I’m of two minds about gear reviews anymore.
When I started doing them on a regular basis in 2014, I felt like I was discovering new things. I had finally bought myself my dream camera, a Nikon F3, and began just looking around at what else I could get my hands on. I was pretty short on cash in those days, and was interested in what I could find that fit my pocketbook. There were a great many options, so I went merrily along on my rambling way.
I don’t have much drive to do that anymore. I’ll admit to still looking through reviews and trying to decide if I want to spend money on a new camera. The majority of the time, I don’t do it. It started with a decision to not buy a new body for a year in 2017, and since then I’ve bought four. It seems once I got out of the habit, it wasn’t difficult to stay out of it. I thought I had bought less, but two of those bodies are the same, I bought a backup in case the first one failed.
Since that time, I’ve been working on other things. Some writing, but mostly hammering on my photography. Have I improved? I don’t know. Maybe. But I’m not done yet, so that’s OK.
I will admit to one impulse buy that is in the process of opening a new area to me. Never had used a 8mm camera before, and I kind of dove in to the odd part of the pool by passing on Super 8 and going with an old Swiss clockwork Double 8 camera. It’s not the easiest thing to use, but there’s something there in the way the process is done. Not sure what yet, but I’m finding out.
Reviews seem to be a double edged sword anyway. A big review site will put out a review on a camera, and people will follow their lead. While it’s good to have people shooting more film, I can detect an upswing in the price of the camera shortly after. It has irritated me from time to time. Like when I was looking in to buying a camera, and it got featured on a couple of review sites and the price doubled almost overnight. Sort of a low level Kardashian effect.
Am I done buying new cameras? Possibly. I’m starting to dislike the whole process. Will I still post reviews? Rarely, and the new ones are probably more about the favorite tools I use and less about discovery. I’m deep in to my process these days, and even though I never show any of my shots anymore, I’m using more film now than I ever did.
Honestly, that’s more satisfying than anything else I have ever done.