…and not because the lenses and control dials are round.
[Tongue in cheek] The phases of equipment euphoria go something like this:
Absolute newbie: Buys the sexiest, smallest point and shoot they can find. Then gets frustrated that it’s slow or the pictures look horrible in low light.
Modern alternative: Cameraphone.
Beginning hobbyist: Upgrades to a prosumer thing, the more buttons and dials the better; a longer zoom is just a bonus, as is if it looks like a DSLR – take that Nikon thingy with the 24-1000mm lens, for instance. 1000mm!
Amateur: A DSLR is a must. But why bother with the SLR bit if you’re going to hold it at arms’ length and use live view?
Serious amateur: A bigger, more serious DSLR. Maybe the same one as before, but with a battery grip and telephoto lens. Carries it around everywhere they go, complete with backpack containing 1001 other ‘essentials’ such as cleaning supplies, chargers, spare tripod heads, etc. Given a few years, will develop into an aspiring pro.
Semi-pro: An anomaly: may just use whatever midrange DSLR is given by their company, or use serious amateur gear.
Aspiring pro: Always has the latest and greatest; a pair of pro bodies, full set of f2.8 zooms and f1.4 primes, carbon fiber tripods, and…no work to pay for it all.
Pro: Only carries what they need; usually a matched pair of bodies for redundancy, with one lens each, and maybe a flash. No superfluous gear, because they know how much of a pain it is to carry. After several years, will develop a pronounced lean towards the shoulder that carries the spare body and a stoop from carrying 5kg around their necks.
Old hand: May or may not have been a pro, but now forced to sell some or all of their gear to cover chiropractor bills and divorce settlement after wife got ignored on too many holidays in favor of sunsets and sunrises and magic hour reflections; still can’t quite let go of the photography bug, so they look for the lightest thing they can find that just manages to do the job, but at the same time not require eating ramen or baked beans for a year.
And guess what: we’re right back where we started.
Now, you’re probably wondering why I’ve got photos of all of this gear: at some point or other, I went through it. Read carefully, and seriously, learn from my costly mistakes before you have both a bad back and an empty wallet. You have been warned. MT