Seeing and Sharing the World: A New Camera?

Is this the ONE LAST camera in my photographic life?

Note to Self–Why I am thinking of changing horses…er, cameras:

I wrestle with the notion of allowing myself to even consider spending a large sum of money to get something I’ve already got: the Nikon D200 I’ve used for almost three years is a fine camera and I’ve not had any complaints from folks who have paid (not many and not much) for images from it of their families, for their walls or their web sites.

But I feel like I’m missing brushes from my palette, and I want to engage the “art of light” to the fullest with the mental, physical and creative energy I have left. And I need a few more tools to fully express what my eye, my mind and my heart see in nature and in the human landscape of the southern Blue Ridge. Or so I explain thus consumptive impulse to myself.

I’m looking at the Canon EOS 60D–which as of today has not been released. But it seems to offer those “extra brushes”:

It will let me shoot in lower light (indoors without flash, at dawn and dusk, in deep forest shade) as it handles “digital noise” better than the Nikon. It has a swivel viewfinder that lets me do in my mushroom and wildflower and insect shooting and such what I can only do now with the Canon Powershot: view a bugs eye view without laying flat on the ground; or take a shot of a crowd with the camera overhead and SEE what the camera will see.

The other thing–and turning in a completely different direction, adding another medium entirely–is the HD video capability of this camera. This would add the element of motion and sound to the visual–to be able to walk the viewer along with me on the trail, up on the ridge, down the streets of Floyd–and move to the next level with the multimedia creations I’m enjoying and which audiences seem to appreciate.

I would purchase a Tamron lens whose strong suits are long focal range (18-270mm so I can use one lens and not put my bad thumb joints through the pain of changing lenses) AND MACRO capabilities on a camera body that will make massive images (18 megapixels) from which smaller crops can be made and still enlarge well.

I have a modest sum of earned income in my Goose Creek Press biz account that is drawing no interest (and would not if “invested” most places these days.) And for me, at this time in my life, doesn’t the pleasure of creating — or at least capturing and sharing– beauty have a higher value than imaginary returns I will not likely live to see?

I’m a reluctant consumer in general–a bad citizen in that regard, by some reckoning. I would like to enjoy the journey, though I am generally NOT a happy shopper. But this purchase, if I make it, will not reward me in the American-way pleasure of the consumption for its own sake but in the images that find their way to the canvas of memory. I think I have something of a gift in the way I see the world, and want to do that as fully as my tools will allow.

So there you have it: my rationalization for a totally unnecessary purchase towards an end with questionable survival value. But rue the day that all our energies are for mere animal survival. Art must live on, and I’d like to play some small part in that legacy. But swimming against the currents of extreme frugality and fixed incomes on the near horizon, will I muster the persistence and impracticality to pull this off?

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