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Tuesday, 20 February 2018


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You seem to have an irrational desire for a graphite version of the XT1. Should you buy it? Of course not. Your images will not be any better than with the black version you currently have. I'd keep the donated XT2 and sell your other cameras. The 24MP is a definite improvement over the 16MP of the XT1. That would be a real improvement. And your basis in the camera is $0.

I tend to find a camera I like and use it for a very long time. My Nikon FE (bought used from a friend) was my primary camera for at least 20 years, until digital came along. My backup for all those years was the Nikon F that I bought new in 1971.

Digital changed that for a while. A Nikon 990 followed by the wonderful/awful Nikon D100, both purchased when they were newly released. A newly released Nikon D200 replaced the D100 and was a vast improvement. It worked well and I used it until the D7000 finally appeared, skipping several new Nikons released during that time. I bought one of the first D7000s to show up at the local camera store that still existed back then.

The D7000 seems to be the last DSLR that I'll own, and maybe the last Nikon after using that brand since 1968.

For a while now I've been buying micro 4/3 cameras for cheap when they go on sale. A couple of them I picked up new for less than $300. But now the Panasonic GX8 has captured my heart and I expect to be working with it (and hopefully a second one when they get cheap on closeout) for several years at least.

I'm the same way with cars. I buy them new and drive them until the wheels fall off. My 2002 Dodge Dakota has 320,000 miles on it and is still going strong. 2006 Chrysler Town and Country has around 250,000 miles. Might think about replacing it in a year or two.

I almost never buy new and if I do it's at closeout prices. Even when I was a working professional I kept to this credo. Almost nothing ever came up that was so mind blowing I couldn't live without it.

I bought your Panasonic GX7 which I used quite successfully in Guatemala doing stills and videos for a non-profit. My wife has it now and it's replaced her Canon 5DMkII for most things. The GX7 was replaced by a G85 (on sale) for my work because I absolutely needed several of it's features the GX7 lacked. There are several features the GX7 has that the G85 doesn't that I miss but that's the way it goes. In all the time I was shooting the GX7 I never experienced the shutter issues so loudly trumped by reviewers. I suspect anything said by reviewers anyway as I feel a lot of them are either idiots or on the take.

My next camera will be a GH5 when they are on closeout. It does everything I need, at a quality level that is more than acceptable, and at that time will make sense economically. At least for me now being retired and doing pro bono work.

My Scottish heritage coupled with my Taurus tendencies have saved me from tilting at many windmills over the years. Might also be responsible for being able to retire early and still enjoy life

Hey, I agree with this, as the tech wave has all but ended for cameras (aside from the video stuff) the remainder of the demand in the market is people viewing them as tools, so unless you're writing them off as a business expense it's getting a lot more difficult to see the value in the upgrades.

Do you think people upgrade for "features," or for sensors? I have way more features than I need, but I will upgrade for a sensor, if it's sharply improved over the previous version. But those improvements, substantial at the beginning of digital, now seem to be slowing. And I think there's a legitimate question of whether we really need any further sensor improvements for still photography -- that further improvements would feed the appetite for "testing," rather than for "viewing," and perhaps for very limited niche applications.

It's a good thought. I've never paid more than half of the list price for a camera, and I still sometimes wince about how much money I have spent (and still have tied up on my shelf, depreciated to the point of irrelevance).

My problem is that I seem to have accumulated a very specific list of things that I want in order to be truly, fully happy with my next camera purchase. The 4 cameras currently on the market that satisfy those requirements sufficiently are the E-M1 II, G9, X-H1, and A7r III.

So I think that pricing that comes in comfortably under the $1000 mark will be a long time coming, if ever, on those models.

Fortunately for me, the Panasonic G95 and/or E-M5 III which are bound to be coming before too long will almost certainly scratch every itch that the above cameras do, and will debut at far more reasonable price tags...

I know a number of folks, myself included, that kept buying new cameras in the ~2010-2015 era. I think the pace of improvement was stunning for a number of years as digital matured.

My last purchase was also an XT-1 and there's nothing the XT-2 offers that makes me want to upgrade. I don't need anymore resolution, and high ISO performance, the biggest driver of my past purchases, isn't anywhere near previous generational jumps. I also have a Nikon D610 and, this is a blasphemous admission, I don't really pay attention to new Nikon cameras. There's nothing the D610 can't do that I want it to do. Maybe once or twice a year I wish it focused better in really low light.

