What gear changed your (photographic) life?

DeeJayK

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I recently came across this video where Jordan from DPReview (ex-The Camera Store TV) talks about how the [spoiler alert!] Panasonic GF1 changed his life.


The video is from almost a year back, so I apologize if it's been discussed before. But in addition to being a great reminder about how Micro Four Thirds shook up the industry, it's a fun device for discussion.

So, tell us what piece of gear most changed your photographic life?

- K
 

PakkyT

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Easily I can say it was my very first digital camera in 1998, the Olympus D-220L, a 640x480 camera with a fixed focal length. It didn't really matter how small the photos were or the quality of the photos but that I could take as many shots as I wanted without costing me anything and could experiment and play with photography with no "per shot" expenses was revolutionary to me.
 

agentlossing

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I think "first cameras" are largely going to be the most transformative. It's probably a toss-up between my very first digital camera, an Olympus P&S with 2mp, I think it was a Camedia D520, and the first "serious" camera, my subsequent Nikon D40. Both of those had the effect of putting my photography on steroids, the latter one obviously producing results I was more pleased with than the former, but that little Oly P&S was like a revelation, since I'd never had a really dependable 35mm film camera and just scrounged what I could, including disposable cameras.
 

Mike Wingate

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Corfield Interplan C. With a clip on periscope rangefinder and exposure meter. In Swit with Agfa slide film. Age of 10.
A068FFC8-DBFB-4E70-9381-B8C0A863516D.jpeg
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Gromit

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Fuji X100 - made me realise there is life beyond the DSLR (Canon in my case).

Still got my Nikon D700 though (owned it for 8 years) as its sensor still gives a certain magic.
 

DeeJayK

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I think "first cameras" are largely going to be the most transformative. It's probably a toss-up between my very first digital camera, an Olympus P&S with 2mp, I think it was a Camedia D520, and the first "serious" camera, my subsequent Nikon D40. Both of those had the effect of putting my photography on steroids, the latter one obviously producing results I was more pleased with than the former, but that little Oly P&S was like a revelation, since I'd never had a really dependable 35mm film camera and just scrounged what I could, including disposable cameras.

You're right, the answer is generally going to be either your first camera, your first "real" camera, or perhaps your first digital camera.

The first camera I recall buying was a Leica C11, an APS point and shoot with a 3x zoom. I was seduced by the little red circle logo, but I never really made any really decent images with that camera. Probably my most vivid recollection of that camera is that the majority of the images I shot on my honeymoon were ruined by the airport x-ray scanner since I chose to shoot ISO 1000 film in order to compensate for the f4.8–f9.5 lens. That camera didn't change my life, but it helped me understand what I wanted next.

I could say that the GF1 changed my life, despite the fact I never owned one. It was the sexiness of the GF1 and its pancake 20mm lens that drew my attention to the world of :mu43: and eventually led me to purchasing an E-PL1 which I chose over the Panasonic based on the fact it had IBIS. I took a fair number of decent photos with that E-PL1 and it still sits on my shelf today. So probably the E-PL1 was the camera that has had the largest impact on my photography.

- K
 
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doady

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What was the first digital camera? I would not have been able to get into photography if not for digital. 100% FOV, live view, live histogram, reusable flash memory, adjustable white balance, post-processing with software... much easier and much cheaper than film photography, especially for an amateur like me.
 

exakta

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Argus C3, the brick ;)

Bought used for $12, my first 35mm, my first camera that wasn't fixed focus and fixed exposure. Lasted about 3 years before the shutter died.

argus-c3_011.jpg
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ex machina

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Ha, easy, the iPhone changed my life, getting me back into photography after 30+ years due to being too poor to replace my stolen OM-1.

I did have cameras later on, most notably an Olympus XA (which I still have) but mostly a series of snapshot and instant cameras (the wife couldn't work the XA) for casual family/kid shots. Just didn't have the desire to do anything more.

Until I got an iPhone, but really until the iPhone 4 came out and I stated getting into the habit of taking photos to add to geocache logs and posting to FB, then IG. Slowly the love and interest of photography on its own merits returned and led me here.
 

cjoliprsf

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Canon Rebel XTi (aka 400D) with EF 50mm /1.8 mk2 in the year 2008.
I had used SLRs in the previous century, but had mostly lost interest. This camera revived my pleasure to shoot.
 

RichardC

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Pentax ME Super, bought from Comet on HP for about £9 a month. Hanimex flashgun, Photax tripod, Hanimex 80-200 zoom and an alloy case quickly followed.

