Should we buy camera gear with our heart or our brain? Here’s what I think… by Steve Huff

Should we buy camera gear with our heart or our brain? Here’s what I think…and some ramblings…

by Steve Huff

Ahhhh, here I am sitting at my desk this morning with an almost empty big old cup of coffee (with extra cream), wearing my pajama’s, a sweater and some fluffy slippers. Yep, it’s Monday, the day after Christmas and I am at work. The same routine I have had for 8+ years now. Writing about camera gear I like, enjoy and often times LOVE. Many of you have been stopping by these page for years, some of you months and others may have just found this page. Being eight years old now and going on nine, when I started this some of you may have only been 8 or 9 years old! Crazy to think of how the time has just flown by so so fast.

Leica SL, 50 Lux 1.4

But it has flown by, and it’s an amazing thing to know that I have built up this website to what it is today. It also houses every post and article ever published, nearly 5000 of them right HERE on the index page. Crazy. It would take someone months to read them all, but they are there as a reference for anyone to go back to in a time of need or boredom. That’s why I pay so much monthly to keep this website going, it houses a ton of easily accessible information, for free from over the years. Sadly, my 1st year of reviews are MIA, as I lost those when I switched to this new site long ago. But evert post from year 2 on is there.

I’ve never ever charged a penny for content, and hope that I will never be forced to go down the route like some other sites are doing..charging $12 a year for access. I mean, nothing wrong with that AT ALL but I have always wanted to keep this info 100% free and accessible by anyone who cares to read it. So that’s my goal, to keep it that way.

Just a fun family shot on Christmas Eve – Leica SL, 28 Lux f/1.4 – (click for higher quality)

This website costs me some serious cash every month to maintain, keep secure, and to now keep fast. To date, for years now, this has been able to be paid by all of you simply when you buy a product from my sponsors like B&H Photo, Amazon, or any of the others..simply by using the links here to go to the web shops. Doing this costs you nothing more, but when you do this, and buy something… I get a few pennies on the dollar and over time it adds up to help pay the bills. So thank YOU ALL for using my links, as that is what keeps this website going on year after year. Without that, this site would either be gone or go to a pay model. So thank you all for the years of help and support. 

ANYWAY…

This morning I was sitting here thinking about camera gear (again)…and as I stare around my office and look at the shelves on the walls that are filled with lenses, cameras and accessories I thought about which cameras I used the most in 2016. I also started thinking how I buy gear with my heart over my brain. Now, if I were a pro who earned a living taking photos I would 100% buy with my brain, as that would be a business decision, not a personal one.

But I shoot for pleasure when not shooting for reviews, and my passion for the craft runs deep…I love photography and find it therapeutic as it relieves stress for me if any ever creeps in, and it also keeps my brain sharp 😉 Yes indeed ,there are times when I get stuck in a rut..in fact, it happens every year at some point. I lose motivation mostly from doing so many reviews but at the same time, a week or two off brings back the passion and motivation and when I see new gear that truly excites me, it also gets my blood pumping. I then jump right back in. Luckily for me, this site can sustain itself for a week or two and still survive as I do not care about QUANTITY and posting every news release or rumor, I just post what I feel some of you would or could benefit from, and many readers pitch in with their own posts to keep the information flowing. It’s a beautiful thing that WE ALL have created here.

Sony A7RII shows its versatility. Using the Canon 50L which focused faster on my Sony than it did on my old 5DII back in the day. (click for higher quality)

I feel that buying a camera, or lens, or bag, or even strap with our hearts can bring us much more joy than if we sit there and analyze every little detail about a camera. If my heart tells me “I WANT A LEICA” but I end up buying a SIGMA to save a few bucks…well, I will be disappointed in the long term. I am a big believer in living our lives to the fullest. I try to look at every day as a gift because if I lay down my head to sleep at night, and wake up again the next day, it is a gift. It gives me another day to be all I can be, another day to be with my loved ones and another day to bring adventure into my life. So I live every day with passion and I do what I love day in and out. I could never waste my life sitting around every day doing nothing… and camera gear and using it, to me, is a big part of my life. 