And FWIW I have more disposable income now than when I bought my current cameras.

My camera usage ebbs and flows a bit, but I did more shooting last year than any previous year. So it's not like they're just sitting in the closet!

If you told me in 2014 that I wouldn't own a newer camera by 2018 I would not have believed you.

Mike, the camera marked in 2013? Your camera buying frenzy is not what is used to be? The income of TOP is not what it used to be?

Looks to me as the photo business is doomed.


I'm indeed fortunate that I can have practically all my needs met into the foreseeable future with a GR and an XT-1. The latter is poised to be the digital equivalent of the F-100, a very capable camera that can be currently bought for half it's original price, even less Used in Exc Cond...

The idea of buying a new camera cheap that is being replaced by a more expensive new model is a sound idea. I try to do that for cars. But there are some items that take priority over this plan in my opinion, one being a technological improvement that will improve your photography and IBIS falls into that camp. I did not realize how much it helped until I got it in my Olympus E-M1. To be able to shoot "low" light photos in the evening without a tripod opened up a new range of light for me to capture. You have had enough experience with the IBIS in your review or borrowed cameras that you can well judge how much it will help you. If you are going to eventually get one then there is no point in putting it off. It is a bit like house maintenance it has to get done eventually even if you wait to sell it so you might as well just do it and be done with it; this assumes you can finagle the finances.

Another two ways to look at the true cost of camera gear are as a cost per month, and as a cost per (good) shot. Looked at this way, your D800 was 'rented' at about $70/month. (You probably also 'rented' a Nikon lens or two, which should be added to the overall system cost.) Using this method, we each have to decide for ourselves if we got good value or not over time.

Alternately, sometimes I have looked at the number of shots I have in Light Room with a certain body or lens and discovered that I have for example, 1000 shots I like with a lens that cost say, $1000, so I had spent $1 per shot using that lens. In practice it is sometimes much more, especially when the lens or camera, is still fairly new.

I have found this way of thinking to be an excellent incentive to get rid of items I don't use while they still have some value, and use the things I like until they wear out – and then to think more carefully about what I buy in future!

I'm 99% certain my next camera body will be a close-out deal although I'm in no hurry to update my Nikon D750.

My opinion is that since 2012 the image sensors have kind of topped out, and are all pretty much excellent and just about every ounce of image quality has been wrung out of them ever since, which is why I think we've seen more MFT cameras hitting the market. The camera body iterations seem mostly based on feature set - and I'm happy with the features my camera already has and don't have any longing or need for the latest features, which I wouldn't take advantage of anyway - so not much value to me in that regard to pay the premium for the newest model.

Last year I picked up a D5300 on a close-out to use as travel camera, and I'm super happy with the purchase. I didn't need the features of the D5500 or D5600, and the sensor is the same in all of them. They all take great photos.

If buying on close-out means not over-paying for a newer model that has features I won't use, then count me in. (Conversely, if a newer model comes out that has features that I would use that might be a different story, and so it goes with camera gear).

Mike, I've always been a big fan of trailing edge technology. I've bought all my computers after a new model comes out. I wait at least a year after release for new cameras. As lenses go on sale at least once a year, I wait for that, too.

Pretty much all cameras made in the last few year can produce excellent images, so waiting is seldom a problem from an image quality standpoint.

The new Fuji with its IBIS appeals to me for the same reason you are looking at stabilized bodies. And my X-E2 will last me another year or two. I might get shaky enough before then to spring on a new body. I hope not.

Mike, you know what should really tweak your cheap gene...?
" I really might buy a silver Graphite X-T1 and be happy for another four years."

That makes NO sense, spending a thousand bucks or whatever on the same camera you already own, because it's a different color ....
I mean you can't even write about it, because there in no new feature or quality to write about.

There is no real reason not to be using cameras longer now.
If you have the money, and you just want a new camera, there is nothing wrong with that either.

It seems to me you have posted more personal pictures than ever before since you got the Fuji, that says you are a very good match for each other. If you have to have IBIS, then you have another decision to make.
( you could also get a table top tripod and use it to lean on walls & trees 7 buildings & cars, it works.
Remember the old Tension strap trick where you step on a piece of nylon webbing and hold it in tension while you shoot? That works too.
The other side of this is if you feel that you buying cameras and writing about them has a net benefit to the site. If it does the money isn't necessarily wasted.
Could you make a deal with Lens rentals to loan you 2 or 3 cameras a year for a month each in exchange for Advertising? They are already known as a fine company and as long as disclosed, is perfectly fine.

