Marketing guru Dan Ariely talks about an interesting concept. First, a given in marketing is that people like to stand in line for things. That is, we like to do what other people are doing, and we tend to want what other people want. The interesting part is that people also tend to "stand in line with themselves," meaning, if your first car was a Ford, and your second car was a Ford, and your third car was a Ford, then, figuratively speaking, you're standing in line behind your past selves when you choose a Ford again.
This is what creates "Ford men"...and "fanboys." Or any of the various other terms that mean something similar.
In that sense, I'm beside myself! (Get the joke?) Writing about cameras for so many years I've had to switch and swap, go this way then that. I'm an Olympus man, because I shot with an Olympus for four years in the '90s. I've never been a Leica man even though I shot with Leicas for almost as long (an M4, M6, M3, and IIIf. But rangefinders just weren't a fit for me). I'm a Pentax man because I fell in love with Spotmatics late in that decade, but I didn't grow up shooting Pentaxes like so many people did. I said here that I'm a Sony man. That was ten years ago. And so I am again today, without even intending it—my two main cameras are a NEX-6 and an A900. A Sony man still—who'd a' thunk? I shot Nikon for my "pro years," such as they were, but that didn't count because it was "business."
In 2009 I got a Panasonic GF1 and that was my main camera for almost three years (although other cameras were of course in and out of the house, as they always are). I followed it with a GX1 which was shorter-lived, shoved aside by the Sony. Because, you see, what I really think of myself as—still!—is a Contax man, even though they're out of business and I haven't shot with one for years. Because that was the first serious camera I bought with my own money and the camera I went through art school with. I had Zeiss lenses. It was with me always and I used it every day. My Zeiss-love survives from ancient youth, the lure of the first love. (Hey, lenses shouldn't be made of rose-colored glasses.)
All this hopping and skipping is not good for your photography. It has definitely not been good for mine. My fondest wish if I ever retire is to use one camera for a whole decade (or at least half of one). Really get to know it. Never look at anything else. I might yet get the chance.
Odd, because in the wake of this morning's announcements I find myself still thinking of myself as a Micro 4/3 devotee and a Panasonic shooter. Were I still shooting with the GX1, I would without a doubt be lining up with a whole bunch of other people to buy a GX7 today. No question.
And lining up behind myself, too. Odd how that happens. We identify with something because it relates to what we did before.
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Featured Comments from:
Rick Popham: "Whaaat?? Your two main cameras are a NEX-6 and an A-900? What happened to the Big Dragoon? Did I miss something?"
Mike replies: Still have it. Just don't use it much. I'm scared I might take a chunk out of its resale value and have been babying it.
Rob: "Brand loyalty is an interesting psychological phenomenon that relates to our personal identification with our possessions. Some people are higly prone to it, while others are more utilitarian minded. Personally, I often find myself promoting or defending whatever I am currently using, but I am not tied to any particular brand over the long term. So, I tend to be enthusiastic but not attached, which I think is a good thing.
"I started seriously in photography with a Contax G2 and then moved on to various Pentax DSLRs and some fine prime lenses. Now I am totally smitten by the Sony RX1. I don't know if that makes me a Sony guy, but I do want to use that camera to the exclusion of all others."
Rob [different Rob —Ed.]: "I was a Canon man as soon as I held a Canon T90. I still feel I am a Canon man even though I don't own anything Canon!"