Practical advice: avoid debt at all costs in your photography.
First of all, these camera companies and corporations don’t need more of your money. Well, technically they do– but don’t just throw away your money at them.
If you want a new camera, I recommend buying it used or second-hand.
I bought my film Leica MP (thanks Bellamy Hunt at Japan Camera Hunter) used. Brand new it cost $5,000 USD. I got it in mint condition for only $3,500 USD. The guy who owned it before me babied it. It looked pretty much brand new.
The good thing about buying cameras second hand is that most photographers are pretty careful and anal with their gear. So if you buy a used camera or lens, it will probably be in very good condition.
Another benefit of buying second hand: you’re helping another real human being, not just an anonymous big corporation.
I proposed a “two camera rule”– if you cannot afford to buy two of those cameras you want (in cash) you probably shouldn’t buy it.
Also, realize the psychology called “affective forecasting”– before you buy something new, you predict (forecast) that it will bring you happiness and affect your mood in a very positive way. The truth:
No matter how nice the thing you buy you will always get used to it (hedonic adaptation).
Trust me, I’m a sucker. I lusted after a Leica M9 and told myself that it would be the last camera I ever buy. The first week with the camera was a beautiful honeymoon. A month later, I got used to it. It collected dust on the shelf like all my cameras before it. Kind of how we get used to our brand new cars, we will always get used to it, until we buy another thing.
The true secret to happiness in photography: embracing the (shitty or old) camera you already own, overcoming the limitations and just making photos.
I would rather spend my money now on lovely espressos, travel, books, or nice dinners. Fuck spending a ton of money on a camera. Because I know, no matter how enamored I am with a camera, I will always want something “better”. Seriously, the RICOH GR II is the best camera, and only $600. Even cheaper than an iPhone.
To stay debt free in your photography, download my free books, or buy HAPTIC books. Feed your mind with inspiration, and shoot to your heart’s elation.
STREET NOTES MOBILE EDITION: Street Photography Workshop in Your Phone.
BOOKS by ERIC KIM
Feed your hunger to learn:
- PHOTOGRAPHY ENTREPRENEURSHIP MANUAL by ERIC KIM
- STREET PHOTOGRAPHY MANUAL by ERIC KIM
- THE PHOTOGRAPHER by ERIC KIM
- The Photography Manual
- The Art of Street Photography
- 100 Lessons From the Masters of Street Photography
- The Art of Photography
- Zen Photography
- Photography by Eric Kim
- Street Photography by Eric Kim
- Personal Photography Manual
- Street Photography Contact Sheets Volume II
- Street Photography Contact Sheets Volume I
- Street Photography Composition Manual
- Street Portrait Manual
- How to Shoot Street Photography
- Street Photography 101
- Street Photography 102
- Color Manual
- Monochrome Manual
- 31 Days to Overcome Your Fear in Street Photography
- Letters From a Street Photographer
- Street Photography Aphorisms, Heuristics, and Sayings
FILM NOTES is your opportunity to experience the joy of film photography.
STREET NOTES will take your street photography to the next level.
PHOTO JOURNAL will help you find more personal meaning in your photography.