It’s time to minimize my camera gear

Combatting consumerism can be hard. Advertising is a multi-trillion dollar industry that has such sinister goals that they actively hire and keep phycologists on staff to keep cranking out content to make us want stuff.

A vast majority of YouTubers are funded by this same machine, these can be categorized as “Lifestyle Advertisers”. Making videos takes time, making videos people actually want requires high production values, which requires even more time and cost.

Companies send gear out to YouTubers to “review” if their channel meets certain viewership and demographic requirements. There is a perception of there being no implicit bias, such hosts aren’t paid to review the products (such is illegal in many countries), but imagine how afraid you’d be when considering giving a negative review to a provided product?

Do you think a company such as Canon, Sony, Microsoft, Makeup brands, whatever, and so on would consider providing further products to YouTubers who had less than stellar things to say about their products?

And consider the YouTuber. To be successful on YouTube is to have much time, skill, and equipment investment for those production values which gain viewership. It’s very difficult to review products if one must purchase them themselves.

There are some exceptions. AvE doesn’t accept “free” or otherwise provided products for review, period. He relies upon the business model of Patron and some merch sales to afford to buy the products he reviews (often with a brash, yet entertaining perspective).

This channel has awesome Patrons. We have no need, nor any inclination to do corpo shill vids. If you are thinking you’d like me to review your fantastic new banana peeler, I invite you to please fuck off.

That’s the consumerist hole I was finding myself in after watching some hundreds of photography related videos over the weekend and into the week (I’ve been ill and stuck in bed). Sony A7III, awesome! Low light, ISO, 4K! Bla bla de bla.

Yes, the camera is objectively an awesome piece of kit, enough for Nikon, Canon to reconsider their product lines and scramble to put out their own Mirrorless systems. Yes, I could augment it with AI (Arsenal) which is absolutely brilliant, or at least very exciting to me.

But I just can’t justify the cost to purchase and maintain after purchasing. Not only in terms of money, but time and inconvenience lugging around yet another bag with me when I’m traveling.

What becomes of my photos? I upload them to social media.

  1. Instagram has a low ass resolution. 14MP iPhone vs 42MP interchangeable lens camera means almost nothing, in terms of sensors.
  2. Good Interchangeable lenses for 95% of my needed focal lengths are finally available for iPhone, mobile – including native Bokeh with the Moment Portrait Lens, Wide with the Wide Lens
  3. I’m going to take more photos, videos with a camera that I already have on me 24/7. Convenience = Greater Use = More Creativity
  4. Except for low light & audio, devices such as iPhone can do 4k 60fps, 1080 240fps. Moment lenses enable the use of ND filters to drop that framerate down for smooth motion blur and audio can be synced later in post with an external recorder
  5. Accessories are much cheaper, smaller. Osmo Mobile 2 is under $200, while something like the Ronin-S is $699

I don’t plan on shooting any indie films anytime soon & I can still shoot RAW with my iPhone for a flexible post experience. Sure, I’m losing tons of low light performance, but how often do I shoot at night anyway?

If I get a wild hair up my ass and want to shoot my friend’s band or something, I can rent the most modern equipment for a weekend from several online sources for cheap. No depreciation of value and the exact gear one needs without upfront costs. Maybe I can even ask for whoever I’m shooting to cover the gear. This same use model can be used for vacations.

Maybe someday I’ll deem it joyful enough to own another dedicated camera and would get enough use out of it to justify the cost.

Until then.