OVERCOMING TECHNO-LUST

When you love cameras, there’s always a danger you may decide you need another, even though you don’t have enough time to use the ones you already own and can’t afford a new one.

It’s no different than other forms of techno-obsessive behavior.

cameras

It’s all techno-lust, the almost physical need to acquire the newest piece of technology.

Over time, most of us learn — the hard way — that newer isn’t inherently better. That there are a lot of reasons to wait and see if the latest really is the greatest — or is actually a step backward from what you own.

pentax q7 camera in case

What to do when the desire to shop for something shiny and new, with the all the bells and whistles hits you? Your hand begins to shake on the mouse. You want it. You want it now. You don’t even know what it is, but that’s not the point. You are overwhelmed by techno-lust.

96-HyannisHarbor-ZS19- GAR-3

I get my jollies by going on Amazon. I look up cameras I already own. Read hundreds of favorable reviews about my cameras. Discover this one is a marvel of optics and photographic technology. That it has a viewfinder with 100% field of vision. Never mind whether or not I use a viewfinder. What’s important is that I have one. This camera can shoot a leaf on a tree 1000 feet away with perfect detail and no significant image deterioration. I know, I’ve done it.

I can pat myself on the back for my astuteness in purchasing this modern marvel.

gear cameras chargers

Then, if I must buy something — just because — I always need an extra battery, a new SD card, or a filter. In the end, I’ve spent less than $20. I’ve fed my obsession, had my shopping fix, and reinforced my fundamental belief that I am a Shopping Goddess.

The danger is I might discover something I didn’t know was out there, which I absolutely must have, if not today, then eventually.  So I have to stay focused, only look at cameras I own or those which are equivalent  but inferior to the ones I own.

Putting stuff on a wish list is almost as good as buying it because it satisfies ones urge to click.

I advise you not use this remedy when you are half asleep or under the influence of anything. It’s alarming to wake up in the morning and discover you are the proud owner of something you will be paying off for the rest of your natural life. Or longer.

me with olympus selfie

Cancelling and returning stuff is such a pain. Especially when you would rather keep it.

Meanwhile, my money remains where it belongs. In my account. Does this count as a vicarious or virtual shopping experience? Both?



Categories: Cameras, Humor, Photography, Shopping, Technology

Tags: , , , , ,

37 replies

  1. How true. But hard when you have no dollars in your bank account – dreams are free.

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  2. Well, I have enjoyed the comments almost as your post. I’m a novice photographer just itching for a real camera. My sister bought a new camera when I was in the states this year and the techno-envy was fierce but I’m focusing on learning and when the time is right I will jump in with both feet! I enjoyed listening in on your conversations even though, honestly, I was completely lost on several points. ☺️

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    • I’m impressed by your self control. It bodes well, because photography can easily suck all your money off into equipment. The weird thing is that generally, I’m pretty happy about the stuff I buy and regret what I DIDN’T buy. It isn’t rational, but that’s the way it is 🙂 Don’t worry if you don’t know the language yet. That takes time. Read photography blogs and stuff. You’ll pick it up. Like any other profession or hobby, we have our own way of saying things. Mostly, you really DO know what we mean, you just don’t know that particular term.

      It’s helpful to have basic vocabulary: FOV (field of vision) VF (viewfinder) OVF (optical viewfinder). and the basics — aperture (the size of the hole in the shutter that controls how much light is allowed in), focus, ISO (used to be film speed, now it’s a measure of how sensitive the sensor needs to be to record the image, but I still think of it as film speed because I’m THAT old). F-stop (size of aperture combined with depth of field). Pixels (little tiny dots that form a digital mixture). Shutter speed (how long the hole in the lens stays open to let light in to make the picture). It’s pretty much all about light. Controlling it, focusing it. Photographers and light … we know each other well. If you can get to a real brick and mortar store, take the opportunity to actually hold various cameras. It’ll help you know what works for you 🙂

      Now, I need some coffee!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much for sharing your insight, Marilyn.

        I learned a long time ago that I would rather wait and get what I really want rather than spend money on what will only do. I’m not very good at settling for “less than”. My daughter gifted me with my first camera. I was shocked and over joyed. I have enjoyed learning and gobbling every article I can which has helped tremendously. However, I have much to learn. The more I learn the more I want…but in time.

        Thank you so much for a thought provoking post and interesting dialogue.

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      • Hope you enjoyed the coffee…you deserve it.

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  3. Bought a little Sony 5x thing recently. Discovering it does lots of things I haven’t tried yet – like panorama shots, movies .. ??
    Hasn’t improved my photography though. Fortunately I have this other device called a computer -where I can fix most anything up.

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  4. I am not hip at all (sighhh) we need to change that.

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    • A lack of hipness can save you THOUSANDS of dollars. Loving what you have rather than lusting for what’s available is, in my opinion, a saving grace that I lack. I console myself by reminding me that I chose my equipment well and it actually still is better than good. It’s great. But ah, those shiny new ones …

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      • I might not be hip, but I have my weaknesses when it comes to spending money. Loving what you have is the key, but it’s hard sometimes. Ask me how many sewing machines I have, I think I buy them to find out that the oldest (and most expensive one) is still the best.

