New Year's resolution: I give up!

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Jock Elliott, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Two thoughts converged in space this am and put me over the edge (in a good way).

    The first was Mike Johnston's piece on The Online Photographer -- -- entitled "Olympus Disappearing?" In it, a financial news website has predicted the demise of Olympus because it imaging division has not been profitable in three years. This, of course, while I was considering the E-M1 as a possible camera purchase.

    The second, also from The Online Photographer, came from a comment posted to Ctein's column yesterday. The comment references the following TED talk -- -- in which Barry Schwartz discusses "The Paradox of Choice." The basic thesis is this: Western societies are based on the idea that the more choice we have, the happier we will be. Schwartz demonstrates that the exact opposite is true: the more choice we have, the less satisfied we are, and he make a compelling case.

    For over ten years, I shot with an Olympus D550 and had literally hundreds of pictures published in magazines to accompany my stories. It was my ONLY digital camera, and many of the pictures that I selected for my downloadable ebook -- -- were shot with that camera. Now I own three more digital cameras (the D550 still works), and I have been in "foreplay" on buying another. Each time I bought a new one, I was convinced that this would "be the one."

    Having read those two pieces on The Online Photographer, I suddenly became sick of my own dissatisfaction.

    So, I give up. I am not going to pine for more choices. I am going to run the wheels off the cameras I already have, take them to -- and perhaps beyond -- the absolute technical limit of what they can do. In the words of another writer: "I will flog them like a red-headed stepchild." I will make the most of what I already have and focus on taking pictures that move me.

    I will, however, continue to admire the many fine photographs taken by the good folks here.

    Cheers, Jock
    • Like Like x 18
  2. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    another convert.
    good decision, well done.
    • Like Like x 4
  3. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Hi Jock,

    Having recently used a GF1 that had been left on the shelf for some time, and gone back to revisit images taken in 2010 with said camera, I too am thinking along the same lines. Whilst my newer cameras have made some improvements over my original G1 and GF1 models I've found that with more careful and considered post processing of those 2010 images I'm able to achieve results which satisfy me. Therefore I'm hoping to direct my efforts to better composition, more considered approach to the image at the time of taking and such like as the route to improving my photography.

    I'd be the first to admit that my photographic ambitions perhaps place less demand on the cameras than some others on this site, for example in the use of high iso which seems to occupy many peoples thoughts, it's an area of photography that I hardly ever venture into, by choice rather than being constrained by the technical short comings of the camera I might be using. I've noticed that several cameras that score somewhat lower than others on the DxO mark site do so mainly because of their poorer performance at high iso, strip that out of the equation and they more closely match their overall higher scoring rivals.

    Hopefully I will find satisfaction in the image rather than the equipment.

    • Like Like x 7
  4. grahamashton

    grahamashton Rookie

    Jan 2, 2014
    Graham Ashton
    I quite agree – the GF1 is a belter, that is better than I need in good light. I've taken most of my favourite photos with mine, even though I've bought three (technically) more advanced compacts since.
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  5. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Well put! (Let's be co-conspirators in doing that.)

    Cheers, Jock
    • Like Like x 3
  6. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    You're on (no pressure then :rolleyes:)

    • Like Like x 3
  7. It's the right way to go (in my personal opinion).

    In regards to choice, if you only have one camera, you always pick the "right" camera when you go out shooting. You simply play the cards you're dealt. It becomes less about "I'm glad I picked this camera/I should have picked another camera"... and more about you taking pictures.

    Also by using only one camera, you learn how to use it right over time (at least in theory :smile: ). It might even become second nature and you'll no longer focus on the piece of technology between you and the subject, but on the subject...

    (Apologies for being a bit philosophical. It's early here and I haven't had a coffee yet :wink: Cameras and technology can be a lot of fun too. I just love being out and about with one.)
    • Like Like x 8
  8. snkenai

    snkenai All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    I too, am trying to "kill" equipment dissatisfaction, by moving back to an older friend, the E-420. No New Year's resolution, just some self discipline attempts. :smile:
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  9. Isoterica

    Isoterica Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Good for you Jock! I have my old dslr and my x100s and then my cell phone and that is where it ends. I have film cameras to explore beyond that but the want in me has waned, my old camera made me happy, my new one does (and fulfills the smaller size need) and I intend to use them until I no longer can or should by some sudden miracle of 'real' talent I should exceed their capabilities.. actually need more. I doubt that will happen :D. Need to focus on, pun intended, shooting again.
    • Like Like x 7
  10. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    I loved the old E-420. Especially with the Zuiko 25mm f/2.8 pancake on it. Oly got it right with that little camera and the lack of IBIS didn't really make much of a difference if you knew what you were doing.