Today I am back to shooting with my Leica SL after taking many months away from it to shoot the Sony A7RII, which is one of the best cameras out there IMO for all out IQ and versatility. But when I went back to my SL I quickly remembered what made it so special. When a camera is built to a high standard, uses premium parts, is easy to use, has menus that are simple, and includes great ergonomics as well as the ability to mount fantastic lenses…I fall in love. 

Sony with their best 50 1.4 in a low light bus at night 😉 

Leica M with 28 Lux and my true soulmate Debby

The Leica M, The Leica SL, Olympus E-M1 II...three cameras that fit that category. Build, feel…and something special, something of quality. When I pick up an SL or M and shoot with my 28 or 50 Lux, it’s always a rewarding experience. Unless you have shot with that combo you would most likely not understand. The EVF, the ease of manual focusing, the solid feel, the dual card slots, the battery system, the color and IQ..phenomenal. In fact, color is the SL’s strong point IMO.

But I still love and adore my very well used Sony A7RII. It may not be built or feel anything like an M or SL, but I love what it can do and does do. It can do anything I need it to, and it outputs some of the most beautiful files out there. But for me, even as far back as 8-9 years ago I talked about “Usability”..so that is key for me as well. To some, Sony cameras still feel a little but like a computer in a camera shell. That’s all OK as they work well but sometimes I want to go back to a simpler mindset. That’s when my Leica bug hits.

I also love the new EM1 II. I love the Leica M. All cameras that speak to my heart, some more than others but all are wonderful cameras. The  reason you do not see DSLR reviews here, and haven’t for many years is because they do not speak to my heart, at all. I long for the day when we will see a Canon or Nikon mirrorless that actually stands toe to toe with what Sony is doing but until then, Sony keeps wiping the floor with them (for mirrorless).

Leica M with new 28 Summaron

My passion runs deep and as I sit here eyeballing my Leica SL, I know that around the corner is something new and special yet again. Wether it is a new M from Leica or the long rumored Sony A9 my passion will go into overdrive again. It’s all about the passion for me, and for years I have been buying with my heart and the good news is that it has never ever let me down. The one time long ago I bought with my brain…well, that was a disaster as I never used the camera due to size, weight and the fact that it was just like everyone elses camera. I also love to be more unique, original.

Leica SL in awful light (NO light, in my living room on Christmas). ISO 4000. Still, made a great family memory. 

Leica SL and 50 Lux at 1.4

So when you buy camera gear, do you buy with your heart or brain? Me, I don;t dwell on specs so much anymore as almost all serious cameras are fantastic today. I go with design, feel, EVF quality, and lens selection.

When I buy with my heart, I enjoy the memory making process much more, and that means my cameras will get much more use. If all I had to shoot with was a Sigma DP I’d be an unhappy man and would never be motivated to get out and shoot. So for me, it’s all about the heart and soul, and to be honest that is what drives me to take photographs anyway, so it makes perfect sense.

Steve

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55 thoughts on “Should we buy camera gear with our heart or our brain? Here’s what I think… by Steve Huff

  1. Well I am a professional but I buy with my heart too. It’s not “just a tool” to me, it’s a very important variable in the image making process.

  2. Agree that the heart is a big factor when considering the camera.

    The best camera is the one you take pictures with; if don’t like using the camera in question, I find that I tend not to bother taking pictures at all.

  3. I think a lot of gear buying is habitual. I think manufacturers have designed product cycles to help develop these habits to the extent it feels wrong when its been a while between gear purchases. Most humans like habit, its emotional, reassuring, certainly more heart than head. But I also believe the head is there to get the heart out of trouble, to actually help it be happier. I broke the gear buying habit three years ago and overall feel much much happier, ive come such a long way with my work, saved so much time and money too, boy was it hard though. I still check to see what’s out there but now regard it as entertainment. Old habits die hard they say.

