Keeping Up With The Joneses

When big screen televisions came on stream a few years ago, I decided to get a head start on everyone else so I could have bragging rights… least for once. I ordered, what I thought would be, a state-of-the-art piece of electronics. It had to be shipped in and took about two weeks to arrive. While waiting, my neighbors had already purchased new sets from other sources which, I’m sad to say, reduced mine to an archaic relic before it arrived.

The computer I purchased in the mid-90s cost a staggering amount of money. Two months ago, I bought a new machine 50 times more powerful, but only one-third the cost of the old one.

You might think those examples are an exaggeration, however, they do exemplify how difficult it is to keep pace with changing technology.

So, what does this have to do with photography? Lots.

A few days ago I received an e-mail from a well-known photography store which I sometimes do business with. They were promoting their latest medium format camera, and was billed as an open house with several free one-hour sessions. It was later evident as to why the sessions were free……one sale and they could feed the multitudes for a month. The main focus was the new Phase One IQ 180. Now, I’ll admit, medium format cameras are well-built and take outstanding photos and have select features not found on most digital SLRs, but are they worth the extra money?

The IQ 180 has some out-of-this-world features such as: multi-touch screen, extreme 12.5 f-stop dynamic range, and the finest detail, color rendition and sharpness possible which obviously is the result of its 80 megapixels sensor. Active pixels (10 320 x 7752). But that’s not all……….. price tag $43 995.00.

It was that last bit of info that caused my jaw to give way to earth’s gravitational force and send coffee spilling over my keyboard. After slowly regaining consciousness, I again was seated comfortably and, somehow, came to grips with what I had just seen. The new camera cost nearly twice the amount I borrowed to build my split-level house 30 years ago.

Do I need an 80 mp camera? No. Do I want an 80 mp camera? Maybe. We’re all kids at heart and we all love new toys. My house has appreciated in value over the years, but what will be the value of this new camera in a few months when someone delivers a 100 mp or 150 mp camera?

The moral of the story: invest your money wisely….what looks cool today might be obsolete tomorrow.


My mother's 60 year old "Brownie" ....... Value: priceless


~ by spencedove on February 17, 2011.

2 Responses to “Keeping Up With The Joneses”

  1. hahaha! so true,and yet just after reading your post…i WANT that camera! 😀
    your pictures are great,loving the misty ones of the fishing village.

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