Since the shift to digital and the explosion of the internet, photography has joined the trend of aspiration based marketing with iterative hardware updates coming thick & fast, more akin to the other technology driving devices like mobile phones and computers. Much as I am a fan of technology and feel that genuine advancements are important to whatever field they are relevant, I can't help but feel that it waters down true development, creating a chase to draw in the uniformed masses that assume that more megapixels instantly makes you a better photographer.... It Doesn't!!
So in reality how important is the latest equipment?
This is a question that has been rolling around in my head for the last few weeks whilst in the midst of looking for a smaller camera to carry around, mainly to aid my street photography, something that is a bit more functional than a mobile phone (much as i enjoy that). After lots of research decided that I would look into the various compact systems camera options, especially as there is a definite shift towards this type of camera among the professional contingent, the aforementioned technology has caught up and given way to full DSLR Functionality & Quality in a much smaller form factor. Research turned into a bit of a rabbit hole, but the general consensus was that if I was to enter this burgeoning market with new equipment then a sizable investment would be needed! Budgetary stranglehold and a heavy dose of reality check forced me to look at my search a bit differently, after all I am perfectly happy with the technical quality of what I am currently producing with my go to Nikon D5000 with it's paltry 12mp sensor and 'Mid Range' status at time of release, it gives me enough headway to print and produce at the sizes that i need, and that is the important factor.
With this in mind, my gaze then focused towards older model compact system camera's that fall within the new remit I had set myself.....and low & behold, it quickly became clear that i could achieve exactly what i needed albeit with older technology for a fraction of the price. Obviously everyone's needs are different, but seems crazy that perfectly good camera's are hitting the secondhand shelves before being super seeded by genuinely better and more advanced gear.
At the end of the day it is 'Horses for Courses', there will be arguments for and against buying the newest / latest equipment, but only after looking through the promotional hype spun by the corporations comes the clarity to buy informed. It really needs to come down to your needs, image quality and whether it will help your photography develop, be it old or new.