I've watched this three times, and it makes me laugh each time. It's not about cameras explicitly, but just think about cameras while you watch it.
I mean, people were still using chamberpots and traveling by covered wagon when they first worked out how to do photography, and not a whole lot changed for a hundred and fifty years. Just refinements, basically. I'm not even old, and I remember when they first made 800-speed film that was good enough to use. When I was young they were arguing passionately about whether tying the exposure controls directly to the light meter was a good thing or not. Ten or twelve years ago, the first digital cameras I used had like 200,000 pixels and the image quality looked like one of those 1950s televisions that were as big as a washing machine and had a screen about eight inches across.
Today, everything is amazing, and nobody's happy.
Here's another point, which I'll also make using a non-photography-related link. In the comments to yesterday's post, Craig Arnold said, only partly tongue-in-cheek,
You wild and crazy man. You have forgotten that we are talking about two different pursuits!
1. Taking pictures. All of your choices are equally good. A good picture-taker adapts fairly quickly to the equipment and gets on with it.
2. Collecting cameras. Now here of course they are not all equally good. Every tiny feature counts. This is the hobby discussed on forums. It's also very easy to be good at this hobby, all you need is money, a strong opinion and a thick skin. For people in this camp your cop-out is inexcusable, almost incomprehensible.
Take a look at this page. (I hope we don't crash his server.) Skip to the section about two-fifths of the way down called "Grounded Grid Cap Test" (it's linked at the top, where it says "Go to a mini cap test below") and see if you can figure out just from the pictures what's going on. Just scroll down; you'll get it. Do you see? He's wiring a series of different caps into a hand-built preamplifier to see how they sound. I swear I laughed out loud (really, "LOL") when I got to those two "Gigantic Russian alu/teflon foil caps" strapped to sticks and suspended from the edges of the chassis.
Now, if this were somehow part of your job, and your boss was making you do this, wouldn't you just want to shoot yourself? He's obviously doing this because, for him, it qualifies as fun. Geekout, esoteric fun of the kind that many of us might recognize in spirit. It makes me think of the time I made hundreds of 8x10 fiber prints when I was testing a handful of different lenses for bokeh properties. I would have gotten the same information from RC prints. But I made, washed, and dried like 200 fiber prints in the course of my tests. Why? Because I was being a nut, that's why. Having fun.
(At that link, I also love the two little three-line paragraphs at the end. If that doesn't sum up geekout hobbies in a hundred words or less, I don't know what does.)
So anyway, long way to go for a small point: however photography is fun for you, it's okay with me. It's not hurting anybody (well, at least not if you manage to stay civil about it—when people start slinging insults and shouting enraged things about each other's mothers because they can't agree whether a rear wheel is a good or a bad thing, I start to take a dim view, I admit). So if you want to learn every last trifling feature of a bunch of cameras you don't own, who am I to tell you it's wrong? Knock yourself out, my brother. Fun is fun. There are lots of ways we find it.
P.S. I found the Louis CK clip at Eolake's blog. His (Louis CK's) other stuff is very blue, so be warned.
Featured Comment by Jay Moynihan: "Excellent. Have you seen this?"
Mike replies: That is hilarious. Not sure who would appreciate that more, people who fly a lot or people who read Kafka.
Featured Comment by Paul De Zan: "There's absolutely nothing wrong with camera collecting/measurabation as a hobby; what's galling is that the majority of practitioners think they are 'into photography' when they are into nothing of the kind. The obsessive study of camera equipment is the very best way I know to completely avoid committing acts of photography."
Featured Comment by Maarten B.: "Are you telling us you're a geek, Mike?!?!"
Mike replies: Not just a geek, a blogging geek.
Featured Comment by Mark Scheuern: "Love the video.
"I recently was in the market for a portable GPS receiver I can move between our cars and spent some time researching them on the internet. Mixed in with the good advice was much whining about what struck me as trivial things, like how well the text-to-speech algorithms can pronounce street names with foreign or obscure spellings.
"I mean, here's the tiny gadget that can simultaneously lock onto four Department of Defense satellites in space, and, based on the timing of the signals (corrected for both special and general relativistic effects) and by calculating where they intersect, can pinpoint your position within a few feet, give you spoken street directions, and tell you where the nearest Barnes and Noble is. All for $200. And people are complaining because it takes a minute to find the satellites. Also, predictably, there was much Garmin vs. TomTom vitriol.
"I have a background in physics and I think knowing a bit about how things work actually makes them seem more special."
Featured Comment by Marcin Wajda: "I think it was Terry Pratchett who said that humans have a special anti-amazement filter built in. Otherwise we would spend entire days walking around with our mouths open wondering at how can we survive basking in the light of what is technically speaking a permanent nuclear explosion...."