I think there is also a downside to all the worrying about it, just do what is right for you.
Like Yoda says Do or Not DO, THERE IS NO TRY.


al the best,

Interesting post that echos a lot of my own (internal) debate about gear. I'm an avid amateur who shoots a lot of dance and dancers, and so have built up a modest kit of Nikon gear centered around a D610 and D7100, both purchased at comfortable discounts within the past couple of years. I have enough lenses (despite occasional bouts of GAS trying to convince me otherwise) and use the gear fairly frequently, so I feel that I have been getting the most out of my investment.

I also acquired through trade a well used X100S earlier this year and absolutely love it. Walking about in NYC, or for candid bts shoots it is unbeatable and I love the files I get from it. So that of course leads one down the path of "should I sell all my Nikon gear and switch to Fuji's X system?"

Of course, I would lose immediately about 50-60% of my investment in the Nikon gear, and subsequently start off with a smaller kit of Fuji gear (XT-2 and a couple of key lenses). Honestly, it probably would not hinder me much at all (80% of my pics are with two lenses) but I would be sacrificing some overall ability and reach.

The conclusion I keep returning to is that the Nikon kit is capable of anything I have the ability to photograph (and then some), was a well considered investment, and has years of usefulness left in it. Every additional year of use I get out of this kit increases the relative value of my investment in it, especially with the rate of depreciation of digital camera gear.

With that in mind, unless you're going to invest in the X-H1, you should simply keep the XT-2 as your investment in it was ideal ($0) so its relatively value is huge!

Hi Mike,

Why don’t you get yourself a lightweight, compact tripod like this one?
After all, image stabilization is an electronic tripod.
It should be easy enough to carry around.
Looking at you pictures it seems too me they can be taken on a tripod.
Then, H1-beautiful-thing can wait for 4 years…

Best regards,

I'm not far behind you along your path, although my camera and lens choices (and needs) are very different than yours.

Not only am I not buying any new gear these days, I'm actually "downgrading" by swapping my modern gear for vintage gear and as a result, I couldn't be any happier.

In my case, the reasons aren't solely economic (although I do have to watch my pennies, alss), but the realization that I don't like the "look" modern cameras and lenses are collectively moving toward.

For example, the Sigma Art and Zeiss ZF and ZK lenses I was using render photos that are admirably sharp, crisp, and pristine looking, but to my eyes, they're also rather clinical, sterile, and lacking in character.

On the other hand, the '70s through '90s vintage Contax/Yashica lenses that have replaced them are dripping with character -- which is pretty much consistent across the half-dozen I now own, which is a big plus -- and overall, they render my photos in a way that I prefer.

That they're smaller and lighter and can be purchased almost for pocket change (well, not quite, but almost) are merely a bonus.

That said, I'm a little bit concerned that by dropping out of the new camera and lens market as I have, I'm potentially dooming myself to using a cell phone to take photos down the road, because all the companies that make dedicated cameras will fold if every photographer comes to the same conclusion that I have and, it appears, you now have as well.

I'm not sure what to make of this, but on the whole, it can't be a good thing in the long run. 8^/

Probably not, but I don’t know. I’m not a mental health professional.

Based on more than a decade of following your adventures in camera buying, I’d say fickle is a more apt description. ;-)

Regarding digital camera longevity, Thom Hogan responded to a question I asked him about the longevity of DSLRs. He said that unless I break it, it has potentially the same life span of a film SLR, and in some respects (he wasn't specific) it might last longer. Although I'm no more immune to the appeal of a shiny new toy than the next person, I do like the idea that my two digitals (Fujifilm XT10 and Nikon D3400) can last pretty much as long as I want them to.

With best regards,


Historically, my problem with camera fever has always been one of timing, printers too for that matter. I agonize whether to acquire the object of my lust until I can't stand it anymore, then within a few weeks (sometimes days) of purchasing it, the manufacturer announces an upgraded version of the one I just bought. Grrrr!

I agree wholeheartedly on the X-T1. I've had mine 3 years, which is really impressive for me, to be honest, and was saving to replace it when the camera took another hard knock and the EVF is now a little..twitchy. Easy answer, fine, and just to be sure before purchasing, I rented an X-T2.

