Many years ago, someone I knew who had a lot of experience of such things, told me something about moving house/home. What he said was that whilst in the beginning you may not have a particular desire to move, the moment you start looking at other property, even out of a casual interest, you will have moved house within the year.
In one sense and looking back over many years and thinking about not just my own experiences but also those of family and friends, there is a kind of truth in this. It is a bit like you having an underlying dissatisfaction with the current situation which only becomes real when you start to look at alternatives.
Not Houses But Cameras.
At the end of my last blog, I commented on not having any urgency in upgrading my camera gear. Now leaving aside a visit from my Fairy Godmother, this is true because having the latest and greatest kit is not a ‘must’ for someone like me because it is the person behind the camera that is more significant than the camera itself. Plus the cost of new kit on a current equal level to my current setup which would include new lenses would be very expensive.
However and having made a mental note that my 200mm f4 lens was likely marked down for my next trade in, led me to consider my other options from a slightly different perspective. What else could or should be moved on ? I also realised that from two rather different viewpoints that a hardware cull was perhaps overdue.
The problem with digital cameras is that the manufacturers need to keep upgrading their model lines in order to generate sales, not only does the technology move on but so too does the ‘fashion’. This means that you need to trade up from time to time in order to preserve the ‘investment’ value of your kit. There is also another dimension, my age and the fact that on my passing others will have to dispose of my possessions which will likely be of little interest or value to them.
Looking With a Clear Eye
I started by looking at what I needed to keep for now, my 5DS, M6 MkII, Lumix G90 and my two IR converted M bodies. I then looked at the rest and identified 6 bits of kit that I could trade and by browsing the web, I fairly accurately estimated what they might fetch as a trade in then set an additional cash figure I could afford and might add on top so, what might I get in return ?
Obviously the DSLR has been overtaken by mirrorless camera bodies some time back now and this loss of fashion has led to substantial price drops in the second hand price of DSLRs. The answer was that I could afford to get myself a Canon 1DX MkII and that is interesting to say the least because their second hand price has dropped by at least 25% in the past 12 months.
Additionally and bearing in mind that I am not a wealthy man, for me to buy into Canon’s mirrorless line up, I would need to have a win on the lottery because its not just the camera body you are talking about, it is lenses, spare batteries and memory cards. Now this is also true if I decided to switch to another brand such as Nikon, Sony etc. so my logic was to keep my existing DSLR bodies as ‘current’ as possible and dispose of any kit that would be difficult to trade in looking a year or two ahead.
Obviously even a 1DX MkII is a 6 year old camera so that too will continue to depreciate over the next few years but that for me wouldn’t be too much of a problem because I totally understand the technology and can use it without having to plough through a manual. Quite apart from Canon cameras having a consistent design/handling approach over the years, having had the use of two early 1D camera bodies over these past 16 months, the 1DX will be totally familiar to me.
The problem with mirrorless cameras is that being a hybrid stills/video combination they require a steep learning curve in order to get the most out of them and you need to read the manual !
At my age and stage I have no ambition to produce Hollywood block buster films so my M6 and G90 will suffice for my needs as far as shooting video goes. Interestingly, the 1DX MkII will shoot 4k video but in all honesty and apart from tinkering with that out of curiosity, it is hardly something I’m likely to bother with, the camera is desirable as a step up from my 7D MkII as an action/wildlife stills camera.
For me, DSLR bodies are rather like camera phones, yes you can shoot video on them but ergonomically, neither are ideal for the task and ‘rigs and mounts’ of various kinds are needed for both to make them useable.
I got an online quote from MPB in Bighton and shipped my trade ins off to them for their technicians to value them from their perspective and await the verdict – a nervous time when awaiting the result !