Do you suffer from GAS

Do you suffer from GAS

By  Jalcocer

Do you suffer from GAS?
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, or think this post is about stomach issues, let me give you a bit more insight about it.
GAS, is a term commonly used to define a Gear Acquisition Syndrome. I have no idea for how long this definition has been used in the photographic world, but despite that, I couldn’t avoid noticing how many blogs and articles make reference to this issue from time to time.
Put in a simple way, it’s a constant effort on acquiring more equipment (cameras, lenses, accessories, etc), attempting to climb up in the equipment scale. For us, amateur photographers, it is mostly the search for the holy grail, the ultimate camera, lens, or whatever, that will make our photography so much better, instead of follow the path of practice and learning.
I started four years ago, when I bought my first dslr, a very modest but capable Nikon D3000. My main motive was to learn and to fall in love with photography. I even bought a small bag, a prime lens and a cheap telephoto zoom to achieve a very promissing, basic setup.
Everything was right on track, up until I started watching reviews on YouTube and read about other cameras over the Internet. After that, I found a “need” for a better camera, with good video capabilities. So, I made the jump to a different brand with a Canon T2i (550d).
That implied selling all my gear and start from scratch with the new system. This time I invested in a couple of lenses, a battery grip, a new bag and some accessories.
But that was far from being it. Short after, I felt the “need” (again) to buy a point and shoot, to be a companion to my dslr. So I bought it.
Then, along came the “need” for a more pro like camera, with a top lcd screen so I could be able to monitor my settings. More dials and knobs, better construction, weather sealed. So, I sold my T2i and bought a 60D.
But, that “need” for a better camera, never went away. No matter how good the one in my hands was, I kept looking for the next best thing. Debts where increasing, real time use of cameras was becoming shorter and shorter. I was selling practically new gear at really cheap prices, losing a good chunk of my investment.
And that’s how after 7 dslr’s, 5 mirrorless, 4 p&s’s, and 3 video cameras later (and practically every major brand), I took a look at the images taken during a four year span. I wasn’t able to find a damn difference between one picture or another. I improved a bit in some techniques, but the images weren’t showing any sign of being taken with x or y camera. There wasn’t a single picture that could justify the money spent in “better” gear.
At that point, I accepted that the camera is not where the “money” is (specially with those yard sale prices I gave). And that, now at days, technology is so advanced, that image quality is practically negligible among brands, even with cameras a couple of years apart from each other.
At this moment, I find myself again using Nikon, a couple of cameras that are practically on semi pro level. Non of them slouches, neither on settings nor performance.
I can get amazing shots with this two cameras, but still, I’m not able to see a real improvement, because instead of spending my time practicing and using my cameras, I was using all my time and energy feeding my addiction.
I really hope this time my GAS can be well controlled. Because it’s not something you can cure in a definitive way. GAS is an addiction, a state of mind that need to be monitored on a daily basis. But, at the end, I think, all of this, served a higher purpose. To make me realize that the final outcome relies on me, and me only.
You are good to go with the equipment you already own. Instead of investing more money, it’s better to invest time and efforts on learning and improving your photographic skills. Being able to find the field of photography that suits you the most, that likes you the most, that you love the most, and only then, based on that, make your decisions concerning new equipment.

Author Jalcocer



Retired advertising photographer, now living in the Gers France and having a great time.

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