Um. great camera - really, really great camera. But as you say - it's not 1000 bucks greater. So off for repair my X-T1 goes, and now I have a refurb D750 for less than an used X-T2. I think I'm going to be here awhile - I'll have the Fuji for the amazing 16, vacations, and all the manual lenses to convert, and the D750 for the long glass and seeing in the dark with the Sigma 35 1.4(Irony - it was a Sigma lens that led me back to a Nikon DSLR)

(I did barely talk myself out of forgoing the repair and getting that Graphite X-T1, barely. Beautiful camera.)

I was a late adopter of the Nikon D810 for my landscape photography. I could have bought two for what the D850 costs right now. I figured the difference would buy some very nice lenses. And it did. Three actually. Zeiss ones too. Old new stock and mint condition ZFs all dumped on Ebay as the masses spring for the new Milvus lenses. I knew going in this would lock me into the latter stages of the product cycle, but full frame cameras are already so good, I have no regrets.

Good article today, Mike. I still have my X-T1 and was using it the other day when I lent my X-T2 to some friends to try out on a afternoon out shooting (they are seriously thinking of getting into the Fuji X system as a "second camera" to their MF Phase One). I really enjoyed it and it still produces really superb quality photographs. That being said, the X-T2, to use an over-used phrase, was a real game-changer for me. Combined with the Vertical Power Booster Grip, it turns the camera into a veritable beast, fully capable for PJ work, and I just sold my last piece of my pro Canon equipment yesterday, my 70-200/2.8 L IS II. All the pro Canon gear is gone; I don't need it anymore for my racing work.

Regarding the Graphite Silver X-T-series. I really, really wanted the original X-T1 in Graphite Silver, and the camera you linked is a terrific camera at the price. Interestingly enough, I got a great offer two weeks ago for my black X-T2 from a local working pro, and was able to flip it + $150 for a like new Graphite Silver X-T2 with only about 3000 frames on it. I'm now a very happy camper.

Fuji X100F photo below by Stephen, who hopes they are easier to see than Jonas Rask's! ;-)

Another benefit of buying cameras near the end of their product cycle is that, in most cases, they've received a number of firmware updates that address any early performance issues add either new or refined features.

I bought an X-E1 used a few years ago, and at the start of 2017, traded that in towards a new (but discounted) Olympus EM5 II. Having sampled the Sony, Fuji and M4/3 mirrorless systems since giving up DSLRs, I think I'll commit to m4/3 for the foreseeable future.

Paying attention to white balance and optimizing exposure (thank you EVF blinkies!) have made a bigger difference to my images than any incremental sensor improvements since the 2013-era Sony chip in the first Ricoh GR.

All this chest-beating and yet no mention of the single-use device and the closely followed (be me, anyway) basement darkroom project. The "device" could be worth as much now as when you bought it --one more reason to love analog cameras.

I bought my last “new” cameras when the Xpro2/ XT2 were released. No, really, ... they’re good enough.

I’ve already started on the buying used cycle for cameras. I see this as my trend for the foreseeable future, unless something really cool comes out and funds magically appear.

As the digital camera market shrinks, prices are going up to keep profit margins up, or so Thom Hogan advises. I think there are two strategies for buying & owning digital cameras for hobbyists who can’t depreciate costs, or justify the new cost of latest & greatest (& this can broadly apply to cars):
1. Buy & hold. Wait for the new price premium to come off, let early adopters find the QC problems (Nikon!), buy on sale with manufacturer warranty, pay for maintenance and run it into the ground
2. Economic Rationalist - buy used with low mileage, or refurb (for warranty), use it for 3-5 years, sell it while there is still some value. Rinse & repeat.
It’s the problem of consumer electronics not being built to last (see iPhone, especially with regards to IOS support). Unfortunately, lenses in the digital era are going down the same path - one can no longer blindly follow the old adage about treating them as an investment. They too are consumer electronics.

I have a quick question. did you ever experience, personally, shutter shock in the G8? I have used mine with eleven different lenses and never seen the problem. They will be quite inexpensive soon, I am sure.

>>RE: Am I crazy?

Shall I assume that was a rhetorical question?

You're beginning to think like I do, Mike. At some point I realized I didn't need or really want most of the features found on current cameras. Nor did I find the marginal increases in image quality to be worth the increases in new camera prices. More megapixels cost mega cash.

