Do you ever suffer from gear envy?
But this love of the latest tech, which quickly becomes expensive, can lead to unreasonable feelings of inadequacy – especially when comparing what’s in my kit cupboard to what other content creators use.
I noticed this during my holiday in Dorset last week.
Walking past another photographer on the South West Coast Path and admiring their massive lens (!), I mentioned this feeling of gear envy to my daughter.
Wise beyond her years, she explained that at least a dozen people had commented on the lens I was using for wildlife photography that week. So focussed on whether others were using better cameras and lenses than me, I hadn’t noticed any admiring glances or appreciative comments.
That’s an awesome photo. You must have a great camera!
Photographers hate to hear this, and for a good reason.
Would an expensive pair of football boots give you the talent of Lionel Messi?
Like most things in life, it’s not what you’ve got but what you do with it.
Sure, professional-grade cameras allow more control over the image, more dynamic range and a higher resolution. Better quality lenses help capture a sharper image.
But a pro camera in the hands of an amateur will result in amateur photos.
Place an amateur camera and kit lens in the hands of a professional photographer, and you will still get professional results.
It’s why I often get a similar reaction when sharing photos taken on my iPhone as I do from those taken with my £3,000 DSLR. Once you understand composition, exposure, lighting, colour and the million other factors that make up a great photo, you should be able to do impressive work with one of those disposable film cameras they give to wedding guests.
There’s always a temptation to ‘invest’ in bigger, better gear.
Like many enthusiastic cyclists I know, the ideal number of bikes is the number they already own, plus one.
I’ve got a lengthy Amazon wish list of the lenses, cameras, lights, and assorted tech I want to buy. But do I need any of it?
My Dorset holiday ended with the slight disaster of crashing a drone into Weymouth Harbour.
After changing into my trunks and diving in to retrieve it, the smoking battery indicated it was beyond repair.
It needs to be replaced at only three months old and quickly becoming my favourite drone. But the timing of the crash coincided with the release of a new drone from the same manufacturer, with better specs – a larger camera sensor, longer flight time, and higher resolution images.
Do I splash out (no pun intended!) twice as much on the latest model or buy a like-for-like replacement, a drone that has surpassed all expectations in the short time I’ve been using it?
My head tells me to repurchase the same, but my heart wants me to get the new shiny toy. I guess that’s the power of marketing at play.
For the past few weeks, before that seagull-induced drone crash, I saw the new model everywhere.
The influencers I follow on YouTube and Instagram have been given freebies to test and show off. The manufacturer knows what they are doing to create a buzz about their new products.
Well-executed content marketing aside, let me relate to what gear envy means for small business content marketing.
The gear you already have is likely to be ideal for the job at hand – at least to get started.
If you want to add video marketing to the mix, for example, then shoot content with your smartphone.
As you get more practice and start seeing results from those smartphone filmed videos, you can upgrade to a more professional camera, but it’s not essential.
Every piece of kit we use here at Bear Content has a purpose. Some of it is eye-swaggeringly expensive, and other items are more affordable.
Lots of experience with everything in our gear cupboard means we can get the desired results.
Sure, there’s always an opportunity (and desire) to upgrade to more expensive tech, and those upgrades continue to happen each year.
But what really matters with camera gear is what you do with it.