Why 99% of you should not buy the Canon EOS 5D Mark III immediately
The first piece of news was the announcement from blogger Justin Lee that the Canon 5D Mark III will be made available on 17 March at a retail price of S$4,699 (Body) and S$5,999 (Kit).
Let me share with you a personal experience of mine back in late 2008.
I was a hardcore Canon loyalist and like many others, eager to get my hands on the 5D Mark II. When the first few pieces was made available in late 2008, I was one of the lucky few to get one.
I bought it for $4500. (I think…)
Naturally, I was a happy photographer, taking photographs whenever I could with the camera. Here’s the thing though, I compared the photos taken with the 5D Mark II and my 40D and there really wasn’t any significant improvements* at all. *Edit: I was referring to the quality of my work.
Did I make better portraits? No.
Did I make better landscape photos? No.
At the end of the day, I paid a premium for a camera that promises better ISO, resolution and good video capabilities. None of which, however, made me a better photographer.
It does not help that a year later, the 5D II craze withered and it’s retail price dropped to about $3,600. All in all, I made a huge loss when I decided to move on from Canon.
What’s the point of this story?
If the Canon EOS 5D Mark III does not immediately addresses your (commercial) photography needs, meaning it does give you a tangible return of investment through paid-work, I strongly suggest that you hold back on the Gear-Acquisition-Syndrome (BBB Virus).
Hold out for a few months and wait for the craze to die down. It is worthwhile to note that difference in price can buy you a decent Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 or a nice trip to neighboring countries for a photography trip.
You can also use this time to, put it simply, shoot more with your current camera. The truth is that a better camera need not necessary make you a better photographer nor make you any more professional.
To quote one of my favourite write and photographer Kirk Tuck, professionalism is not what’s hung on your shoulders/neck but how you perform your duties and respond to clients.
That brings me to my second piece of Facebook newsfeed I read.
Local street photographer Chia Aik Beng is set to release his book on Little India at night, documenting his countless nights spent there interacting and photographing the migrant workers.
Check out his Flickr gallery here.
The catch? He documented the entire project with his iPhone.
I believe many of you will find it hard to believe that a photographer can capture wonderful night images of Little India with an iPhone. It does not have good low light capabilities, not much bokeh, no fast auto-focusing nor zoom. Yet, with a good eye for details and the courage to walk up and interact with strangers, Aik Beng was able to capture intimate portraits of migrant workers that we would not be able to see.
I had the opportunity to go on a photowalk with him earlier this year and see for myself how he was able to get some really good shots with his phone.
At the end of the day, the buzz and craze about the launch of a new camera like the Canon EOS 5D III does nothing more than making camera retailers a decent profit from the sales mark up.
99% of you out there can afford to wait for the price to drop while going out to shoot more and improve your photography first.
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