  4. Steve, I love your site and the wisdom that I find here. I think you are absolutely right. Photography, like most things in life require some amount of passion. The bottom line for me is this equipment something I enjoy shooting with. Head and heart should work together and in the end it is about the images made and memories captured.

  5. A bit late in the day, but here’s my two cents.

    Pros need gear that do the job reliably, day in day out. They choose and buy on mainly rational grounds. They don’t experiment willingly, they’re a conservative breed by nature of the profession. But I doubt stuff pros don’t LIKE in actual use will last very long. That’s where the heart comes in.

    People like me that don’t depend on photography for their livelihood (kids to care for etc) can afford to decide -more- with their heart. I’ve made some mistakes there: Nikon F3, Contax S2, Leica and Kiev rangefinders: alluring, bought them, couldn’t live with them, sold them.

  6. Why polarize the heart vs brain. Its been studied and documented that the brain needs to polarize in order to be able to make decisions. To paint one enemy vs an other. I feel it might be fruitful to analyse this observation by going a little deeper and look for the unifying forces, maybe also a step beyond the obvious consumer criteria fine-measuring whats best to look at our world, what we do with it, how we care for it and we connect with it. The camera is obviously a tool to do just that, and it opens up completely different criteria to the soul searching morning ramble. We see too many soulless pictures out there (flickr etc), and notably the most disconnected ones are made with the glorified cameras. It becomes an argument for what and how we see, and unless we more seriously engage in seeing and connecting the world, any camera is not only useless, but also hindering or misleading the very quest of its intention. Its not a myth, that soo many amazing photographer throughout history worked with one tool and quite often worked with one lens only, and technology always comes second to the capability to connect. Maybe one day you will be content with what you have, and allow the passion and love shift from object to photography and the teaching of life and seeing, far beyond tailgating consumerism where comparative object thinking rules.

  7. Hi Steve,
    I’d say I always tend to buy with the heart, with what made me happy. Even when I had a semi-pro career I bought gears which gave me an inner joy wherein there seems to be pleasurable bond between me and how the camera and lens feel in my hands as well as the workflow and the images they produced.
    My mother used to tell me to learn to be patient and save up for the things I really like. When I bought things mostly due to practical considerations I ended up not using them much or trading them up for what I really love in the first place. It’s a bit of a painful process.
    Nowadays, I am blessed to be able to afford gears with the ‘best’ specs but somehow I find so much pleasure and joy in using a simple and ‘obsolete’ set up.
    Here’s wishing you a great 2017!

  8. I think my heart rules my brain when it comes to camera gear. One of the reasons I like this site so much is the heart-felt enthusiasm expressed when you, Steve, get hold of a camera that excites you. I read DP Review for cold analytics, but this one for emotional responses! I’ve owned Pentax, Canon and Nikon and experimented for a while with Leica, but I keep coming back to Olympus. I owned an OM1 when it first came out and for a few years carried a pair of OM2 Spot Programs – one with color film and the other b&w. I moved away from Olympus when my eyesight determined that I needed auto-focus, but returned to Olympus when the four thirds cameras came out and am now extremely happy with an E-M5 Mk11 backed up by an E-M10. Part of the pleasure in owning these cameras is that they feel like they embody the philosophy of the legendary Yoshihisa Maitani. That’s clearly an emotional link that I allow (happily) to cloud (or guide?) my judgement!

  9. The equipment’s spec has to meet the need. No matter what our heart tell us, the job will not get done. If we can find a balance then this is our correct choice.

  10. i shot film Nikons for years and really liked them. i’ve owned many digital brands and some were competent but I just never like them so they were sold. I’ve been most happy shooting the Sony A7R2 with the Zeiss Batis 25 being my most used lens. Surprisingly, I also really enjoy traveling and shooting the Sony RX10 mk3 for birding, landscape, and people in a single package. i’m curious about the new Hasselblad mirrorless, Olympus E-M1 mk2 (I own the mk 1), and most of all, the next full frame Sony (A9 ?). i hope for an FE 100-400mm telephoto. No matter how good my current gear, I’m always excited by new camera advances. After plenty of mistakes, now I only buy if criteria of both mind and heart are met.

