The implications of my not buying cameras for review

Nikon D800E + 28-300mm VR zoom

I thought, while I've got internet access again, I'd go a little further into the situation I outlined in the post a couple of days ago. http://soundimageplus.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/tax-returns-financial-planning-and-all.html 

The situation is as I said. It now makes no economic sense for me to have lots of cameras and lenses sitting around doing very little. Its doubtful that it ever did, but I could manage to do it and I enjoyed using them and writing about my experiences. But with the economic situation being what it is and the rapid discounting of equipment very shortly after it appears on the shelves, to continue to do this would be financially disadvantageous for me. So over the next 3 months up to the end of this financial year (In the UK the tax year runs from 5/April to 5/April) I will be shedding the majority of what I own and going down to a very minimalist (Yet very high quality) camera outfit.

So what does this mean for the blog? Well because of this there will be a change of emphasis. The long reviews and user experiences will cease, because unless I get a substantial increase in income, I simply can't justify the expense of buying the gear and selling it on at a loss. It will be apparent to anyone that I don't need 10 cameras and god knows how many lenses to do my job. However regular readers will know that as an "enthusiast" that has never stopped me in the past from trying things out and experiencing the "buzz" of using something new, to see what I could do with it. But I will now have to forego that pleasure. 

I've stated my intention to keep the Sigma DP2 Merrill and the Nikon D800E. And I can't think of two better picture creating devices to be left with. Yes the D800E is heavy but the images it produces are spectacular and with its huge pixel count its not going to be "yesterdays camera" for some time to come. Likewise the Sigma is unlikely to be surpassed in terms of image quality until the next Sigma Foveon sensor appears. And yes its only useable from ISO 100 to .....well ISO 100 but that suits me fine. 

So as someone who has been particularly enthusiastic about m4/3 and an admirer of the Sony NEX system, I will miss having those cameras around, but ultimately the Nikon and the Sigma give me much more of what I want, which is the best image quality I can get. Much as I like many of the operational characteristics of the m4/3 and NEX systems, ultimately all of the results I get, in terms of picture quality, are somewhat inferior to what the Nikon and Sigma produce. Decent enough for what I do, sure, but if I'm going to be restricted to two cameras, then I want to see the absolute best in front of me on my screen.

You will be pleased (or dismayed) to learn that there will be no let up in posting on the blog. Its far too addictive for that. But it will change. I'm pretty much going to be using the two cameras I mentioned from now on, in order to keep the ones I'm selling in the best possible condition for sale. I will conclude my GH3 review, but I'm not going to be doing the in-depth video review I had planned. Apart from anything else, there are plenty of other sites who can do that better than me anyway. However what I did think I might do is as I photograph each camera and lens for ebay I would post a picture and do a final write-up on how I've used it and the pictures its created. A kind of slow goodbye if you like. 

I do realise that all of this means that less people will read the blog. I do get some amazing visit numbers from other sites linking to here when I'm reviewing a camera or lens. But ultimately like most "independent" bloggers its a labour of (mostly) love, and there is no financial benefit to be gained from it. I'm not one of those who get sent cameras to review (nor am I ever likely to be be) or get invites to manufacturers junkets when cameras are announced. But then I don't have to be "polite" and find something ARRRWSUM in everything I review and write about. (You know who you are!)

I do hope however that I will be able to continue trying things out, and I am trying to keep an ongoing budget going to buy the odd new camera and write about it, but that will have to wait a while to see how things pan out, and will be somewhat different, in that if I buy shortly after release the gear will have to be sold on pretty quickly to recoup as much money as I can.

Finally for the two of you out there who might be concerned as to my financial situation, I would like to make it clear that I'm no no danger of saving cardboard boxes and looking for a shopping trolley. This is a professional economic decision and means that I will have to be somewhat less "frivolous" in how I run my business. As I indicated in my previous post, my core business of stock photography is holding up and in some cases actually expanding. However, it is true that the more time I spend on this, the less time I spend on doing stuff that makes me money. The more time I've spent writing the blog and on my "reviews" the faster my alternative income streams have declined. Make of that what you will, but I personally don't believe in coincidence. As I put in my last post, two days without the internet and I got a hell of a lot done.

So thats pretty much it. Common sense has finally prevailed. I'm not sure whether to be pleased about that, or burst into tears!!

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.

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Stock photography by david hughes at Alamy