Hey ralck, If your father


Hey ralck,

If your father (or you) need something to chew on as far as why it’s worth it to spend more on a nicer camera, I like to liken cameras to used cars.

When I was 16, I took the $400 I had in my pocket, and I bought a beat up 20 year old Plymouth. That car is featured in the photo under "beater" in the Encyclopedia. No power, the rear windows didn’t roll down, the interior didn’t match, no air, and it had a tendency to overheat. But it was transportation. It got me from point A to point B.

Now, fast forward several years into the future. Today, I have a very nice Buick with air, power windows, leather interior, and except for making a little noise from my alternator, it doesn’t give me any problems.

Now, why am I no longer driving my old Plymouth? Aside from the fact that it was an unsafe deathtrap, it still did the same basic function that my Buick does today. It got me where I was going. Ultimately, the reason I switched into a nicer car was because I wanted better reliability. I wanted more options. I wanted to stay cool when it’s 100 degrees outside.

Like I said, cars are a lot like cameras. Any $500 camera will give you a basic picture, and if that’s all you want, you can live with it. But as soon as you actually want to take some control of your image and you want to see everything in a clear, true-to-life format, that $500 camera will be sadly insufficient for your needs.

If you want a good camera, you’ll be very hard pressed to find one under $1,400. I’d probably sell my GL-1 for that price if it were for sale, but that camera isn’t state of the art (though the lens and CCD board are identical to that of the newer GL-2). The other problem is finding someone who would sell their camera. For example, if I sold off my GL-1, I’d need to buy a VX-2100 or a GL-2 to make sure I’ve got enough cameras to run my business, which means spending $600+ on my part. In the spring, when I’m turning down 5 weddings a month because I’m booked, I’d do that without batting an eye, but with the slowest August I’ve ever seen in this business (so far – It’ll still probably fill up), I’m not going to be as easygoing with my pocketbook. And the same goes for most others in my area who, like me, aren’t seeing the weddings that we saw last year this time.

Save your money and get a good camera. Or settle for less and suffer through it. Personally, I’d wait if I were in your shoes.

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