  11. Speaking of camera love affairs, it is interesting that you do not include Fuji in your cravings, Steve. In my over 60 years of photographic life, starting with an Argus C3, then graduating to an Exacta VX SLR, then up through the line from Pentax Spotmatic, Canon, Nikon and Minolta, to a new Leica M8, which broke down within 3 months, took 3 months to repair and turned me off on Leica. I now own a Nikon DF, Olympus Pen F and Fuji X Pro 2, with a variety of lenses for each. I can say without hesitation, that with the exception of my old Exacta VX, which I still have, and was a seminal camera in my photographic life, the only real camera love affair I have had is with the new Fuji X Pro 2 and its Fujinon lenses. Camera and lenses are all still made in Japan, not China, Vietnam or Thailand. The new 24 mp sensor in the X Pro 2 is phenomenal and the color rendition in the Velvia mode, mind blowing. For me, the sharpness of the lenses is up there with the best and can certainly give Leica lenses a run for their money. The compactness and low weight of the system is perfect for an old geezer like me, who could never get up a hill with the new Leica SL and its bazooka 200 mm zoom lens. The Fujinon 100-400 mm lens is a photographer’s long range telephoto dream, easily hand holdable with amazing VR and manageable weight. This is my in love system, and with a new XT 2 body as back up, I’ll be heading soon to Iceland with an all Fuji system.

  12. My head keeps on telling me that I really need a Leica SL to put my expensive Leica glass on, but every time I stop at the photoshop to get one, my heart goes in the heart attack mode when I start thinking about all the euros I have to pay for a digital box with a small screen just to put some lenses on………..so I still did not buy it.
    Guess I’d better stick with my Sony A7R or a better one that’s coming around before long.
    But maybe just maybe someone may convince me in time to buy the da…….thing anyway, I will let you know.

    1. I am with you in that respect. The box will be outdated in no time. There is always something new out there. Figure how much investment you put in for the SL and how long would take you to retrieve your money.

      1. For me it is not about retrieving money at all with any camera I buy. Just like a car, we do not ever retrieve our money after a couple of years or more. I buy them to enjoy them, use them and I pay for the experience and happiness it can bring. It’s an investment in me, not the equipment or how much I can make with it. 🙂

  13. I definitely do both, and depending on which method I use there is generally an effect on my wellbeing.

    When I use my heart and make a snap decision I am usually happier and usually enjoy the experience of learning the new item more. Even if the experience, or the experiment, does not work out the way I hoped and I decide to part with the purchase, my overall experience is better.

    For the times I use my brain over my heart. It can be an experience of almost continuous analysis of perceived or imagined performance vs. cost. This is usually a comparison of the cost to acquire some ultra high MP DSLR and lenses vs. the latest Leica body. Though, comparisons of M43 to Leica jump in the mix as well. Not to mention the thought of going back to large format film or getting a digital back and adapter vs. a high MP DSLR. I have succumbed to this a couple of times, getting a Nikon body with a few older lenses and a Sony A7II body with a few adapters for the different lenses I have collected over the years.

    In the end I come back to what I love and actually use the most. Which currently is a Leica M9 with several lenses and an Olympus Pen-F with lenses. The Nikon body is gone and the Sony may go in the future; which is becoming another head vs. heart decision.

    PaulB

  14. Well, You’ve got a fair point and Im currently struggling. Just finished an amazing overland journey from Germany to India. All my gear was used a lot but I still fall in love wit the M.

    Now, I need to fit everything under a or one head. There is such much gear now out there… i really don’t know what to do now.

    Used the M9P, the GH4 and the Phantom 3Pro. Lenses from 21mm to 300mm…

    But My gear is a the bring of usability now (MP, CAF, HighISO…) … Thanks there will be new stuff.

    Will it be the GH5 introduced the 4th of Jan 17?
    The new M10 introduced the 17/18 of Jan 17?
    The available Phantom 4Pro or Inspire 2?
    Will there be an Osmo for the X4S or the X5S?
    What will I do to cover 600mm?
    Will it be the amazing SL in the End??

