What gear changed your (photographic) life?

Joined
Apr 9, 2021
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3
Location
San Antonio, TX
Real Name
Donovan
Rather than physical gear, I’d say starting to use Adobe Lightroom had the biggest effect on photography for me. When I first tried it I had only my smartphone, but that phone could produce DNG files that I needed a way to edit and I also wanted to organize years of snapshots from various compact digital cameras, smartphones, and camera phones.

That software was my introduction to post-processing and it helped make photography a hobby for me. It meant that I started to learn more about the basics of exposure and composition as well as what to do with the photo after I took it. I thoroughly enjoy post-processing and it’s an integral part of the experience for me.

I didn’t get my first, and so far only, ILC until a couple years after starting to use Lightroom.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2015
Messages
380
Location
UK
Real Name
Richard
The thing that changed my photographic life the most wasn’t really gear at all. It was a 12 week online workshop with a photographer whose work I admire. Not technically impressive work. There’s a lot of that out there and lots of people teaching how to do it. Her images stopped me in my tracks and tug at my soul.

The workshop changed the way I look at photography. Or more accurately, it changed my relationship with photography. My relationship with MY photography.

If there’s someone out there like that for you and you can find a way to learn from them, your photography can change in a way that no piece of gear can ever equal.

If it must be a piece of gear, it would be the first flash I got, a Vivitar 283. It’s all about the light.*

*Except when it’s not.
Fred,
Your comments really resonated with me, but who is the photographer you are referring to?
Send me a pm if you prefer not to answer publicly!!
Thanks
Richard
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2014
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Honolulu, HI
Real Name
Walter
The gear that changed my photographic life was my first digital camera, an Olympus D-550 Zoom P&S. (I posted in another thread about it being my first Olympus) At the time, I had just about abandoned photography and hadn't used my film cameras in years. The digital was like a breath of fresh air, freeing me from the constraints and costs of limited film exposures and processing. It got me back into photography again. If I didn't accidentally kill it by dropping it in a puddle, I would have kept it as a memento.

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Borrowed image.
 
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The Grumpy Snapper

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Oct 9, 2017
Messages
525
Tenba Pro Pak P595. Mine is from the first shipment to arrive in the U.K. in late 1980 or early 1981, I forget exactly when. I picked it up from the U.K. distributor/importer as they weren't in any retailers at the time. Brilliant design and almost indestructible.

By the time mine was about 5 years old it had probably covered 50,000 miles strapped to the pillion seat of assorted motorcycles plus all the other miles it had racked up.

I still have it. It's got a few stains but otherwise is as good as the day I got it.
 

mcgillro

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
994
Location
Hastings, NZ
I couldn't say it was any one thing.

Buying a decent DSLR and then learning about shooting in RAW was pivotable for me several years ago. Had used a SLR but kind've gotten out of the habit.

DSLR was a revelation,then transition to mirror less, and going to Olympus system this year has given me a new lease of life. Lots of features, but light enough to be easily carried about.
 

Stringer

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Apr 17, 2010
Messages
52
Location
Hamilton, Ontario
The Olympus E-10 (still have it) changed my camera life. It allowed my to do event photography for a few years , make money and afforded me the money to buy into a Canon system when the 10D was released. From there I did part time professional work for a few years, but gave it up around 2010 and now it is a hobby only. Except for family weddings.
 

Indianpeaksjoe

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
2,063
Location
Moab
For me, it was the Mindshift Gear Trail Rotation 180 pack. Like many here I bought a DSLR back in the day and it stayed in my closet because it was too big to bring with me. Then I bought a M4/3 and I brought it more, but it was still hard to grab. Then I got this pack.
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Now I take WAY more pics hiking and mountain biking. It is a shame they stopped making this pack. I need to buy a backup off of ebay :)

-Joe
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
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The Desert - Western Australia
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Troy
For me, it was the Mindshift Gear Trail Rotation 180 pack. Like many here I bought a DSLR back in the day and it stayed in my closet because it was too big to bring with me. Then I bought a M4/3 and I brought it more, but it was still hard to grab. Then I got this pack.
View attachment 882821
Now I take WAY more pics hiking and mountain biking. It is a shame they stopped making this pack. I need to buy a backup off of ebay :)

-Joe



Mindshift.JPG
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davidzvi

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Aug 12, 2012
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Outside Boston MA
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David
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.
I'd had a few cameras over the years and a digital P&S. But I decided I wanted to start photography as a hobby back around 2004 and needed something more. I was originally thinking I'd get a Canon EOS ELAN. But the Digital Rebel and Nikon D70 had just been released. It was an easy decision, the difference between digital and film was 35 rolls of 36 exposure film and the D70 just felt better in the hand, much more of a solid feeling. I think I shot 20,000 images in first year since my kids were really young at the time in playing baseball, soccer, .......

Canon Powershot S1 IS. Dropped maybe $350 on it new in 2005, and assured my wife it was "all the camera I'd ever need" and that "I'd never want the complication of a camera with a separate lens". A bigger pair of lies has seldom been told, though I believed them true at the time.

That Canon wasn't a bad camera for it's day, but as I got in to photography I soon realized there were some serious limitations that could be resolved to some extent by acquiring more and better gear. Lots more. So I guess that camera is was set me off down a steep mountain, or up it, depending on how you look at it. I wouldn't have taken the plunge on a Nikon D40 straight away, but the Canon enabled me.
Between my original digital P&S (a Pentax Optio 330) and the D70 I bought (and returned):
  1. Canon PowerShot S1 IS
  2. Canon PowerShot S50
  3. Canon PowerShot Pro1
Each time thinking it would be enough.
 

Brownie

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Sep 3, 2018
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3,540
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SE Michigan
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Tim
Pentax K1000. Up until that point it had been Brownies and 126/110 cartridge cameras. Dad had a Minolta and I wanted one bad but couldn't swing the cost. K1000s were cheap and easy to find in any department store.
 

PhotoCal

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
347
Canon Powershot S1 IS. Dropped maybe $350 on it new in 2005, and assured my wife it was "all the camera I'd ever need" and that "I'd never want the complication of a camera with a separate lens". A bigger pair of lies has seldom been told, though I believed them true at the time.

That Canon wasn't a bad camera for it's day, but as I got in to photography I soon realized there were some serious limitations that could be resolved to some extent by acquiring more and better gear. Lots more. So I guess that camera is was set me off down a steep mountain, or up it, depending on how you look at it. I wouldn't have taken the plunge on a Nikon D40 straight away, but the Canon enabled me.

Yea, the S1 was a great camera for its time. I had several models, up to the SX50, I think, before switching into m43.
My first m43 was the Olympus EM10, which was smaller than the SX50.

Getting a good supertelephoto lens, the Olympus 100-400, has rejuvenated my photography.
 
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