You don’t really like photography – you just like buying camera gear

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re interested in cameras. Its good! I am also interested in cameras. But cameras are only a means to an end – they are the tools needed to practice photography.

Now more than ever, however, a large proportion of photographers are upside down – the practice of photography has become the way to acquire cameras.

It’s important that I raise my hand here, because I’m definitely guilty of stockpiling cameras. However, I’m not locked into an endless arms race with the rest of the world to upgrade my gear all the time in a ridiculous effort to own all the latest kits.

For better or worse, many new photographers see cameras and lenses as little more than Pokémon cards. They don’t need a 100MP camera, but Fujifilm makes one and it has more megapixels than anything else on the market (not selling your kidneys to buy a Phase One, anyway), so they’re going to buy a Fujifilm GFX 100S (opens in a new tab).

Yes, I like buying weird cameras, but that’s because I like using their (Image credit: James Artaius)

If you are a member of a photo club, you know the people I am talking about. They arrive each time, brandishing their latest gear, ready to play a glorified game of Top Trumps so they can “have the best” camera of the bunch. Whether they actually know what to do with it is quite another matter.

Compulsive collection and GAS (equipment acquisition syndrome) aside, I kinda get it. Cameras are a fusion of art and technology, and many photographers are more interested in the latter – they admire cameras as boundary-pushing achievements more than pure imaging tools.

Obviously, this phenomenon has been around for about as long as cameras have. However, the advent of YouTube has taken it to a whole new level. Hyperbolic gear reviews and clickbait proclamations and the constant cycle of bigger-better-more hype… no sooner have you bought that GFX 100 than you go to YouTube and see people saying how great it is. is shit and how excited they are for the next thing.

There’s nothing wrong with having the most brilliant technology, of course. Buy all the cameras and lenses you want – I sincerely hope they bring you a lot of fun. Do me a favor and learn how to use them properly so you can take a decent shot once in a while.

Read more:

The best Fujifilm cameras
(opens in a new tab)The best medium format cameras
(opens in a new tab)The best Canon cameras (opens in a new tab)


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