In The Beginning

When this journey began, I just wanted to have better memories of places I been.  It started in 2008, when I was headed to a missions trip to Czech Republic. I had an opportunity to serve a higher purpose.  Provide prayers, help unfortunate people with their housing and see how another part of the world lives.....

On top of that, I had an eight hour layover in PARIS FRANCE.....talk about mind being blown....my only thought was how do i keep these memories and not pack an enormous number of disposable cameras.....  

Young guy that has no clue how to compose a picture, didn't understand film speed., nor understood what the difference between digital or analog.

So the hunt began!  Research. Research. Research.  My first DSLR came in December of 2009 and my education began with the Sony a390.

 Sony A390

Sony A390

Sony a390 was the camera on paper that had everything I needed to create great photos. It had a massive 14 megapixels, 9 focus points, crop sensor,  max 3200 iso, 2.5 fps,  O_O.  I had a few lenses, the kit and a telephoto.  I thought i was in heaven.  Started to learn composition and thinking I was doing pretty good.  I was taking street photography and landscape photos.  It was something that had to do with the color science that really pulled me into the world of Sony.  BUT then the G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) kicked in and I wanted bigger and better gear. Sony just then, pissed me off and I swore I would NEVER own a Sony again.  They were starting to get a bad reputation of discontinuing their cameras within 8-12 months.  How did I find out?! Well I wanted to sell my gear and use part of the sale to purchase the latest Nikon at the time.  I was met with a resounding NO.  No you can not sell this camera to a camera store....I was hot! But, I was blessed with a little money around April (tax return) and then..... 

 Nikon D7000

Nikon D7000

The Nikon D7000 allowed me to up my photography.  I was able to capture more, be more creative, started shooting conceptual shoots.  Upped my photography skill to include event photography, couples, weddings, and models.  I am thinking I am getting really good.  I have two cameras, I have a few lenses.  I am doing good.  Until I received a seriously harsh bone cracking, soul shaking critique.  OOOHHHH, it hurt, it cut down to the white meat. I was crushed. I knew it wasn't the gear, it was my photography education.  So the studying began.  I quickly out grew the limitations of the gear. 

 G.A.S.

G.A.S.

Update!  So I finally sold the Sony a390. Added the Nikon D7100, D600 and still kept the trusty D7000.  Each had a specific purpose.  I can't go any further with out stating that my most FAVORITE COMBINATION was the D7100 and the Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye lens.  That was the setup that I loved to walk around and get sharp images with an amazing distortion. 

After more education, more shooting, more understanding.....I added the biggest, heaviest camera I could get my hands on so I could focus on my porfolio.

 Nikon D800

Nikon D800

the Nikon D800. It was the biggest camera I could afford.  So my camera shelf had a number of lenses and four cameras for me to do a variety of jobs.  You would think I would be happy.  The D800 handled the big load. The D600 and D7100 were the dynamic duo that handled events and weddings.  The D7000 was the walk around play-play camera.  All was fine until I wanted something that would work and not feel like i was carrying a ton of weight when I was doing street photography.  Next up mirrorless.

 

 Fuji X-e2

Fuji X-e2

The Fuji X-e2 blew me away with the color science.  It triggered a memory of how I loved the Sony color science.  I felt this was the best street camera I could own.  I could not afford a Leica M10 or their glass. So Fuji was IT!  Then I realized after a year....the eyecup wasn't big enough.  I was use to seeing images through the larger DSLR cameras.  I started to hhhhaaaattteeeee the fuji, and kept it at home more and more..  So I am back on the hunt for what was best for me and if I wanted to switch camera systems.

Sold Nikon D600 first, Sold the Fuji X-e2,  Now I am seriously thinking about mirrorless cameras.

 Fuji Xt2 with 56mm f1.2

Fuji Xt2 with 56mm f1.2

Yes....I stuck with Fuji.  Their eco system is what I fell in love with. They gave me fantastic color.  Lightweight. I was hooked.  I was shooting more and more with this camera.  

Now do I save for the Fuji GFX ($6500) or wait to see what the rumors reveal on a new mirrorless that is coming?!   Then the bomb dropped.  Sold my Nikon D800 and all the lenses except one. 

 Sony A7rIII

Sony A7rIII

Yes. I came back to the original system.  I saw the company grow and began to listen to their customers. This camera is just a tool. I have studied other systems from micro 4/3rds to Medium Format cameras.  This company is the one that I will stick with for a long while.  It is allowing my creativity to expand beyond the limitations of the old DSLR.  

Currently the only bodies I have are: Fuji Xt2 and Sony A7rIII.  They allow me to creatively capture my visions.

I know this was a LLLOONNNGGG blog but now you have had a peak inside of my gear  What do you shoot with and why?

Charles Richard