The urge for a new digital camera.....!

I find myself in a unique situation, one I haven't experienced in many years. For a significant stretch of time, my photography journey has been exclusively analog. Whether it was through the lens of an SLR or the artful simplicity of a pinhole camera, my focus was firmly on film. The exception was my trusty Mini Instax Evo, a small digital companion, but aside from that, my digital camera had been left dormant. Well, I did once attempt a shoot with a digital "pinhole lens," but that venture proved to be thoroughly uninspiring.

My current digital camera is the Fuji XT1 Mirrorless system, a shift I made from my Canon system several years ago. Back then, I had a Canon 7D and a vast collection of lenses, ranging from an 8mm fisheye to a substantial 400mm Sigma lens. The reason for my switch was simple; life had evolved. With a growing family and the prospect of another child on the way, the Canon system had become unwieldy. It was hefty, bulky, and the Fuji provided a perfect solution. It was smaller, lighter, and its image quality was exceptional. Moreover, it had an analog charm that resonated with me. It was the ideal companion for family outings.

However, my Fuji XT1 has since languished on the sidelines, accumulating dust. Saltwater appears to have infiltrated its power on/off knob, corroding it to the point where turning it on and off has become an arduous task. At times, I've even resorted to using pliers to manipulate it. The shutter button shares a similar fate and can only be reliably operated with a wired shutter remote.

I've contemplated selling the Fuji lenses that have gathered dust alongside the camera, as it seems I have no use for it anymore (the camera's value has dwindled significantly). The funds from the sale could go towards a high-quality film camera, a drone (an intriguing prospect for me), or simply stocking up on film. However, the current financial climate is harsh, and my family is acutely feeling the pinch of rising living costs. The mortgage has spiked, groceries are more expensive, holidays have become a luxury, and even fuel for our cars and heating our home has become a considerable expense. In this economic climate, the idea of buying another camera to use more film which has also got more expensive is something I really don't think is a good idea at the moment for myself.

The idea of acquiring another digital camera, preferably a Fuji mirrorless system with interchangeable lenses, appeals to me. I have some compact lenses that would make it a versatile, carry-around option. But the question is, which camera should I choose?

One option is to go for another Fuji XT1, which is quite affordable secondhand. The Fuji XT2 is another possibility, priced between £400-£500. The XPro series has piqued my interest, particularly the Xpro 2, though I'm less sure about the Xpro 3. The XPro2 is selling for approximately £500-£900, which might be slightly beyond my budget.

Recently, my thoughts have coalesced around the Fuji X-T20, available in the £300-£400 range. It would be a notable upgrade from my Fuji XT1. The X-T20's smaller size is particularly appealing, as I no longer require a chunky camera. If I need something hefty, I'll stick with my Mamiya RB67.

What prompted this shift in my thinking? It's been on my mind for a few weeks, maybe even a few months, but it was during a brief break from work that the idea gained momentum. Opportunities presented themselves while spending time with my family or walking the dog, where having a decent digital camera would have enhanced the moments. Moreover, I'm an avid cyclist, and a portable digital camera would undoubtedly be a valuable companion during my rides. My pinhole camera always demands a tripod, and my film SLRs are just too bulky. Acquiring a smaller 35mm or 120 camera would only add to the cost of film, and that's something I'd prefer to avoid for now.

One morning walking my dog, the light from the top of the downs was absolutely beautiful I tried to capture it with my smart phone but it's never going to be good enough. 

Today out with my wife and kids walking along the seafront and down the pier watching the waves crashing this would've been a perfect opportunity for some wonderful photos on the beach, also I found a lovely spot for some long exposures, something I certainly enjoy doing with a digital camera. I would've needed a tripod or at least my Manfrotto super clamp, but it would've been easier to set up than my RB67

I find it difficult to part with any of my cameras to fund this new acquisition. My Mamiya RB67, in particular, is a piece of art, an absolute marvel to use. There have been occasions when I've contemplated selling it during periods of disuse, but as soon as I take it out, start cleaning it up, I realize it's something I would deeply regret parting with. My Yashica D TLR holds cherished memories of my children growing up, and I've formed a special bond with it. I do have a collection of pinhole cameras that I could potentially reduce, and that might be an option worth considering. However, this decision looms on the horizon, and I sense the need to address it sooner rather than later.

In the ever-evolving world of photography, the choices we make often reflect the seasons of our lives. As I stand at the crossroads of whether to embrace a new digital camera or hold fast to the analog beauties that have been my companions for so long, I'm reminded of the enduring magic that both realms offer.

My cameras, each with its unique character and history, hold stories and memories that are as vivid as the images they've captured. The Mamiya RB67, a timeless masterpiece, remains a marvel that I can't part with. My Yashica D TLR, with its nostalgia-laden photographs of my children's growth, is a sentimental treasure. And the collection of pinhole cameras, while ample, represents a realm of creativity I can explore to balance my photographic journey.

While the temptation to embark on a new digital adventure beckons, the values and experiences forged with my analog companions are not easily traded. As I contemplate the road ahead, I'm reminded that it's the art of capturing moments that truly matters, regardless of the medium we choose.

So, my journey continues, with an eye on the horizon and an appreciation for the past. The decision is pending, and I'll heed my intuition and the call of opportunity. In the world of photography, there are no wrong choices, only the ones that lead us to the images we seek. And as I prepare for what's to come, I do so with gratitude for the beautiful path that has brought me to this point.


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