The second reason is because I CAN change cameras. Being a working photographer means I get certain tax advantages, e.g. I can claim the VAT back, I get tax relief on the depreciation etc. This means that I can take advantage of new developments without loosing large sums of money.
By buying cameras new and selling them relatively quickly I can almost get my money back.
Its like hiring something really, though with the cost of hire the way it is its probably cheaper, and you also don't have to worry what the person who had it before you did to it!
Thirdly I'm fairly ruthless & non-forgiving about camera performance. If a piece of equipment doesn't do what I want then its on its way to ebay!
So whats gone/going?
The Pentax K-7. I was always unimpressed by the quality of the stills, but had decided to keep it because it functioned very well as a video camera. However last weekend at a wedding it demonstrated banding under certain kinds of lights. As I said I'm pretty unforgiving about camera performance. Since my nephews GH1 produced perfectly acceptable images, the K-7 has gone. Put on Ebay and sold within 1/2 hour.
The D3X is going, as is my Leica M8. To be replaced by a Leica M9, for which I am waiting impatiently. I love the D3X images, but hate the weight & bulk. Everything I've seen of the M9 impresses me. I love my M8, but once I saw that the sensor was similar on the M9 in terms of sharpness and colour AND added full frame & a few tweaks here and there, I knew it was for me.
My M8 images easily interpolate up to 48MB (The minimum size for high end picture libraries) so M9 images will easily match the D3X for resolution. I've downloaded a few images from the web & they do indeed look superb.
Also going are my Olympus E-420, which I really never use & a Canon 500D which is a lovely stills camera but truly horrible to use. Canon make this lovely sensor & then put it in a cheap plastic body & stick unwelcome curves all over it. It feels & looks like a toy & I am unable to "bond" with it at all.
Its also going to help pay for another GH1. I sold my first one to my nephew, who is my business partner in the event/wedding business we run & I've missed it. I really like micro four cameras & their ability to use my favourite Voigtlander & Nikon lenses. Its a great stills camera & an even better video camera. It performed wonderfully well at the wedding we shot recently & I can also use it as a light carry around camera. I am waiting to get my hands on the 20mm F/1.7 Panasonic are bringing out, which is getting rave reviews. In the meantime I'll use the 14-140 kit zoom lens which is a technological marvel plus my aforementioned Voigtlanders & Nikons.
So the plan is:- to work with 3 cameras.
Leica M9 with 15mm, 50mm F/1.1, & 75mm lenses plus my Zeiss Biogon 28mm F/2.8.
I'm looking forward to the wide angles in all their full-frame glory!
Panasonic GH1 with 14-140 & 20mm F/1.7 Panasonic lenses plus the M fit lenses plus some Nikons I'm keeping. 35mm F/2.8, 50mm F/1.2 MF, 85mm F1.8 & 135mm F/2.8 MF.
Canon 5D MkII with 28-135 IS zoom, 20mm F/2.8, 28mm F/1.8, 50mm F/1.8, 85mm F/1.8 & a 90-300 zoom. I can also use the Nikons with my Nikon F > Canon EOS adapters.
The Leica for my stock work with the Panasonic as a backup & the Panasonic & Canon for Events/Weddings/Commercial Work.
Finally a word of praise for my 5D MkII. I've not always been a great fan of Canon but this is a beauty. It worked flawlessly at the recent wedding. I shot jpgs only & every shot was on the money. It was fast & the low light performance was incredible. I used to think my Nikon D3 & D700 were good, but this is better & at 21MP too. Hope I haven't jinxed it. Its almost a record for me keeping a digital camera - 10 months & counting.
This won't be the end of my buying and selling but it clarifies what I want for the moment & gives me 3 cameras that I will use and more importantly enjoy using.