Forward & Credits
I found this text posted to a thread on the forum of RealPhotographersForum.com. Posted by Larry Bolch, one of the very knowledgeable senior members of the site, it’s a humorous piece outlining 6 different camera-purchaser groups, or 7 if you include those who buy cameras purely to, as Larry says, ‘create photographs’.
People buy cameras for all manner of reasons. You and I buy them to create photographs, which makes sense to us, because that is what we understand cameras are for.
1 || Collectors
Collectors buy cameras as a hobby or investment. Putting $13,000 into a Leica M6 “450th Anniversary of Bratwurst Edition” with genuine tanned sausage casing leather, makes perfect sense to them. It might be worth a lifetime supply of ground meat in tubes some day. No one would ever take one of these priceless gems to the street and actually expose anything, including the camera.
2 || Measurebators
Measurebators are fascinated by cameras as precision instruments, and prattle on endlessly about mean actuations between failures, lines per millimeter and the accuracy of shutters above 1/1000th of a second. Cameras are made to test and compare. These actually get used to shoot resolution charts that are then inspected at pixel level on the screen. They also don’t get taken to the street.
3 || Calibrationists
Calibrationists are cousins to Measurbators. They are convinced that all products are shipped defective. Anything that can be adjusted, immediately gets adjusted. If they buy an economical printer with good paper profiles, they spend four times the price on calibration tools to make better profiles—only to find out they can’t. So they write to the maker of the tools for a repair manual, so they can fix the tools. My camera has adjustments to fine tune focus—but only if absolutely necessary. Of course, the Calibrationist will do this to every lens in the place, then complain since none will focus on infinity.
4 || Fanbois
Fanbois have a religious devotion to a brand. If a Nikon fanboi sees Canon come out with a camera with an extra megapixel or two, his life is in ruins. His life cycles from mania to depression and back, as each company leapfrogs the other. They yammer constantly in forums, taking any comment that is not an exaltation of their chosen brand as a personal attack. They are forever emotional 13-year olds. They don’t actually shoot, since they don’t have a camera. Their opinions have the weight of dogma, all gathered from other fanbois on the InterWebs.
5 || Camera Buffs
Camera Buffs are crusty old characters with a touch of measurebator in them. If they walk into the camera club meeting with the “best” camera in the room, they are immediately the self-ordained Alpha. The camera is worn as jewelry and represents an extension to their manhood, not their eyes and creativity. If a kid shows up with an entry-level camera and a Sigma zoom, the Alpha will not hesitate to tell him it is crap in a voice that can be heard for miles. Once the meeting starts, the Canon owners sit together and snort at the Nikon owners who sit together and snort back. If the Alpha becomes obnoxiously overbearing, and you want to be rid of him, ask to see his photos. From zero to the door in under three seconds.
6 || Rich Dentists
Rich Dentists buy high-end cameras, well, just because they can.