Updated: Dec 20, 2021
I thought it would be easy, but I realize that letting go is easier said than done.
The journey that brought me to this realization started over two decades ago when I saw this shiny, beastly yet dainty-looking gadget in the mid-nineties. It was calling my name, and of course, I couldn't but respond. It was the first 'real' camera that I bought. Up to this point, the cameras that I owned were the plain old point-and-shoot. I had a dream, though, of buying myself a professional-grade camera even though my knowledge of professional cameras was from watching others work with them.
I remember in my adolescence watching my dad fiddle with and manipulate his camera to take family photos. It didn't look easy. As such, I developed a sense of respect for cameras, or maybe it was fear masqueraded as respect. Yet, despite all this seemingly negative experience, the dream of owning a pro-camera lived. By the time I saw the beast, I was no longer a naive callow adolescent; I was a man over his fear of 'professional' cameras. I was ready.
After months of sacrificing, I was ready to purchase what was a professional camera to me. Yes, to me. For professional photographers, this camera was amateurish, which, I guess, was the right choice for me, as I was not a professional yet. Nevertheless, in my eyes, it was not just a camera; it was a beast of a camera. The feel and capabilities of the camera were mind-blowing, performance was dynamite; I fell in love with this camera, and consequently, I fell in love with the Nikon brand. Over the years, I owned a lot of Nikon cameras, from the mid-range d100 series to the full-frame Nikon d800 camera. Non-disappointed. But after almost a quarter-century, I was seduced by another camera brand.
Sony captured my eye because of its pioneering work in mirrorless technology. The technology resulted in smaller and lighter cameras that produced the same and sometimes even better-quality pictures than their mirrored counterparts. But, of course, to make this transition, I had to sacrifice my Nikon gear. So, I put all my gear on the market. As if the universe was conspiring to nudge me into dumping my beloved brand, all my Nikon gear
sold faster than hotcakes. So, armed with cash, I took the inevitable trip to my favorite camera store and purchased my first mirrorless camera, a Sony a7ii.
It did not disappoint. The camera's ergonomics, compactness, and, most importantly, lightweight cleansed the guilt of dumping my Nikon gear. Moreover, the Sony a7ii performed well and produced high-quality images, albeit its poor battery life. I was mesmerized with my purchase and hooked to the Sony brand. Over the years, I added more Sony cameras and lenses to my no longer Nikon camera bag.
But despite my fulfillment with mirrorless cameras, I found myself thinking of my first love. Yes, although my Nikon DSLRs were bulky and heavy, and I complained about lagging them on shoots, I realized that, ironically, it was what I loved about DSLRs. The heaviness made me aware that I was a photographer working on my craft. It gave me a sense of doing something, and yes, it made me more creative.
I still use my Sony mirrorless camera, but whenever I need inspiration, I go to my old Nikon d200. There I find bulkiness, heaviness old technology, but most of all, that is where I find creativity. I thought it would be easy, but I cannot say goodbye to my Nikon DSLR. Not just yet.