Gear Anxiety Syndrome

Gimme that thing!
Gimme that thing!
You hear people bragging about self professed Gear Acquisition Syndrome all the time in online forums. It seems mostly to be a way for non-photographer photographers to justify new gear purchases. I always thought it was an activity for amateurs but many blogs run by photo professionals seem also to be GAS driven. I guess it happens to some degree to anyone who admires picture taking machines.

My Gear Anxiety Syndrome is closely related in the sense that I have a strong desire to buy new photographic gear. The difference, if there is one, is that I’m selling all my current gear. The act of divestiture is causing a great deal of anxiety. I’m experiencing a sense of loss just knowing that I will be without a dedicated camera for the first time in at least fifteen years. To be stuck with just a mobile phone camera is a cruel fate indeed.

If ever there was an invented marketing driven problem it is the tyranny of excessive choice. Compounding the loss of my old gear is anxiety that I will end up with a new camera system that is less satisfying to own than the one I just got rid of. Last week I was sure that building a Sony full frame system was what I wanted. Now … doubts have started to undermine that decision. There are too many options available. Each with a certain something to make photography more exciting or provide some exotic must have feature. How about huge pixel count wiz bang sensor shift capture? Now that is a feature I’ll use all the time. Not really.

As I consider my options it is clear that I really need several cameras to meet my extensive requirements. I’ve become such a sophisticated non-professional shooter that no single camera can get the job done for me. It is a burden.

If you think long enough about consumer goods you can talk yourself right into a serious mental health issue. I’m buying Sony even if it chaps the pope. You know, he is a hands-on guy. I wonder what he shoots?


Author: Ken

Avid photographer and old guy technologist.