    Meanwhile, I am actively working on paring down my photo kit and have let four cameras go in the past week.
    • Like Like x 5
  11. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    Jock, I'm with you.

    In 2014 I plan to avoid buying any new equipment (the only exceptions I'm allowing for are the upcoming Olympus PRO 70-20mm lens and I'll see if Ricoh dreams up anything new this year). In addition, I plan to get to know my current cameras in depth, I plan to narrow the focus of my artistic vision and intent, and I plan to produce any number of short, simple photobooks collecting images into themes.

    And I entirely agree on the subject of choice - fewer is better.
    • Like Like x 5
  12. AstroZon

    AstroZon Rookie

    Jan 1, 2014
    Colorado Springs
    I still love and use my circa 2004 Panansonic DMC-FZ20. I think that it's important to know your gear. Know how to shoot people, close ups, landscapes, into the sun, low light, etc. It's much more important than having the latest gear and not understanding its capabilities.

    I recently purchased a 2007 Panasonic FX12 at Goodwill for $21, an amazing little camera even at 7.2 megapixels. I've shot 3 or 4 hundred images and already know what it does best and what its limitations are. I'm quite happy with it.


    As for Olympus, well, Sony is still their major shareholder. This is pure speculation, but I suspect a very quiet acquisition. 7% market share isn't that bad considering the size of the medical imaging and digital camera markets. Olympus has been operating in the red, but they're in better shape than they were 3 years ago. I believe that they still own several autofocusing systems patents too.

    When Konica bought Minolta, Sony ended up with all of Minolta's camera technology. It's all done rather backroom in Japan.
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  13. Minniesmum

    Minniesmum Regular

    Jan 23, 2012
    Liking this topic. 2014 will be a no-spend year for me. Not only for photo gear but in other areas. Partly due to now being un-employed and with far less money to waste, but I ask myself- why do I want/need more gear ? I need to use what I already have.
    • Like Like x 4
  14. pniev

    pniev Student for life

    May 13, 2013
    That sounds wise. But for those who decide to continue the quest for the best: be assured that you financially support the camera industry in their fight agains smart phone cameras. :smile:

    Have you seen this article? I saw it yesterday. The writer presents an interesting point of view:

    By the way, there is a great book "The Art of Choosing" by Sheena Iyengar. She also illustrates how our brains get 'paralysed' by too much choice.

    • Like Like x 5
  15. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    I read the blog post and enjoyed it. There are two key lines in it that are worth repeating:

    "Because I had it with me." This really resonates with me. I am very much an "opportunistic" photography. I like to carry a camera almost everywhere and see what happens. A couple of years ago, I entered the Oskar Barnack contest from Leica. I remarked to my that the prize was a digital Leica M with a Noctilux lens. My wife asked me if I would really be comfortable carrying a camera that is worth the price of a small car. In truth, I wouldn't be comfortable at all. By contrast, with my compact cameras, if any got trashed, I wouldn't be pleased, but I could replace it immediately if I needed to.

    The second notable quote is: That point is when the image starts being “good enough.”

    I have found that images from a three-mpixel camera are "good enough" to be published in a magazine. Now, I am not arguing that pictures from a point and shoot are technically equivalent to those from the cameras that the "pros" typically use; they are not, but they can be good enough. BTW, if you use the search function here, you can discover a thread on "pros who use compact cameras." It's pretty interesting.

    You might check out these threads:

    Thanks for posting that link.

    Cheers, Jock
    • Like Like x 4
  16. drd1135

    drd1135 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    I plan to buy more stuff and ask you guys for advice on each purchase as often as possible.
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  17. ReD

    ReD Hall of Famer

    Mar 27, 2013
    up until last year I used a Nikon Coolpix E3200 3mp - more often than not I never used the max resolution as all I needed then was basic photos to be viewed on screen so it seemed unimportant.

    Even at small scale I still like the images it produced but large scale printing is more problematic

    I may take this out more often as it is blessed with a viewfinder
    • Like Like x 3
  18. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Sorry, no can do on the fight against smart phone cameras :wink:, however I'm completely with you, Jock, on the idea of less is more and use what you have.... That said, Steve, I look forward to your decisions and everyone's advice!:biggrin:
    • Like Like x 4
  19. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Having said this Barrie you'll need to credit the lil' ol' GF1 in your signature block! :wink:

    @ALL: This is a great thread. Funny that I started another with a similar gist. :blush:
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    As long as you do it in that order.

    "I just bought a Sony XYZ, is it any good ?!?!?" :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 4