    Man…to much stuff… to many decisions to make.

    B

  15. I’m not sure if 100% brain would ever work. The heart needs to provide the motivation, the joy, the excitement, the fun, the creativity, the love, the sparks and the heat. So you better make sure to listen to what the heart has to say about the outcome of the calculations, or you may never really want to pick up that latest tool of perfection.

  16. As a working pro, I’ve wrestled with this topic for 35 years and come to the same conclusion as Steve. Assuming strong IQ and RAW quality (which virtually every major manufacturer easily delivers), the question for me is which camera is the one you look forward to picking up and shooting with. Which one is effortless, inspires a bit of madness (even in strict commercial shoots) and makes you seek out imagery that flows into the lens and onto the card. Having cut my teeth on film Nikon F2’s, switching to Canon 5D’s, I got into the rut Steve fell into, and it wasn’t specs or IQ or lens quality. I picked up an OMD-EM1, 4 primes and a PRO 40-150 and NEVER looked back. Along the way I shot with A7s, Fuji, Pentax–none of them spoke to me like the EM1. I can appreciate the chi of Leica love, but for me and what I shoot, I’m not giving up that much with the EM1.

  17. I have work and have no time to shoot. This leads me to look for gear instead as during the night I can have that little time to research. I bought so many cameras and so little time to shoot them. Although past 2 years I did manage at least 60 rolls of film a year. I always use research as a method but not the specs. I hate specs. I look at what people seem to love. I also seek important advice from people on the net to control heart and use my brain. The heart prevails depending on my bank account balance.

    Now I shoot 35-120-4×5-instax-peel apart. I just can’t pull the trigger on a dslr yet because of its weight. We are all getting older each year and in the end I believe we will opt for a lighter one. I’m also crazy I think about FF or above.

    With all the gear, I still end up picking the Leica M7 and M9 as my goto. It is not about the brand but the experience it gives. As I get older though I will need an AF on these things. My eyes at 40 is starting to blur.

  18. Interesting article. I suppose I am an anti-gear photographer who is interested in gear for what it can do rather than what it looks or feels like.I love photography. I love looking at galleries showing the work of great photographers and I am interested in their choice of equipment, mainly for what effect the photographer wanted, and the camera/lens combination is obviously a big part of that. But there was a famous photographer, Bert Hardy, working for ‘picture post’ magazine, who was told that he only took good photos because of his Leica. He then went and took some iconic photos with a Kodak Box Brownie, just to prove that it’s not the camera.

    I have had many cameras, each time thinking that my new camera will make me take better pictures but no. I used Canon SLR’s mainly, from the FTB to the AE1, A1, T90, F1N (the greatest). Then on to the EOS 1, 1N, 1V, which I still have and after that progressed along the digital path, after my first Fuji compact, the Fuji S5Pro and then the Canon 5D. I have owned micro 4/3 Olympus pens from the first E-P1 to my E-P5 and enjoyed them all.

    None have really improved my photography in themselves, but there is always a boost in activity when getting a new lens or camera and that can have a good effect on your photography

    What do I mainly use now? my Olympus film camera the Mjuii with the sharpest 35mm F2.8 lens i’ve ever had, as I still love film. The Ricoh GR and my Canon powershot G1X ii with an incredible 24-120mm F2 to F3.9 lens. These are all I need for my style of general and street photography. None fashionable, but eminently suitable for me.

    Seasons greetings to all and good luck with whatever gear you choose, it’s a great hobby and you can buy whatever you want, it’s your money. But if you are a pro photographer you are going to buy the camera/lens which will earn you a living, a different kettle of fish and you must choose with your head, but with maybe a little bit of heart!

  19. People come back to your site cause of your live for the fun of something like taking out your Pen F. Not a brain thing, a heart thing. Thanks… never a bore! Good luck in 2017. Keep it up and thank you. Bob Gallagher Chicago
    em1 and Oly lens.