A little over two years ago, I came into a little extra cash. This came about at the same time I began to grow weary of my Canon equipment's weight and size (due to increasing back pain that at the time I did not realize was indicative of a fairly severe condition). Luckily for me, Fuji had just discontinued the X-Pro1, a camera for which I had a long standing lust. Those X-Pro1 cameras were being heavily discounted. Fuji was also offering amazing instant rebates on some of its lenses. Taking advantage of those factors and a few other lucky breaks over the last couple of years, I've bought only discontinued but new, "open box" or nearly new condition Fuji cameras as well as several heavily rebated new, "open box" or barely used Fuji lenses. I'm now firmly in the Fuji camp and lovin' it.

While others rush to be first in line to obtain the Big New Thing in photography gear, I've stood back and observed. God bless 'em, I say. Those folks and their buying habits are the reason I've been able to buy such great used equipment in such great condition.

You have an X-T2 and you are going to sell it! Why would you do that? The X-T2 handles so much better than the T1. Maybe you really need the new one with IBIS though. Too expensive for me at the moment and all it really has to add is IBIS. And because it has that it has grown into a bigger camera, which seems to defeat the object of an apsc mirrorless.

"the market would not have embraced a $2,000 Micro 4/3 body in 2013"

Has the market embraced those bodies? I mean, camera sales have been falling since 2012, as you note; I've never seen good sales data on those $1,500+ Micro 4/3 bodies.

The GH5 makes some sense in comparison to pro video cameras, but the rest of them? Are they being embraced, or just marketed? I've never bought a camera that expensive and likely never will.

I would say that sites like yours which is my favorite by the way are probably the main reason we buy and sell cameras like they are pairs of shoes. I would think that with reasonable care our digital cameras and lenses last quite a while. Yes improvements are made along the way but my opinion is that major changes only happen every 3-5 years. I think we are all consumed by equipment rather than skill, vision, technique and creating the image vs "If I only had that latest version of the latest digital camera and that 1.4 whatever lens. If your 5 year old digital camera is functioning why not be happy with it.

Think about the use over time - predicting this is hard but says a lot...

Last year I spent quite a pile on new bicycles. At my current riding pace they will all be costing me less than $5/hr by the end of their life (which is rather longer than a digital camera!) For reference, just existing costs somewhere between $2/hr and $5/hr.

Now, a pricey camera/bicycle/car/computer that gets used for all of 2 hours and thus ends up cost GULP per hour of use???? Avoid that....

You know, you could also buy used. Buying and selling frenzies by others result in many available digital cameras with little use. I recently bought a mint M Monochrom with under 5000 actuations, and a recent new sensor and complete check by Leica, for $3600. It sold new for $8000.

Just say "No".

The K-1 is now on sale under $1800, with a free grip. It appears to be at the end of production, with a lightly revised MkII anticipated at CES. So perhaps your time has come?

Always cheaper to love the one you're with, though.

I've always joked that I try to stay just behind the state of the art. And I often prefer to buy the last year's production. Especially with cars. My last one, a 2009 GTI, was the last year of the Mk. V generation. That helped, I think, create the surprisingly large book value I got when the insurance company totaled it after a bad hailstorm. It had the the newer engine style, with a few less issues, too.

Now I'm driving a Ford C-Max Energi from 2017, the last year for Ford's little-noticed and seldom-bought plug-in hybrid. It has numerous small upgrades and bug fixes over the earlier model years. It's apparently being replaced full EVs that don't interest me, so it was surely the latest & freshest version of the car that would ever be available new, and new purchases earn a $7000 tax rebate in my state.

My Law of High-Tech Stuff: Buy low, buy new, buy when you really need to, and sell before it fully depreciates, so it becomes a down payment on what you'll need next. As long as I stick by that, I think it's the cheapest and surest way.

Guess I'm just the opposite of TOP. When the Nikon D700 came out in 2008, was in line to buy it and probably a month after it was introduced, had one in my hands. Used it professionally till 2011 when I had to retire for medical reasons. About 5 years ago bought a Nikon D4 and soon had the D700 converted to an IR camera. Have no intention of replacing either camera in the future because I just have no reason to. If I was to purchase another camera, it would be a Pentax 645D or a Leica S but justifying either purchase just not happening.

