, ,

There was announcement today of a new digital camera – the Nikon D750, a full frame digital camera with an articulating view screen.

Predictably, announcements from the online camera stores I use, B&H and Adorama, arrived in my mailbox. So did a notice from St. Louis camera shop, Schillers, via Ed Crim, the leader of one of my photography clubs.

I have no doubt the D750 is a fabulous camera. However, even if I was a Nikon user, would I be rushing out to get a copy? To drop another $2,300?

I don’t think so. In fact, even when Canon come out with an equivalent (as they will, this is hardly groundbreaking technology, and Canon already have a number of APS-C sensor articulating cameras), I doubt if I will be even mildly excited about upgrading.

The truth is, dropping $2000 – $3000 plus every two years for the latest, greatest, shiniest digital camera is becoming a zero sum game. Improvements in digital cameras over the past few years have been real but essentially incremental, and none have been necessary for better photography. Once megapixel counts on sensors rose over 10, for all practical purposes any increase was only for the pixel peepers, for those who want to print huge canvases at resolutions satisfactory to an eye an inch away from the paper (and who looks at a huge print that closely anyway, unless, of course, you are a pixel peeper), or for those who want to crop their images radically – the only really useful advantage to my mind. And there are those who maintain that even 10 megapixels is overkill. Even video is now well established, dating usefully back to the Canon 5D Mark II in 2008.

So sell your older camera, you might respond, and use the cash towards the latest version. And that is a perfectly sound argument. However, I’m one who likes to make full use of what I own, and typically only upgrade when the equipment fails, and sometime not even then, opting instead for repair. In the early days of digital, significant improvements came fast. Getting the latest model made sense. But even then, it was clear that the improved equipment didn’t not necessarily translate into better photographs. There are many excellent images from the earliest days of digital SLRs.

Undoubtedly, returning to film photography has thrown the camera equipment rat race into sharper relief for me, but I think I would probably feel the same if I had not touched a roll of film this summer.

I’m stepping off the camera bandwagon. It’s a real relief.