  20. Quick and to the point!

    Obviously when spending real $$ we should make intelligent choices. However—you knew it was coming—we need to feel happy about something that is not a mandate. We don’t HAVE to do this.

    We either just like it (hobby), or chose it as a line of work (profession). But only in some kind of weird dream/nightmare did someone MAKE us go into photography.

    So, if you put a gun to my head and made me chose I chose my heart! {Currently waiting delivery on a 100mm Macro 2.8. 🙂

    Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

  21. When in doubt, just rent the gear. If you then fall deeply in love with some gear, buy it with your heart. There is always a good second hand market with cameras from people, who bought the gear only with their heart.

  22. Long ago being young and knowing every thing, I decided to build a field camera. I have some walnut that my grandfather and father had carved and whittled as boys. I studied all the catalogs as that was what was available in my youth. After a year I had my own walnut view camera. It would take photos. It was also a god awful monstrosity. As I was using it almost solely for photographs, I met many photographers. From their advice, I replaced almost everything I had bought on specs and had a camera I loved until everything I had burned in a fire. I did learn. In the 45 years since then I have purchased based on the advice of people who shoot the way I do. In my case, my brain does not know everything. And my heart can be easily swayed by dreamlike features that in actuality may be unusable. But the advice of someone who can give me the benefits and weaknesses of the camera the way I will actually use it has not yet been wrong. Part of this is one of the reasons I check your site almost daily. The other basis of my buying also comes from my age. I began photography in the time when a person bought lenses and then a camera to put them on. There will always be new and better bodies, but a lifetime lens is forever. Being retired and on a limited income budget figures into it much more. And it is there again that the advice of people who shoot like I do makes the most from my financial resources.

  23. Both. For a long time I’ve owned a Leica M6, Pentax 67, Sinar 4×5, and now Leica M240. I’ll never make a penny off them.

    I also own a 5D3 (replacing an earlier 5D2), all the “L” zooms, and tons of accessories. This makes me money – shooting video/cinema. (Not so much these days, though, as the DSLR cinema market has switched to the A7s. That, and I’ve purchased a $25K cinema camera.)

    I have to say that I enjoy shooting all formats. For chasing around my little rugrat, the Leica is fun, but I get some consistently stunning stuff from my 5D with 100mm 2.8L lens.

    As for emotion and joy of the purchase, there was almost zero emotion when I bought the 5D3. It was like buying gas for the car. The Leica M240 purchase was almost spiritual. It is such a beautiful tool for creation. I know to any objective thinker, this sounds ridiculous. But I still feel joy when I get behind the wheel of my 12-year-old WRX. Mechanical craftsmanship is something to be enjoyed.

  24. Why not use both? Let your brain decide whether the money is better spent for something other than photo equipment. If you then decide for the gear let your heart take over. Keep your brain engadged to stay within your budget.

  25. Shoot with what makes you happy, I’d hate to think all our decisions are based on money alone. I learned basics on the basic of gear, the “Journey” as they say, you get it, Great articles as always

  26. Even as a professional you don’t necessarily need to buy 100% with your brain. You want fun too! Having fun with a camera while doing your job is a great thing. It can spark creativity or it’s juts that … fun!

    If I got a penny for every pro saying that it’s just business and 100% a brain decision when on the other hand they could perfectly do their job with lesser equipment than what they have, I’d be a wealthy man. 🙂

    1. Well said. If the camera doesn’t matter, then why are these people shooting with high-end cameras when the low-end ones should be able to do the job just as well?

      I find an odd pathological distaste for Leica equipment by some people. I don’t know why. It’s not jealously exactly. I think it’s a kind of virtue signalling. The attitude is that only boring cameras can be used for professional work.

      Personally, I don’t stick with one brand. Sony, Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic, Leica are all logical choices as well as emotional ones (for me). But I’d never use a DSLR again, as they are not only obsolete, but they are quite boring. The days of DSLRs are over. The exceptions might be medium format systems if I have to go that far.

      The most emotional choice for me would be film, but for the work I’m getting now, it’s not practical. YMMV.

