25 January 2016

Taking a Gear Diet

My affair with photography started about two years ago when I bought my first camera, the Nikon D7000 along with the 35mm 1.8 DX lens.

Like many others, the curiosity about lenses and other accessories led me to purchase additional gears to "complete" my set. And in a course of one year or so, I managed to buy Nikon 85mm 1.8G, Sigma 17-50 2.8 DC OS HSM, YongNuo 565EX flash, and an additional Nikon camera, the D3200.

As time passed, I slowly discovered that a lot of my energy for photography is focused more on street photography rather than anything else. Funny thing is, the more I learn about it, the more I realized that I actually don't need that much gears except a camera and a prime lens.

With that in mind, I eventually feel bad about the gears that I have collected. Not because I hate them, but because I spent a lot of resources purchasing equipment that I rarely use and probably didn't need in the first place. A waste of time, energy, and financial spending in my opinion.

But I don't regret it. In fact, I am thankful because the knowledge and experience I gained from them is more valuable to me. However, keeping them longer just to have a "nice-to-own" feeling is not a wise thing to do. It would be better for my gears to have a new owner and for them to get used rather than sitting idle in my dry box.

And so I decided to take a gear diet and sold all Nikon gears before they depreciate further.

Going mirrorless

After much thoughts, I concluded that mirrorless camera is the answer to my needs. I need a camera that is easy to carry, easy to use, and can capture good image quality. Even though battery and AF performance are perhaps the top two drawbacks of mirrorless system, but I'm willing to compromise those for the sake of portability and simplicity.

I've been watching the development of mirrorless system for a while and the two top contenders for my Nikon replacement are Sony A6000 and Fujifilm X100T. I wish I could like the Olympus, but the sensor size alone is a big turn off for me, and similarly, I can't justify to spend that much money on a full frame mirrorless camera. Hence, the APS-C mirrorless camera is the choice.

For me, buying a new camera is a tedious journey and you need to put many considerations since they are not cheap. I spent countless hours reading and watching camera reviews and finally pulled the trigger and bought myself the X100T.

After using it a couple of times, portability and simplicity made X100T a clear winner. I recovered many space in my dry box and camera bags. However, I can't really conclude whether X100T is a better camera, just yet.

I'm still learning using rangefinder camera and train my brain in dealing with parallax view. But so far the experience has been good. One little gripe that I have with X100T is about the grip. Sometimes I feel that it's too small and slippery. I need to put extra precaution because of this.

Anyway, time will tell how well the result of my decision to go on a gear diet. For now, I feel relieved and what is important now is to continue taking pictures and keep on learning how to improve my skill using the X100T.




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