Mike -

Maybe it’s worth considering keeping the X-T2 simply because the Fuji lenses you own and use on the XT-1 will work on the X-T2 if you do go crazy and find yourself filled with camera lust. Like you, I tend to keep cameras a little longer than many of my friends. But I keep lenses a lot longer, They don’t really have many features to grow outdated. And these days, those big, old lenses from DSLR’s and even Rangefinders adapt easily to life on a mirrorless. And if you stay with Fuji, you won’t even need an adapter to stick with your favorite lenses.


If you Need IBIS, you need it, simple as that. Your condition is not going to improve over the next four years, it's going to get worse. What pictures will you be unable to take by not having it? And how much will those missed pictures be worth to you? If you buy something for $1000, rarely use it, sell for $500 to buy something that you really do use, then do you really lose $500? Yes, you do. But if you let it sit there gathering dust, you've lost the entire $1000. Sell what you don't use and put it towards something you will. Then go make the pictures that you can't currently make, while you still can. As a bonus, when you get one of those once in a lifetime images, make a run of TOP quality prints (I couldn't pass up the opportunity) and have a print sale. Between selling off unused gear and a moderately successful print sale, you may recover a significant portion of the initial cost.

I buy Panasonic bodies when Panasonic starts discounting them. My GX-8 kit was $800 with a 12-60mm lens and an Adorama gift card. Yes, I bought it through one of your affiliate links.

The radical question then becomes: should I buy a just-introduced Panasonic G9 or just-introduced Fuji X-H1...on closeout?!? That is, several years from now?

Now THERE'S a concept! I'm merely a hobbyist but thinking back, I've had three cameras in the 21st century (and a couple in the 20th but we won't go into those). There was a Canon A20 P&S. That was followed by a Panasonic Lumix DMZ??? - another P&S and one I had a lot of fun with. Then in 2012 I took the HUGE leap to a Nikon D7000 with the 35mm f1.8 and the kit 18-105 f3.5-5.6. I've still got it and I still use and enjoy it.

But this site, Kirk Tuck's blog and a few other text (not video ;-)) sites has convinced me that my future lies in non full frame mirrorless - probably in four/thirds. The Panasonic G9 tempts me greatly but it's well over $2k body only here in Australia. I reckon my much better bet is to buy a G85 which I can probably get for $650-750 hardly used. Then I can build up a lens collection (probably three at most) and wait till the successor to the G9 comes along before picking one up.

BTW, Mike, I haven't posted before but I've read and enjoyed your work and the OP for quite a few years now. Many thanks.

To each his or her own, but buying discounted cameras on the end of their life cycle is my strategy also.

I look at what sensor I want mostly - I'm M43 all the way now, so there are tons of cameras using the same 16MP sensor that's found in my aging (but still damn effective) Olympus E-M10. When I upgrade, it's gonna be to that 20MP sensor, but I can wait. I know that if I do, I'll get a brand-new (as in unused) camera for around $400-500 when the new 24MP or whatever sensor comes out.

The only hurdle to get past is the urge to get the newest camera/sensor with 30% more dynamic range, or different Bayer array, or new processor, or whatever the FUD says. You stay a generation behind, and the depreciation becomes your savings at the point of sale. Pretty good way to roll now that the image quality is so good across the board. This would have made no sense in 2008, but it does today.

After that Carl Weese article "Big Prints from 4/3-Format Sensors", I realized things had reached the point of sufficiency. Jumped into digital by picking up a Panasonic G3 on sale for $249, and am still shooting like crazy with it.

I recently dug out my old Canon 30D (2006) and paired it with my 24-105 f4 to see what it could still do — and it's not bad! It's "only" 8 megapixels, but it's also "only" $150-$200 dollars for a body. I actually wish I knew a young person just getting into still photography I could give it to. I tried selling it a couple years ago and not one student who looked would even consider it — because it can't shoot video! It's definitely made me reconsider buying older bodies for stills. The better made cameras are still very usable.

Pardon me while I expose another roll of film in the OM-3Ti.

My phone just spellchecked digital ILCs to digital ills which somehow seems more appropriate than what I Intended to write.

Mike - while I agree to your observations about current cameras, could it not be the case that your book project cured your camera addiction? You're a creative person, and a camera purchase is somehow like purchasing a potential to create something in the future. Now that your creativity is "locked on a different target" and you are creating it NOW, you don't need that future potential any longer.

I think it takes a few (many?) years of being in this field, to be able to make this self-analysis. We all suffer from "camera frenzy" now and then, but that is just a distraction from what should be the main goal: improve our vision.

