- I also missed composing with a WYSIWYG viewfinder. 

As mentioned previously on this blog, I came up in digital, and was never burdened with the ridiculous idea that an optical viewfinder is the be all - end all. I enjoyed the (relatively) terrible EVF in my previous cameras and found that the trade-offs fit my style better than the traditional TTV OVF.

- I felt stuck in the ever shrinking world of 'crop dSLR'. 

DX specific lenses (in the Nikon world, at least) are scarce and it didn't make sense to incur the high cost of FX lenses (both monetarily speaking, as well as size-wise) to not even use them to the fullest of their capabilities.

- I know what I shoot, and I simply don't NEED all this shit to get those shots. 

I think there's a period in the photo enthusiast life-cycle that includes GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome); this especially true if you are into "gadgets". Thankfully, I've been able to get past that, and it's been extremely liberating.

So, for anyone considering doing the same, I say take the plunge.

Fuck it, you really have nothing to lose. 

And for those who may be suffering from "writer's block", this may be the creative unshackling that you so desperately need.

Me? I'm already looking to downsize even further ...

Till next time, have a few rando pics from my last visit to Montreal:

  Photograph Light in the Shadows by Instant Kamera on 500px
  Light in the Shadows by Instant Kamera on 500px

  Photograph Barrée by Instant Kamera on 500px
  Barrée by Instant Kamera on 500px

  Photograph Directing Traffic by Instant Kamera on 500px
  Directing Traffic by Instant Kamera on 500px