Friday, February 03, 2006

Choices: The Good And The Bad

Our lives are defined by the choices we make, so is the burden of being an independant and self-aware being. OK - before you start thinking that I'm in a deeply philosophical mood, I better get to the point. After all, I risk upsetting the very few readers out there that have ever seen my blog! The true subject of this post is photography. 35mm SLR cameras to be exact.

Quite a few years ago when I decided to get into photography, I bought my first real SLR. There were a few used SLR's available - the usual assortment of Nikon's and Canon's - but I chose the road less traveled. It was an old, used and heavily abused Minolta Maxxum 7000 - one of the first autofocus SLR's. To me, it was a beautiful tool that saw me through my formative years. Just about every type of film to grace the Photolab's shelves went through that camera, and over time I acquired a complete collection of lenses and accessories to go with it. Telephoto, wide angle, fisheye, zooms, macro... just about everything is tucked in my camera bag. Eventually the old Maxxum started breaking down on me, and I just couldn't trust it as a primary camera anymore. So I went out and bought a brand spankin' new Maxxum 7 - pure photographic nirvana.

Everything was rosy until I noticed that many pros were switching to digital by simply changing their SLR. Nikon and Canon both came out with digital equivalents to their film-based cameras, which meant that existing lenses and flash units would still work with the newer digital SLR's. Figuring that Minolta wouldn't be too far behind in the trend, I waited... and waited. Eventually I gave up and bought a Fuji model. Minolta did come out with a digital SLR, but it took them a long time.

Just last week I heard that Minolta has sold off all of their photographic technology to Sony who intends on building a digital SLR with interchangeable lenses that will be compatible with Minolta's line of lenses. Maybe all is not lost after all. In this case, my initial choice may not have been as bad as it seems.

"Life is a sum of all your choices." - Albert Camus

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