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Cine camera packages can be fairly large, heavy & expensive. It takes many years to buy filmmaking & photography gear, accessories and upgrade equipment to build a solid camera package that covers all of our needs. But sometimes you have to stop and wonder, do we really need all of that?
When I decided to move to Japan, I was forced to figure out what to do with all of my equipment. Keep it in storage? bring it with me and hate every second of carrying that? sell it? Oh boy...
This was my cine camera package, the Sony FS5, this feels like ancient gear by today's standards, but 6/7 gears ago this was pretty good, 12 bit raw, slog2 & slog3, HLG, 240 fps at 1080p, variable ND, etc.
Downsizing My Camera Package
My Sony FS5 cine kit was about 16 kilograms including the carbon fibre tripod, There's no way I was going to carry that all over Japan, so naturally, I had to downsize my gear list and my camera package, to something more practical, lightweight, easy to carry and use.
I researched several cameras, and watched dozens of YouTube videos to try to make a decision, but time was running out and I could not decide what to get in time before moving to Japan.
The Paradox Of Choice - By Barry Schwartz
“Learning to choose is hard. Learning to choose well is harder. And learning to choose well in a world of unlimited possibilities is harder still, perhaps too hard”
This book is from 2004, therefore some ideas and some examples used in the book can feel dated and archaic, but in this particular case, Barry Schwartz was right, there were too many options and I was not able to decide in time what gear to buy for my trip.
So I ended up buying a Fujifilm X100F for stills. Having too many choices can hinder the process of deciding and selecting, and that is exactly how my one-year adventure started.
In hindsight, the problem is not always the fact that there are too many choices. Sometimes the problem is that you don't know well what do you want, or what are you trying to do.
In this case, I was accustomed to a certain type of gear and shooting conditions, and dropping everything and moving to a new country with obvious different shooting conditions, rendered me unable to make a decision.
So If you want to be the type of person that owns your camera packages and equipment, then I suggest you take time to determine all of these factors before buying something impulsively and regretting it later.
The Importance Of Camera Gear
There are a lot of people out there just repeating things they've heard others say without having the experience to back it up. Things like Gear is not important, or you don't need this or that, you can make do with just a 5 dollar tripod or that you need an expensive camera package to be useful, to compensate for your lack of skill, like people with red cameras that call themselves DP'S.
So let me be clear. Gear is important, but gear is not everything.
Be Open To Trying Different Gear
Specs look great on paper, but you don't really know a camera until you've used it, and you've learned the quirks, and the workarounds as well.
If you've told me 6 years ago that I would get rid of all the Cine equipment and just get a photo camera and enjoy life just as much or even more, I would not have believed any of it.
But, the X100F was exactly what I needed for that year abroad, and exactly what I needed in my life, a change of pace, location, energy, and mindset. Here are a couple of samples from my X100F...
So be open to testing and playing with the equipment, cameras are just tools... Very important tools, but tools nonetheless.
This is a summary of my YouTube Video, you can watch the whole piece linked here: