"How Much Are You Willing to Pay?" - Digital Photography Podcast 315

Over the last decade, digital photography hardware has evolved at a fast pace. This led to us buying cameras more frequently than in the film days. But now that the technology has stabilized a bit, do we need to upgrade as often? And camera manufacturers seem keen on charging more than ever for their gear. This came into focus for me when Canon announced that the Canon 5D Mark III would cost $1,000 more than its predecessor. And it got me thinking, "How much am I willing to pay?" I provide the answer in this week's podcast.

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How much am I willing to pay? Well, I've decided that I will not be purchasing any more DSLRs, or probably optics, for now. At least, not in their current incarnations with mechanical shutters. I'm with Trey Ratcliff on this one. I think the mirrorless compact systems are the way to go, however, I don't think they're quite there yet. Granted, they are pretty good as is now, but I'm waiting for Canon's entry. I really think today's DSLRs will be changing pretty radically over the next 5 years, maybe even in the next two.

Agreed, I think the mirrorless system cameras are coming along nicely. The Sony NEX 7 and the Olympus OM-D are two good examples of this trend. I don't seem them replacing my DSLRs for everything. But I do think they will serve me well for many situations. And as a result, allow me to upgrade my DSLRs less often.

I'm not a Pro so last year I sold all my higher end gear and settled with only a 60D and 35mm Prime. Many times I get tempted to buying lenses but the thing that keeps me back is that, in the non-pro arena, I feel we're in a transition from big DSLR's to micro 4/3. And right now there isn't a Micro 4/3 I feel confident enough in to throw money at.

But another reason why I feel okay with no splurging on gear anymore is because of software. Aperture and Lightroom both are affordable enough that "average" photos like mine can look stellar with just a little bit of work. So if I compare the photos I've taken years ago with $3000 worth of hardware for a trip to the zoo with photos I've taken recently with my 60D and iPhone POST editing then I'm actually favoring my current photos.

Im not saying there's anything wrong with spending on quality hardware, but for now then I'm pretty excited to see camera phones get better and I'm eagerly waiting to see if micro 4/3 offers something that will make me feel comfortable with dropping $1100 on a lens again.

I think you make some great points, Urkel. And unlike some camera hardware that seems very expensive, post production software is an amazing value. Sounds like you've made some adjustments that are working great for your photography.

I think the 5DMKIII is way over priced and I bet the MSRP is going to come down. The 600EX is way overpriced to. I can by an Einstein Studio strobe for $499... The release of the 5D MK III makes the 5D MKII even more attractive. Canon missed the mark on features and the price point.

I agree that it's a lot of money for the 5D Mark III but we should keep a few things in mind. First when the 5D Mark II was announced at $2699 in mid September 2008 the Yen was around 107 to a dollar. Today the Yen is just a bit over 81 to a dollar which would turn the $2699 into about $3565, all other things being equal. Second while Inflation has been low, especially in Japan there has been some. So maybe the $3499 isn't quite as bad as it seems. For the record I ordered one but wish it had been less money.

The real test of Derrick's resolve will be the new iPad..... (c8