The three parts of a GAS-inducing engine -- Pixel viewing, Photo Forums and Rumor Sites Up to 2008, I really struggled for quality pictures using various 3 to 8MP point and shoots. Blown highlights, too few pixels, grainy shots with little detail, etc. Our family photo books looked weak. Since 2008, when I began using DSLRs and then CSC cameras, the photo books like fantastic. And you know what? The 2009 books look every bit as good as the most recent ones. So why spend so much time ruminating on, and churning, photo gear? After some personal time away from forums, and some reflection, I've come to a personal conclusion. As far as I can tell, there are three external factors that drive my GAS: Pixel Level Viewing Photography Forums Rumor Sites 1) Pixel Level Viewing -- If I look at images on my 24" color corrected SIPS Dell monitor at full view (where I can see the whole image on screen), with very few exceptions, most all of my images look fantastic (in technical terms. Artistic value aside). From shots from my old Canon ELPH SD800 to my m43 to my FF cameras. Yes, there are differences. The 5D has melty backgrounds, the SD800 can have blown highlights, etc. But they all look great. And, on a 24" screen, that can represent up to an 8X10 at full view! I have rarely ever printed bigger than that. Maybe a total of 6 times, I've printed 11X14. Far more often -- whether a web posting, or a photo book page with multiple photos on it, or just archiving physical prints -- I'm doing the equivalent of 4X6. BUT, blow that picture up to 100% view, and WHOA! Look how terrible that EPM1 at ISO1600 is vs. the NEX 5n. Or how little detail my old Canon XTi w/kit lens resolves compared to my OMD w/PL25. I better get a new camera/lens/whatever! I was down at my local photo shop recently, and the proprietor had a large print of a dance troupe. It was about 1 meter tall. It looked great, even getting up close to it. I knew he shot Nikon, and asked him if that was shot using a D800 with it’s glorious 36MP. Nope, a lowly little D300 with it’s 1/3 the number of MP (12MP). Hey, my old EPM1 “only” had 12MP! It’s been said before by other people smarter than me, but looking at images at 100% is mostly a complete waste of time. 100% pixel peeping – it’s the engine of global camera commerce! 2) Photography Forums --- No offense to this wonderful site, full of wonderful people, led by a great site owner, but these forums fuel GAS big time (except maybe DPR, which might scare off as many aspiring photographers as it creates). These sites are GREAT for beginners and for learning, but there is always a slightly-better mousetrap, and most of the time, it won’t matter, but oh, those 100% crops (see Pixel Level Viewing, above). And the herd mentality to try new gear. And if you don't get the latest gear, btw, what do you have to forum-post about? Last years gear? Who cares??. 3) Rumor Sites – the junk food of those prone to photo gear churn. This is the bad stuff. The stuff that makes you ask “what’s next” and keeps you thinking about what gear to sell, to get the next great thing (whether in your system, or changing systems). And, there’s no end to them! Canon sites (two now), Nikon, Pentax, Photorumors, Fuji, Leica, mirrorless, NEX and m43. That’s at least 10 rumor sites in English that can be endlessly monitored. And then there are European and Asian sites, and then there are endless blog/reviewer sites! It’s the worst kind of junk food, always with something new and fresh. I have to think the camera companies leak enough to keep those sites alive, because they have to know the gear-churn and obsession those sites help stoke. I am not taking issue at all with people's hobby of gear buying/trying/selling. Everyone has hobbies, and this is as legit as any other. But for me, personally, I have spent too much time on this hobby. It's been far more addictive to me than any other hobby I've tried. So this is just a reflection of some thoughts I've had, trying to figure out how to cut back my time on this hobby. I think cutting back on some of the GAS-inducing factors might help me a bit. And yes, I'm aware of the irony of the post, but writing is also a hobby of mine, so there you go!