First and foremost, I’m not rich. But, compare my current income to when I was younger and it’s safe to say I’m doing okay. When money was scarce, I would visit my local photography store, salivating and longing for cameras that my bank balance would not allow. Like Wayne Cambell fantasizing over his dream guitar, I would look at my favorite camera and say, “Oh yes, she will be mine.” So, without further ado, here are five cameras I dreamed of owning when I was broke.
1. Nikon Df
Back when I was a Nikon fanboy, I used to long for the Nikon Df. Announced in 2013, the build of this camera gave me everything I wanted – an analog feel, a full-frame sensor, and quality that was synonymous with Nikon at that time. At the time of its release, the Nikon Df cost around $3,000. Considering only six months earlier I had thought my $400 Nikon D3200 was a big investment, there was no chance of me owning a camera I’d spent many hours holding in the store!
2. Leica CL
As a street photographer, it has long been ingrained into me that Leica is the way to go. Sadly, my bank account never quite got the memo. When the Leica CL was released in 2017, it was marketed as an affordable Leica system. Because it was light and compact, it was also ideal for street photography. But, affordable in Leica’s world is almost $4,000: again, my bank account never got the memo! Times have changed since then, and I discovered Fujifilm, a more affordable avenue for street photographers looking for a quality Mirrorless system.
3. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
I remember one of my photography buddies joined us on one of our regular photo walks with a brand new camera. It was the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, and my, didn’t he look pleased with himself! 4k video recording, DIGIC 6+ processor, a touchscreen LCD – no wonder he was smiling cheek to cheek! I wanted one. However, I was left with my tail between my legs once I learned it cost him $3,500 – without the lens – and $4,800 with the lens!
4. Leica M10-D
Technically speaking, I still can’t drop almost $9,000 on this little gem. But, I have more of a chance now than I ever did! Many people are put off by the complete lack of an LCD screen, but I love it! Not having the ability to chimp while out shooting street photography is a dream for me. Sure, I could just shoot analog, but I like the immediacy of digital (Millennial, I know!) Instead of the Leica M10-D, I could get the Fujifilm X-Pro 3, which also limits chimping by hiding (instead of removing) the LCD screen. But, I respect how Leica fully committed to the feature, rather than half-hearting it like Fujifilm did.
5. Fujifilm GFX 50R
I love Fujifilm cameras. The X-T line gives me the design and ergonomics I have longed for, along with the performance and speed that comes with the digital format. With that in mind, I knew full well Fujfilm would do an excellent job with a medium format camera, and the GFX 50R didn’t disappoint. At the time of its release in the fall of 2018, I had just returned from traveling and spent all my cash on middle-class experiences and holistic juices. I could barely afford rent, let alone a new medium format camera – even if it was a great price considering the competition!
It’s Good to Dream
Dreaming of having your ideal camera is a wonderful thing. Mainly, it pushes you to work hard, save, and eventually be the owner of the camera you always wanted. But at the same time, it’s all good to be happy with what you’ve got, and make the most out of it in the process. A camera is only as good as the person using it: remember that.