Posts Tagged ‘buying’

Bankruptcy Plan

21 July 2010

Dear J-

So let’s pick out the perfect thing tonight — for me I’ll take the easy road out and say the perfect camera.  The perfect camera doesn’t exist.  It’s the next size up, for stability and low-light capability, or it’s the next size down, because you want to be able to take it anywhere.  It’s the one you left at home.  It’s the one whose battery just ran out.  It’s the one you’d use if you just knew how to make it work right, and it’s the one you’re so familiar with you forget about the right settings.  It’s the one with the feature you need, but didn’t get (video, macro, fast sequence shots, what-have-you) in the interests of time or money.

You can spend your time chasing what you haven’t got, of course.  And camera companies are always happy to part you with your money when you decide that what you have isn’t what you need:  it’s a business model that works for them.  It’s not planned obsolescence, it’s general philosophy:  Canon seem interested in rolling out the latest bells and whistles which makes Nikon fans defensive of that company’s conservative approach to change, but Nikonians gloat just as much when Canon’s initiatives fall flat and early adopters are revealed as late beta testers.  Meanwhile Pentax, Minolta, and Olympus guys are like Rodney Dangerfield:  no respect.

figgy keeps me sane, of course.  In the past month or so she’s somehow become a little girl who talks much more sense than nonsense, stringing together whole sentences and requests, not always politely, but clearly understandable.  I imagine her asking why — as she does ask why a lot (“Why aren’t you wearing any PANTS, daddy?”) — why I would need camera X, for instance.  It helps counteract the deafening voices on forums and review sites insisting that you need this feature or that capability; verbalize it and try to make it make sense (“Well, because when you peep through this little eyepiece, the picture is bigger”) to a three-year-old.  Whole companies could collapse overnight.

Mike

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Spending Habits

3 December 2008

Dear J-

I think I end up with quantity over quality — instead of spending a moderate amount to get what I really want, I try to justify nibbling away at multiple cheap items and pretending that I can live with the limitations until I break down and take a look at just how much I’ve spent on stuff I don’t really use.  Multiple cases in point; there’s a ton of old stereos, computers, watches, cell phones, PDAs, cameras — although thankfully, there’s outlets for flogging off your mistakes, though I admit to only taking care of a few and reluctantly, at that.

For some forsaken reason, I choose to believe that there’s appropriate tools for appropriate occasions — I wanted to justify having three different camera tiers as being one for travel (Sony DSC-V1), one for, well, medium (silent) duty (Panasonic DMC-LC1), and one for most other purposes (Olympus E-1); problem being, of course, that I usually end up using only one camera at a time — muscle memory is a harsh mistress, and generally doesn’t allow for me to be proficient with more than one set of controls at a time.  Compound this to having the E-1 feel new every time I put a different lens on, and it’s a wonder that I can get any pictures out of the beast.

It’s a lot like the iterative process I’ve taken with tripods, which is still underway (I couldn’t resist various cheap deals, which have left me saddled with obsolete items — hard to believe a tripod could go obsolete, but here I am with a Gitzo 4 or 5 series that doesn’t conform to the modern (read that as available) accessory series); multiple tripods, all of which don’t work quite right and all of which stay at home, almost exclusively.  I just need to remind myself that it’s often cheaper to buy the right thing first, rather than come at it from different sides.

Mike