Buying Camera Equipment And G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

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So this article is somewhat difficult to write, because there is the side of my brain that screams “Oh my god, that is SO cool, I MUST HAVE IT”. There is the other side that yells back “Really? and you want to use that equipment for what? You’re wanting to spend HOW MUCH for it?”

Photo courtesy of PetaPixel equipment
Photo courtesy of PetaPixel

It’s a battle that most tech folks deal with in one way or another. There’s a never ending list of the new hot cell phone, phablet, tablet, laptop, and the list goes on. We’re such suckers for the newest, fastest, biggest/smallest, gadget that hits. And with the amazing advertising machine, how do we stand a chance?

The equipment that we buy really has to have some sort of purpose, or we just won’t use it. Unless your goal is to walk around and look impressive with the newest cool gear. If that is the case, spend away and forget reading any further.

Now when I look at purchasing photo equipment, I’ve really had to reign in what I like to call “The Cool Factor” trap, because we are talking BIG $$$. If you look at the Nikon D4s or the Canon 1Dx, you’re looking at $6,500 and up for just the body, no lens. Good glass (because there is NO way I’d spend that much money on a camera body without getting the best possible lenses I can), is very expensive in it’s own right. I can assure you; I am not made of money.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

So, as you’ll hear me say more than once in many of my articles, this will take some sort of planning. If you’re new to photography, this part can be a bit tricky.

It all starts with having an idea of what you would like to shoot, and purchasing the equipment that matches that desire. It doesn’t make much sense to buy a point and shoot if you want to shoot sporting events and expect to have professional results. Don’t get me wrong, there are some very good point and shoots available now.  Many are very feature rich, have high pixel count and even have a decent ISO range.  This type of camera may be absolutely perfect for your needs. Even though I may use the examples of a DSLR, the principles can carry to any type of camera you might be looking at purchasing. Also please don’t fall for the trick that you need a $5000 camera to take great photos. People are taking amazing photos with their fancy new Cell phones 😉

Photo by Scott Nelson
Photo by Scott Nelson

If you’re new to the hobby, your interests may be a little more broad, so look at buying equipment that fits that idea. Maybe a camera that has a Crop Sensor and a good all around lens, like an 18-200mm.  It gives a great wide angle to mid zoom level, won’t break the bank, and gets you a feel for what you like to take pictures of. Spending $1700 for an amazing 24-70 f/2.8 may not fit into your shooting style, and you will have an amazing lens sitting in your closet. That can be a very painfully expensive lesson.

I can’t really say “you SHOULD buy this or you SHOULD buy that.” I’m really only saying have a realistic, honest conversation with yourself about why you want to purchase that brand new lens, and what it’ll do to expand the range of photos you will be able to take. Remember, a $2000 lens will NOT make you a better photographer.


Oh and a side note, My God I would LOVE a Nikon D4s!! 😉

feature image courtesy of

Last Updated on November 27, 2018.


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