POLL: Why do you buy camera gear?

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POLL: Why do you buy camera gear?

Buy cameras to use as tools to take photos. Photography is the primary interest.
11
92%
Buy cameras because they are cool, interesting devices. Photography is not the primary interest or maybe even of no interest.
1
8%
 
Total votes: 12

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bakubo
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POLL: Why do you buy camera gear?

Unread postby bakubo » Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:40 pm

It seems clear to me that there are 2 broad camps of camera buyers:

1. Buy cameras to use as tools to take photos. Photography is the primary interest.

2. Buy cameras because they are cool, interesting devices. Photography is not the primary interest or maybe even of no interest.

IMO, nothing wrong with either one. Anyone who pays their money to buy something has every right to do it for whatever reason they wish. It would be interesting to know what the answer is for many of the posters and readers of this forum though. It helps explain, I think, some of the different points of view that are sometimes almost opposite of each other. And, of course, most of us have some mix of #1 and #2 in us, but which are you primarily?
Last edited by bakubo on Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: POLL: Why do you buy camera gear?

Unread postby pakodominguez » Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:43 pm

I pay the rent with my cameras...
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Re: POLL: Why do you buy camera gear?

Unread postby bakubo » Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:51 pm

pakodominguez wrote:I pay the rent with my cameras...


Ahh, you are one of the, I bet, few camera buyers who has no interest in photography and no interest in cameras. I have known other people who were doing a job only because it paid the rent. They were miserable. It is good when a person can find something to pay the bills and that they enjoy doing. Most of them were employed by someone else though. None of the people I know went out and bought lots of gear they have no interest in to do work they have no interest in. I wish you luck. You have chosen a tough path.

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Re: POLL: Why do you buy camera gear?

Unread postby harveyzone » Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:56 pm

I do both.

I have a couple cameras that will probably never take another photo, or at least, only for novelty.
I have cameras that are purely for taking photos.

I have answered 1 - to take photos, because that is what it boils down to, and is the main treason I have bought cameras, but most of my cameras that started off life in category 1 end up being kept for category 2.
Last edited by harveyzone on Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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pakodominguez
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Re: POLL: Why do you buy camera gear?

Unread postby pakodominguez » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:16 pm

bakubo wrote:
pakodominguez wrote:I pay the rent with my cameras...


Ahh, you are one of the, I bet, few camera buyers who has no interest in photography and no interest in cameras. I have known other people who were doing a job only because it paid the rent. They were miserable. It is good when a person can find something to pay the bills and that they enjoy doing. Most of them were employed by someone else though. None of the people I know went out and bought lots of gear they have no interest in to do work they have no interest in. I wish you luck. You have chosen a tough path.


You didn't get it: I don't buy the cameras I buy because "I have interest in photography" -interest that I do have. I'm not a collector. I buy the cameras I need for: pay the rent.

If I had the money for, I'll probably buy cameras just because they are cool. In any case I find the A850 and NEX5 really sexy cameras.

The only misery I face is dealing with some people. Otherwise I'm good.
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Dusty
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Re: POLL: Why do you buy camera gear?

Unread postby Dusty » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:21 pm

My cameras are tools to take good photos. Lots of people buy simpler cameras, then wonder why my photos are better. That's like the min-van driver who wonders how the race car can take that curve at twice his speed! Better tools equals better results - all else being equal.

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Re: POLL: Why do you buy camera gear?

Unread postby bakubo » Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:24 am

pakodominguez wrote:You didn't get it: I don't buy the cameras I buy because "I have interest in photography" -interest that I do have. I'm not a collector. I buy the cameras I need for: pay the rent.


Okay, that's good. My French buddy in Paris quit his IT job 6-7 years ago to make a living doing photography. It has been tough but he is making a living, not always easily though. He loves photography though so that is why he chose it. We met in Tokyo in 2004 and he was trying to make some money there and did. Then when his girlfriend, who worked for an NGO, was sent to Tajikistan he went with her and spent 6 months there. He sold some photos to French magazines and newspapers, but couldn't make much. He has also shot events and weddings, but these days he is grateful to have finally found something to pay the bills. He has a contract with several schools to shoot student portraits. My understanding is that the school doesn't pay him so he makes all of his money from sales to parents and grandparents, but just being the school's photographer is a great get and he feels lucky to have it. It isn't the kind of photography he likes a lot and it is a lot of work, but he puts his heart into it. It pays the rent and he can shoot other stuff that interests him more. It isn't what he thought he would be doing but after some very lean years he is happy to have this paying gig for the last couple of years. He still makes money from other photos, but the school photos are his main income. Paris is a tough and expensive city!

