I wonder if some of you are as fed up as I am, with the proliferation of cameras that just don't seem to make better pictures ?
I have 14 digital cameras dating from 2002, all can make good pictures. Average cost of the cameras in 2015 dollars is $1,000. If I include all the Leica glass, I have bought, I guess I have spent over $20,000 on cameras, so far. And I think that enough is enough. I don't want to part with any of them because they represented the best technology of their time. In fact I can't put any of them on the shelf because just handling them brings back happy memories. The other week I made some pictures with the first digital camera I bought in the UK - a Toshiba PD-MR70, a 3.3 MP camera with Leitz vario-Summicron f2.0 - 2.5 with a proprietary Toshiba 1/1.7 sensor. The camera is so nice to shoot with, and so simple to use. It has almost the same feeling as my old M-6.
The latest cameras are a family of SONY NEX-5's which couple to just about any lens made by man. With its small APS-C sensor all the old lenses work well, Pentax, Nikon, CSV, Leica and so on. There is no subject they can't handle. The body balances perfectly with my favorite lenses, in fact the lenses seem to be supporting the body, and if you grip the lens you can swing the camera around comfortably.
I recently spent an hour in the SONY store in Florida and tried out every product. Nothing handled better and nothing was simpler to use. In fact the more recent the camera the harder it was to get it set up right.
In frustration with this nonsense, I went back to the M-6 for a while.
But I am hooked on digital manipulation of images, and it doesn't matter what I use to shoot the picture as the end result is often not going to look like the scene.
So, I set up each camera for specific purposes and now I just have to grab the right camera for the subject. No swapping lenses, no camera adjustments. Each camera is set up ahead of time for a particular mood I am after. Now, I no longer feel that any of them is obsolete. I just pick up the camera focus and shoot. Oh happy day if were that simple! Every camera uses different batteries and has to have a specific charger, so the batteries are always being charged, and I have to carry all these wires and things wherever I go - the wires take up more space in the suitcase than the cameras.
I am looking wistfully again at the M-6 with its 28mm Summi attached and external 28mm finder.
What can any manufacturer offer that makes better pictures?
As I scan the LI site for great pictures, I see no correlation between camera technology and picture impact. In fact I see an almost reverse relationship. Some photographers seem to wring miracles from older hardware. I have been writing about the factors that make good pictures for many years, and I can say for certain that new "advances" in camera design are not helping to make better pictures.
Humans blur the pictures, and whatever technical differences can be measured in the lab can't be demonstrated in real life photography.
So, I am not going to buy any more cameras. If I can't make a good picture with a 10 year old camera, then I might as well take up knitting!
What do you think?