Announcements of consumer photo gear are heavy at the moment. Mostly of products designed to make amateur photography click-simple. Many tout ‘Pro Features’ but the target audience for the majority of photography gear is advanced or not so advanced amateurs.
What is not mentioned is the exciting new tech that was announced just a few months ago. All that stuff is now old hat. The half-life of camera gear is short and getting shorter. On the other hand here is an extreme example of longevity from film days.
The Argus C3 started production in 1938 and was produced until 1966. Gear had longer shelf life in the days BD (before digital). This one is displayed in my office. It looks rough but still works. Most digital cameras will be outmoded within five years. Judging from past performance some things announced today may well be replaced within a year. As long as digital technology is evolving at a fast pace we will not have cameras with lifespans of more than a few years. Fashion and marketing also play a role of course.
Should we buy the latest new gear? Yes indeed. Will the new gear improve the quality of our work? Not that much. Excellent photographs are not found in cameras. They are products of individuals using cameras effectively with purpose. Then again anyone can get lucky.
For most of us skill comes with practice. Some will show excellence immediately after picking up a camera. Some will never make a decent photograph. Most of us end up in the middle as family photographers capturing what used to be called Kodak Moments. Humble as this may sound it is photography with purpose. The photo album is an essential historical archive for many families.
My goal is to make excellent photographs. I probably need at least 36 megapixels and a new tripod just for starters.