Compact Camera System Overload!

Due to deals, bargains, refurbished sites and just general spring fever I'm about to end up in the middle of next week with 10 cameras!! 7 of which are CSC's. So how did I get to this crazy state?

Three reasons.

Firstly I'm having to change the way I work due to the increased occurance of visual migraines I have suffered from for many years. This seems to be linked in part to manually focusing lenses using EVF's and screens, which until recently I have been doing a lot. Consequently I am moving to AF mostly with the exception of my Leica and one lens. The Leica having an optical viewfinder doesn't pose the same problem. I've therefore been selling off my M-Mount and MF lenses, with the result I have quite a lot of money in my equipment fund.

Secondly I am seriously considering moving exclusively to CSC's for everything and am keen to try out all the systems and work with them for a while before deciding which suit me best.

Thirdly, when compared to much of the other gear I've been using, a lot of this CSC kit is relatively inexpensive. I buy a lot of S/H, and refurbished and keep my eyes open for the best deals. I also buy a lot of items in kits, keep what I want and sell off what I don't. This together with the tax and VAT allowances available to me as I'm a full-time photographer, means the gear I buy costs me, in real terms, far less than the list price.

So when it all arrives by next Wednesday I will have:-
Sony a850
Olympus E-620
Leica M9
Panasonic GH2
Panasonic GF1
Olympus E-P1
Olympus E-PL1
Samsung NX100
Sony NEX5
Fuji X100 (Its on its way!!)

Two of these are new to me. The Sony and the Fuji, which despite my reservations about the body, has impressed me with its image quality and referring back to reason one has an optical viewfinder alternative which could be helpful to me. I've always had some reservations about the Sony design, but that ??24MP sensor is tantalising.

I shall of course be trimming this down to what I really like, and also trying to predict where each system is going to go, and assess which is likely to give me the best potential to fulfill my particular needs. I really want to get rid of the heavy, bulky stuff, but am very concerned that I feel comfortable with operating the cameras and its only by using them for a while that shows what works for me and what doesn't.

Ideally I would like to get down to four. Four is the magic number for me, ever since I took three cameras on a stock trip to the South of France. I managed to drop one in the sea, roll another down a mountain road and the third one, which got me through, developed a faulty winder, leading to me having to be very gentle with it. So consequently I never travel with less than four. As I said, some of this has been bought very cheaply. The price I just paid for a "refurbished" yet mint as new E-P1 means I can afford to keep something like that as a backup, and not worry about what its cost me.

I already think two are certainties to keep. The GH2, which as I've said often enough would be my "If I could only keep one camera" choice. The other is the Leica, because I dont think I can part with it. It's taken me 28 years to be able to afford it, including a lot of hard work and a non-existent (and therefore non-costly) social life, so I'm not about to give it up lightly.

But then I look at the others and see advantages.
The Samsung has great colour.
The E-P1 is just gorgeous.
The a850 is heavy, but those 24MP files are stunning.
etc. etc.

Who knows I may have a few really big sales, and keep the lot. They will certainly be around for a while, and if you're interested in comparisons, tests etc. (though don't expect anything too technical!) I'll be writing about them here and on the blog. The reason for buying them all now has to do with tax years and the fact that this is my busiest time of the year. Due to the relocation of summer in the UK to April this year, I've been working flat out for the last week, and the suns out again today so I'll be off shortly.

So its not Spring fever (really) and there's a genuine reason for having all these cameras. And if I keep saying that often enough, somebody might just believe me!