It sounds like you are the one who has misunderstood though. You make money from photography because you are interested in photography and cameras. I see that as meaning your answer is #1. The "pay the rent" reason is sort of one level of indirection from the root reason: you like photography. Am I wrong? I am not intending to be argumentative, but just trying to drill down. :)
Last edited by bakubo on Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: POLL: Why do you buy camera gear?

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:24 am

I have to go back a long way to answer this. I buy cameras because I had slightly short sight as a kid, but not bad enough to be tested as needing specs. When I looked through the viewfinders of cameras, which always have had a slight minus correction, the world looked enhanced - sharper, clearer, especially the distance. I did not realise it at the time, but this is what got me hooked on cameras. They allowed me to see the world through a sharp window, and also to freeze the sharp window as a picture.

Many other reasons continued my interest, including girls and the marvel of darkoom developing and printing (I was always very competent with chemicals, and also with 'adjusting things'). I probably became seriously interested in cameras because of what I could not achieve, rather than what I could. I was jealous of the superb results some photographers obtained. I wanted to get the same results. It turned out that equipment was often at the root of this. So I got interested in equipment and learned why.

That has lasted, though there were times I really couldn't be bothered with it, like the whole period of AF film SLRs - it was fifteen or more years of pointless feature change for the sake of it and everything started to be almost the same from every maker.

I like the digital era. We have many different camera types and primary features, and even a range of formats. The performance actually does differ, between models and makes. I now buy camera gear because I want something which will work better than the last generation.

David

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Re: POLL: Why do you buy camera gear?

Unread postby roysmith » Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:43 am

I also do both. I love photography, and also love the cameras because they allow me to take photos. I also love photography because it allows me to use these amazing devices which are the cameras :)
I like technology. I work with technology and while I'm just a hobbist photographer I enjoy both things, tech and nature, science and art. My primary interest is landscape photography btw.
Both things are actually interdependent, and IMHO it's not very wise to focus on one only and discard the other. Not that any of you said otherwise, I'm just expressing an opinion.


EDIT: David, I think I started for the same reason, I've always been a bit shortsighted and photos always look sharper and better than "real life".

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bakubo
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Re: POLL: Why do you buy camera gear?

Unread postby bakubo » Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:48 am

Just to clarify. I made it clear that most (all?) of us are interested in both with a varying mixture depending on the person. I am just trying to get you to decide which is the stronger interest.

I can't put an exact percentage for each in my case, but #1 is primary. Don't worry, your future retirement, your child's health, and world peace doesn't depend on your answer. :) You have two choices so choose one!

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Re: POLL: Why do you buy camera gear?

Unread postby roysmith » Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:54 am

Ok :D
But I think nobody will choose #2... maybe if you put something like 30%/70%,50%/50%,%70/30% or something like that... :)

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Re: POLL: Why do you buy camera gear?

Unread postby pakodominguez » Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:11 am

roysmith wrote:EDIT: David, I think I started for the same reason, I've always been a bit shortsighted and photos always look sharper and better than "real life".

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Re: POLL: Why do you buy camera gear?

Unread postby KevinBarrett » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:55 am

The only camera I ever bought was a Minolta Uniomat, and I got it for a song because it looked neat. Every other camera has been given to me. :mrgreen:
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Re: POLL: Why do you buy camera gear?

Unread postby Birma » Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:56 am

I wanted to take photographs to try and capture moments in time when visiting beautiful places, and also as a record of events (as I have a dreadful memory :D). The digital era of photography hooked in to my interest in all things digital. This has then opened a door to the world of photography that I never knew existed, and has then led me to want to take better pictures. Sure, I love the gizmo / technology aspects, just as I do in other genres, and I work in the IT industry. It feels an odd thing to say as a 'scientist' and an emotionally repressed Englishman ( :wink: ) but photography provides a means to express my self artisticly that I have never had before. The fact that this combines with the geek in me is highly addictive.

I voted #1.
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Re: POLL: Why do you buy camera gear?

Unread postby bakubo » Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:00 pm

roysmith wrote:Ok :D
But I think nobody will choose #2... maybe if you put something like 30%/70%,50%/50%,%70/30% or something like that... :)


I don't know why someone wouldn't choose #2 if it the primary reason. I tried to make it clear that probably none of us are all #1 or #2, we are all a mix. Which is the primary reason though? If you are 49% #1 and 51% #2 then select #2. Also, you need to get to the root. For example, saying you buy a camera to take photos to sell stuff on ebay means that #1 is your answer. Taking photos, even if they are just to sell stuff, is still taking photos. If you buy camera gear because you collect it, but don't really use it and take photos then #2 would be your answer.


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