As a side note, I find it really odd that today it is considered "normal" to spend US$2,000 in an "entry level" FF camera...

I hate to suggest to you something that I once learned from you, Mike, but bodies like the X-T2 and G9 don't fit into what you referred to as the sweet spot for cameras. Those are premium models, within their category. And as we know, (did I learn this from you too?), the best bang for the buck, or in other words value, in cameras and many other products lies not far above the entry-level models, and not with the premium models. More G7 than G9, more X-T20 than X-T2.

" I really might buy a silver Graphite X-T1 and be happy for another four years."

This makes no sense logically and completely contradicts the rest of your essay.

Anyway, I suspect the X-T3 will have IBIS. Just wish it would come with a Bayer sensor. Now that's an option worth paying for.

Wow, you and Kirk Tuck are channeling the same stream. He just posted his latest (re)acquisition, a D2Xs. I’m having second thoughts about my gx9 envy.

You said: "with 12 months of Adobe's Creative Cloud thrown in". I took that mean that you considered it to be something like a free lunch.

But Mike, there are no free lunches. They want to catch you. And make you pay dearly in the years to come.

Crazy? That is a different site.

Maybe when you get older you won't have this problem. :)

Buying the immediate preceding version of a technology device or current version late in its product life when a replacement has been announced is usually a good way to save a pile of money. Let someone else buy the latest and greatest at full price. That's not a bad idea with cars, either, unless the just-discontinued model had some fundamental failure. But flaws in the old model will be well-known, while the brand new model is a big unknown. Cheers from someone who keeps cars and cameras a long time.

What happened to your new (used) film camera? Shoot it for a while and forget about the digital temptations for a while.

The "shiny new toy" pull is strong. Even your post about the XT-1 triggered it for me, and I found myself pondering what I could sell to justify it. Then I looked at Fuji lenses (I have none) and the price started climbing. Then I looked at my old EM1 with the missing leatherette and good selection of lenses, took a couple snaps with it around the house, and returned to earth. Then I started looking at Panasonic 15 1.7 lens prices. Then I pondered the Sigma 19mm 2.8, even though I have the Panasonic 20mm. I think it's time to get off the computer.

Keep the XT-2 and sell the XT-1. Forget about the graphite.

Mike wrote, "Digital cameras have gotten more expensive."

Wikipedia tells us that the Canon EOS 5D (12 megapixel full frame) was introduced in 2005 with a list price of US$3299 "sans lens." The Canon EOS 6D 20 megapixel full frame is US$999 "sans lens." And it does video and lots of other cool things.

What can we get for US$3299? A brand new Canon EOS 5D mark iv "sans lens" and all the wonderfulness that comes with it.

To answer your question: yes.

Cameras are more than good enough now that we're chasing smallish gains. So if value is anywhere in your formula, you need to buy previous generation closeouts, not latest generation just launched products. If you are going to shoot with and hold onto a product for more than a cycle, this doubly applies. i.e. buy an XT-1 now, and X-T3 when the X-T4 is out.

This is no different than cars, really. All that car marketing and small feature/performance change gets you into a "new" buying frenzy, but probably doesn't actually make your commute better.

Mike, it's your profession to write about cameras and photography. You need to have cameras to take pictures with, and then write about the experience. They are a business expense for you; I'm surprised that you don't own more. There sure are a lot of choices out there.

I love the files from my Sony A7r II. The user interface is terrible. I'll probably buy the A7r III after the A7r IV is introduced.

My other camera, a Pen F, is fine. The 12-100 f4 lens is a miracle of modern optics.

I'm anticipating Olympus will introduce an E-M5 III. If the megapixel count hits 24 and the noise ceiling is improved, I may be tempted. But certainly, I'd wait over a year before purchasing it. Most likely, there will be plenty available on the second hand market.

My "serious" digital cameras ran through a quick succession of Nikon twist-body, Canon Digital Rebel, Canon 20D, Canon 7D (which I still shoot with) and Canon 70D (mainly as a backup for the 7D).

I've never gone full-frame, and a lot of my Canon glass is EF-S (crop-factor bodies only), so I'm not much motivated to do so.

I shoot mainly fine art landscape, so everything is done on a tripod, so stabilization is really not important to me.

On the other hand, the one feature that has my attention is the 'four-picture IBIS mashup' on certain modern cameras. If that feature would really give me noticeably higher-resolution images without resorting to a 50 MP body, call me intrigued.