This was a 'proper' enough camera kit to persuade the interviewers at Jessops in Birmingham that I was serious enough about photography to be employable by their company as a junior salesman, starting on 9th April, 1984. Without such evidence, the company (at that time) wouldn't employ you.
 

Michael Houston

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For me, it was a Nikkormat - early Nikon all-manual camera with a 50mm f2. I had had several cameras before - box cameras and Polaroids - but this Nikon gave me control over the photo and made me realize that I wanted to do more than just push a button. Later on I worked in a photo store for several years and owned my own photo studio for 8 years. You can draw a direct line from all of that directly back to that little ol' Nikkormat. Although I have no real use for it, I still have it around here somewhere...sentimental value, you understand.
 
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That's a question with many possible answers. The first big milestone was when my late uncle gave me his old Canon FT-QL SLR and some lenses because I showed interest in photography. That was a big step up. The next significant milestone would be my first digital camera, an Olympus D-550Z Stylus. I'd been shooting film for years, but had lost interest and my film cameras were moldering away in a gadget bag. When I got the digital, I was suddenly freed from the tyranny of film purchasing, processing, and the 36 exposure limit. I began shooting again and enjoyed the new freedom of digital. The last significant milestone was switching from a heavy DSLR (Canon 7D) to M43 (Olympus EM5). I started to enjoy photography more and shot a lot more photos with the jewel-like EM5 than I ever did with the 7D. Have since expanded more in M43 and have acquired and sold more camera gear than in the previous 40 years. Not because I was GASsier (altho that may be a part of it), but because I just spent more time photographing and expanding my horizons.
 
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Panolyman

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My first 'real'camera was a used Zorki 4 back in the early 70's once I'd started work.
I progressed to various SLR cameras and from then on it was the usual lifestyle situations with regular changes to accommodate family photos.
Probably the most significant move was getting a Panasonic FZ30 bridge camera later in life which convinced me of digital and I started enjoying taking photos.
It was only really in 2016, once retired, that I triggered my current interest with the purchase of a Panasonic GX80 with 12-32mm lens from Jessop's in Shrewsbury. Thankfully it wasn't @RichardC that sold me that set-up as I basically hated it from the start.
Fortunately I ventured forth from there and moving on from that, I am now hooked.
 

mfturner

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Camera wise, it would have been the Nikonos II with 35mm lens, the first camera I was willing to take absolutely anywhere in any conditions and still have top quality optics. From hiking/ trail running in the Canadian Rockies to snorkeling off the Florida keys, it was a great companion.

My dad's Argus C3 as my very first camera gets an honorable mention as introducing me to photography in the first place.

And trustworthy AF and AE of the Canon 60d, along with its digital free cost per frame, freed me to take more opportunistic photos instead of agonizing over each frame.
 

scb

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Although a Sony Cybershot was my first digital camera and started my interest in photography as a hobby, it was just a prelude to the revelations of my second camera, the Panasonic FZ-20. With that camera, really started enjoying taking photos using every zoom range possible along with that camera's ability to be used as a close-up camera. After venturing into the Olympus E system, followed by the micro 4/3 E PL 2 & PL 5 bodies, the E M 10 was the camera that really helped me to become a better photographer with a better understanding of the technical aspect of cameras. I still believe that the E M 10 bodies are a "best buy" for someone that wants a great camera at a lower price, and all you have to do is add your choice of lenses from the multitude of micro 4/3 lenses that are now available.
 

CiaranCReilly

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For me, it was my first prime lens. My first digital camera was a Sony DSC-P32 which was fixed lens, but I used digital zoom like it was optical. I graduated through a zoom P&S, bridge camera, and my first "serious" camera which was an E-P1 with kit zoom. After using that for a while and reading more about photography, against my natural instincts I invested in a 14/2.5 and that really transformed how I took photographs and how much I enjoyed taking photographs.
 
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The camera that changed me was my introduction to M43, a used EM10ii.

I had at least half a dozen cameras (so not the first) or any of the others. I started trying to be a better photographer when I got my first DSLR, a Canon Rebel in around 2007. I upgraded to a Canon 6D in the beginning of 2015 because I was POSITIVE that I needed a full-frame sensor and that the lack of such was clearly why I wasn't taking better pictures. Once I upgraded I almost stopped taking pictures entirely. It was just too big to drag around. I didn't even like taking it out around the house so I convinced my wife to let me get a small camera for carrying around on the regular. The plan was to use it for "less important" photos and use the Canon for "serious" photos. 6 months later I sold the Canon because it never got used.

Then I joined this place, started taking WAY more photos, expanded my subject matter, started shooting manual, and tried off-camera flash. Having a camera I loved to take pictures with made me a better photographer than an arguably better camera did.
 
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