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        • I really really understand. OH how I understand. That’s why I’ve learned to both read AND interpret specs. Because a lot of the time, the newer models are not only not better, they aren’t as good. They are certainly less sturdy, for sure. There are some important breathroughs, especially in cameras. The question for me is whether or not that improvement will be one which I use. Just because it’s an improvement and available, doesn’t mean I actually would use it. We all have our ways of doing things and sometimes, they make great strides forwards, but not in ways that will actually affect us. For me, that’s the whole “built in viewfinder” thing. I can’t see through a viewfinder. I just can’t. My eyes will not focus. My eye doctor explained it. There’s a technical term for it, but it boils down to “my eyes won’t focus.” They don’t like focusing under any circumstances, but especially not that way. So while I own an attachable VF for my Olympuses and one is built into the big Panasonic, I don’t actually USE it. Garry, on the other hand, uses nothing else. He can’t focus on the LCD screen, so for him, it’s necessary.

          My best friend does some amazing sewing and beadwork. She finally bought the professional machine she always wanted, but it took her more than a decade to finally decide that this one really was going to do what she needs to do. It’s so individual and personal.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Funny, just this morning I decided that no matter how hard I work the numbers in my budget I am not getting an OMD EM-5 Mark II this year : (. I convinced myself that I need one for a million reasons. But, in the end, it’s mostly just techno-lust. I’m starting to go through withdrawal pains.

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    • The good news (for me, because I too long for one) is that it will be available a year from now and probably at a much lower price. Of course, there will be something that is even more glitzier out by then, but it won’t mean that the OMD won’t still be a great camera. I looked at my cameras yesterday and realized they were all no less than 2 years old, some almost 5, and none of the new ones are significantly better. The OMD line isn’t going away. We will have our chance.

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      • I have an original EM-5, but there’s a small dark spot on the image. Actually, I want to wait until the EM-1 is upgraded – I still have a lot of legacy four-third lenses that my EM-5 doesn’t like to focus in less than a month. My original four-thirds E-620 and E-1 still work fine so the lenses are used, but I want more mp and video!

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        • The EM-2 — which has the bigger sensor, same as the PL-5 and OMD — is pretty cheap now. I have two of them and though I also have a PL-5, I still find myself grabbing the PM-2s. They are great, simple, fast … and cheap. Amazon has them for very short money, brand new. I use all three of my Olympus cameras to interchange lenses because I’d rather swap cameras than lenses, especially in the field where there’s so much dust and dirt flying around. Unless you are wedded to the viewfinder which is the one major advance in the OMD line (and about time, too), you can get a PM-2 or even a PL-5 pretty cheap. And they are great cameras.

          Liked by 1 person

    • http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-Interchangeable-Digital-Camera-14-42mm/dp/B0096WD0KU/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1426518220&sr=8-9&keywords=olympus+e+pm+2

      And that’s just one of many. Sometimes, if you are willing to take it in any color, you can get them for 250. I got my white one that way. And no, I don’t care. I would have taken it in purple or pink. As long as it takes great pix.

      And if you want one with a tilting LCD screen, this is $100 less.

      http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005EZKFBU/ref=psdc_3109924011_t1_B0096WDAIM

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the info! Actually if I do pick one up I will mostly likely look at the E-PL5 since it is so similar in many ways to my EM-5. But then again, the price on the E-PL3 is pretty darn good.

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      • I’m going to be shooting my nephew’s wedding which is one reason I was looking at a new camera, not just techno-lust. But that was just justification for my techno-lust ; )

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        • Well, you do need a dependable camera to shoot weddings. I have had my camera croak in the middle of a friends wedding and he didn’t completely shun me afterwards, but he never entirely forgave me, either. After he got a divorce, then he didn’t care any more, but people get really bent when they don’t have wedding pictures. I don’t do weddings anymore. EVER. Because I don’t have enough friends to lose any 🙂 Check the links I sent. These are cameras I know and use.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I definitely relate to this. Many a time I’ve had to remind myself “but I already have one (of whatever) and it works fine” just before clicking the “buy now” button.

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  7. My name is Ben and I am a “Technophile.” It’s been several years, months , hours, minutes and seconds and I’m still not cured. I lust after cameras, microphones, recorders and other stuff not worth mentioning.

    However, we might be able to help each other? I can be your group buddy.., the one you call anytime of day or night and I will attempt to talk you down. Of course there is a risk that you will put up a better argument in favor of satisfying your lust, than I can against it. You’ll know I’m weakening when I start agreeing with you and decide I have to have one too.., whatever it is? You can do the same for me, but we have to agree to contact each other when an attack is eminent.., yeah riiigghhtt.

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    • There are tears in my eyes, I’m so touched. Especially considering the considerable time difference which means I might well be contacting you at awkward hours of the day or night. Living in a small town, we do not yet have a group, but I live in hope that this will become an officially recognized disability. Until then, there’s, (fear and trembling) the Internet.

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  8. Too true, I can’t help myself if I saw a new gadget…. I had the urge to buy. Fortunately, I also have this habit, that I will sleep over it first. With this I have time to re think about it whether I really need it or not. And if I can’t sleep without it, that means I have to buy it… 😉

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    • We are all helpless in the face of techno-lust. It’s a disease. We can’t help ourselves.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well fear is a hard one to combat, but maybe we can just, at least, offer comfort. BTW, I saw that canvas bag in your last photo and realized I had the same one from a previous “techno-lust” attack. I have yet to use the thing.., I just like the way it looks… 🙂

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        • It’s very handsome, but kind of big. I use it at home to store stuff. Frequently photographed, but doesn’t go anywhere much. I have a smaller version that carries all my Olympus gear when I travel. I love the way canvas looks. And these have built-in rain hoods, which is very cool. Of course, I’ve never needed one, but I figure I might, someday.

          Like

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