      1. Leica for most photographic purposes was superceded by the SLR in the 60’s. The Leica range finder has always had it’s admirers and for certain types of photography it is supreme with it’s quiet shutter and discrete operation. The ability to compose and focus through the lens relegated Leica support to a small band of specialist photographers. Journalists, sports photographers and scientific photographers all found that the benefits of being able to compose and focus through the lens outweighed all of the Leica benefits. But, they have always had their loyal aficionados. Now we are in the mirrorless age, Leica has a tough job surviving imho.

        There are many fine mirrorless cameras now, but your statement that the DSLR is obsolete is absolute nonsense. If you are interested in flickr stats, the comparison between the number 1 Leica camera ( Leica m) and the number 1 Canon camera (5D mk iii), in the number of uploads in one day is as follows. Canon, 85000 uploads from 2,660 users. Leica, 1544 uploads from 135 users.

        DSLRs are still the main serious camera people buy, mirrorless cameras, of which Leica is a very small percentage, follow way behind.

        1. Excellent post. I have invested in the Fuji XF system as a compact second option for working. But I have nowhere near the confidence in it as I have in my Canon DSLR gear. When I pick up the Canons , I just know they will do what I want right now. The Fujis are a bit more uncertain.

  27. The Fuji XPro1 kept pulling at my heart when it came out. I didn’t answer the call and used my brain, bought other cameras and was never fully happy with them. I finally gave in and it is still my favorite and most-used camera today. I own two XPro1 bodies, in case the first gives out. I make my best photos with the XPro1, because it is such a joy to use.

  28. I think that it should be a combination of both brain and heart..more brain though..the camera system we choose should have the lenses that matter to us..should have a good and reliable focussing system so that we dont miss good shots and after these checks from the brain..i then listen to my heart..hold the camera in hand and get a feel of things..if i like it i buy if not i will repeat the first 2 steps and try another product..until i get what i desire..

  29. I start with my brain and end up with my heart. Ended up with 4 cameras that appeal to my heart and two of them are Olympus and two are Fuji. These two manufacturers meet technical requirements I have but even more than that appeal to me on a personal level. Had a Sony A6000 but it didn’t appeal to my inner soul.

  30. I definitely buy with my brain – to the detriment of my pocket, usually! There is no way I can ‘justify’ my Leicas (including the SL), but I love them dearly. You are only here once, why not enjoy it while you can?

  31. If you think cameras are tools that help you get your work done, of course you use your brain.
    If you think cameras are status symbols or fashion accessories, you use your heart.

    1. Not true. I never look at a camera as a status symbol. I prefer happiness, enjoying my gear and knowing I am shooting the right tool for me, and i always go with heart. Never failed me. yet I see so many obsess over specs and they are never ever happy. They are usually bitter. So I politely disagree with you on that.

      1. Specs aren’t the most important consideration for me. I need to see how the gear performs in the real world. I think in terms of capabilities rather than specs. Gear represents a certain set of capabilities. I need to decide if those capabilities will help me achieve what I want to do with my photography before I break open my piggy bank. So I do as much research as I can on new gear before I buy. I read reviews, look at samples galleries and mull it over. On more than one occasion, I’ve purchased gear based on this site’s recommendation and I’ve never regretted it. It’s making a good, informed decision that makes me happy.

  32. Merry Christmas Steve! I don’t know how you do it. Day in day out you put out a lot of great content. I fully understand the “falling in a rut” as I’ve experienced that the past few months. So I think you’re correct in that if your camera choice was made via “heart” vice “brain” makes the difference when climbing up and out of the rut. That’s why I haven’t given up on my now ancient CCD based M.

    Good luck on the upcoming new year Steve!

    1. Toys for Boys

      We love to play and a whole industrie needs us to want something new
      but on the other side great pictures can be made with every camera
      and that´s what I keep in mind if G.A.S. tried to take over control !

      1. The same heart and brain can be used to get a 5 or a 5000 $ thing.
        To get either a very lovely or a fully useful piece.
        So many times to say why did I got that.
        No other way to learn

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