Preface to my equipment reviews
Before buying any piece of pricey equipment, it is recommended to do thorough research before laying down your hard earned money. For me this research in to camera equipment is part of the fun of photography and through this research I often learn more about what I am buying. For this my camera life, I am going to do reviews of various bits of equipment that I have used in my camera life, but I think more importantly I am going walk the reader through how I made up my mind to select that piece of equipment. There is a saying that goes: “if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, you’ll feed him for a lifetime” , so what i plan to do is to teach you how I select which gear to buy.
The gear that I ended up selecting to buy and keep may not be what is best for you. Every one has a different circumstance that leads up to different decisions. To understand the choices I make, you must understand my situation and circumstances behind my choice. My circumstances are, like much in life, dynamic and ever-changing. My circumstance five years ago is certainly very different to my situation now. But there has always been an underlying theme to my purchases, I usually buy things from a user’s perspective and I am fairly price conscious. I also understand that good camera equipment could potentially last a life time, so on occasion where I think it important, I’ll pay the premium to own something that I can use for years and years. So reliability, quality control, support and workmanship is also a factor.
Aside from the more practical world of cameras, there is also a world of collecting. I think most readers would be only interested in what is practical but there are those in the minority that are interested more in the equipment’s collectablilty. A collectable item invariably becomes more and more unaffordable as time goes on and so with only rare exception, my philosophy here is to buy what I need to make my photographic vision come true and not to buy some antique for the sake of treasuring its rarity. For those buying their first DSLR camera, you may not know of this collecting world, but it’s there.
So for my future reviews of equipment I am going to walk you through my decision process as closely as possible. I am going to separate reviews into three subgroups: mini-reviews where I am just glossing over my experiences with the piece of equipment and in effect summarising what I felt about when using that particular piece of equipment, these reviews will be opinionated and only partially objective at best and hence I will restrict these reviews to stuff I actually use day-to-day rather than making grandiose passing comments on pieces of equipment I don’t own or rarely use. There will be comprehensive reviews where I try to be objective as possible and going over every aspect that is important to me. Then there will be comparison reviews where I compare similar products highlighting differences and each’s strength and weaknesses.
The scope of items for review is actually quite enormous, as I own many different systems, from common DSLR to rangefinder, medium format and large format… So this is probably going to take years to review the equipment I actually own, not to mention any new gear in the future. I am going to jump around a bit, I am hoping this site will be an enjoyable read, that surprises the reader with each visit, rather than being a dry infomercial that some other sites tend to become over time.
In time I hope what I write here will accumulate to become a review reference for those interested in the gear that I own.
One advantage of reviewing from Hong Kong is the small size of our geography means that there is a inordinate concentration of exotic gear here, when I run out of gear to write about or feel up to it, I will start reviewing and interviewing others with their own views on their gear and more about other people’s camera life.