But, will Canon ever produce a camera with IBIS? I doubt it, since it would slice into their stabilized lens sales, and I'm too cheap to toss my 7D and 70D, and all my Canon glass to switch systems.

I've been shooting with the 7D since it came out (2009?), and it still produces the same pictures it did when it was new, even after having to replace the shutter from a drop back in 2012. It's become a very familiar camera to me, and the controls just 'fall to hand'. I can concentrate on my creative side, instead of worrying about where all the controls and menus are on the camera.

I've had Canon 5D bodies since the first one (2005). 5D1, 5D2, 5D3; just moved to the 5D4.

Cost of use of the first three has worked out to about $2.50 or £2.00 per day. Bargain!


Get yourself a secondhand Sony RX10 (Mk I) for a low few hundred of dollars, or an RX10iii new for maybe $1000 (price has dropped since the introduction of the RX10iv). These are do-it-all cameras with state-of-the-art Sony 1" sensors. The Zeiss optics are superb, and I defy you to find photographic situations that cannot be addressed by the RX10 Mk I, II with their f/2.8 24-200 mm-e lenses or the RX10 Mk III, IV with their f/2.4-f/4 24-600 mm-e. I'd normally go out of my way to avoid mentioning Ken Rockwell, but you might find his review of the RX10iii informative:


I know that it may seem painful to you not being able to change lenses, but Sony are able to position the optical elements of the fixed zoom with an order of magnitude's more accuracy than an interchangeable zoom in E-mount. The question to ask yourself is what Cartier Bresson or Ansel Adams would have said if given one of the RX10 models? Adams would have operated off a tripod, with the ISO set to a minimum, with image quality comparable not only to larger sensors, but also his sheet film.

And they include a cut-down version of Capture One for free, and the full version for a little bit more.

Think about it.

Best regards,


I doubt you really need to change your camera but if you do the obvious choice would be the recently discontinued Panasonic G85 since you like Panasonic’s and it has 5 axis dual IS. Extensively reviewed by K Tuck, see for example:
https://visualsciencelab.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/which-camera-have-i-enjoyed-using-most.html and https://visualsciencelab.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/the-panasonic-g85-my-choice-for-all.html and several other posts.

Uh oh:


Definitely keep the XT2
Cant see the point for me of the IBIS Fuji ...too big by far
Cant see the point of huge m43 lenses.

I think the mix of Fuji and m43 very logical.
use m43 for
Small fast primes
Smallish fast telephoto
Video 4k

And Fuji for generally first class top rating APSC image quality.

Nice to add in X100F if you can.

A cheap body like an EM5 11 will give excellent ibis at lowish cost.

With the huge hike in cost I reckon a 5 year cycle at least ...after all a camera giving you results you were pleased with last year will still be producing just as good photos in ten years time!

"The market would not have embraced a $2,000 Micro 4/3 body in 2013."
I'm not sure the market is embracing it now.
A few weeks ago they were giving away a $250 battery grip with the OM-D E-M1 MkII.
For the last couple of weeks they've been selling it for $1700.
I don't know if that's just a once-a-year sale, or if the market is resisting the $2000 MFT camera. I doubt they'd be discounting it if it were flying off the shelves.
I know the price stopped me. I bought one of the very first E-M5s, and then an E-M1, and if the MkII had been, say, &1400 or $1500 I would have considered it. But they nearly doubled the price of the MkII, and that was a bridge too far. I'll wait until the MkIII comes out to buy a MkII.
I've read that the companies are raising prices to make up for lower sales. Seems backwards to me, especially when the pace of technological improvement has slowed.
If your apples aren't selling at a dollar, raising them to two dollars isn't going to help.

It's like musical chairs: when the music stops, what camera will I have in hand. If the music were to stop now, for me it would be a Nikon d7000 (introduced how many years ago?). I live vicariously, happily, through the camera-buying experiences of others on this site. Someone buys a new camera, I rush to online reviews and camera dealers, I gasp at the prices, and I talk myself calmly, gently, out of even thinking about buying a new camera. It's all right, I tell myself, it's all right. I have the d7000.

Your self control is ridiculous. A owner of a new BMW loses more money the moment he conducts his car out of the car dealers courtyard than Mike with his five cameras in 8 years. Encourage! You ought to own far more cameras ... get a feeling for it .... in order to tell US what, and what not to buy.

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