I have a favorite professional photographers message board where I go to see how other people are photographing kids and get some ideas and technical help. There's a forum for beginners on this board. In this forum is a thread called (basically) "Come see pictures from my new 5D!!1!1!!" For those of you who don't know, a 5D is Canon's new pro camera. It sells for the cheap price of $3,500. Yes. That would be a beginner with a $3,500 camera. oh it gets better. She is not the only beginner with this camera. And then you open their threads and they say inane things like "which lens should I get?" and "why do I need one of those big flash things?" and "what's white balance?"
sigh. If I were to break a comandment and get all covetous, I would covet this camera. It's a fabulous camera. All the bells and whistles, full frame, spot metering (which the beginners haven't the slightest clue what it is much less how to use it.) It's a lovely camera. However, I've been at this photography thing for five years. There is no way I feel ready for a 5D. If I had a spare $3,500 I would not spend it on this camera.
It's insane to me that women who have no clue how to choose a lens think they are ready for pro level photography. They spend a couple of months learning how to do close ups of cute kids for their scrapbooks and think they are ready to start a business. And then, of course, they hit the message boards and expect those who know what they are doing to spoon feed them everything, including poses and basic camera knowlege (like depth of field and the difference between white balance and mega pixel.) These women can't even google or buy a book. The info is out there, extremely easy to find, but they don't even search the message board they are on for previous posts on the same subject, much less the web in general.
I'm sure that a lot of my feelings toward these crazy women is based on the fact that they are succeeding where I am not. If you can afford to drop $3,500 on a camera, you usually live in a nice house and have friends who have money to burn as well. And of course, they know someone with money to burn. So all of the sudden they have a huge list of contacts and their schedules are filling up and they haven't even the slightest clue about anything.
I sit here, having struggled to buy my XT. It was a huge, huge splurge and sadly I doubt my business will earn enough to cover it for many years. I don't live in a McMansion and I don't have rich friends. Word of Mouth doesn't work for me. I struggle to find contacts and ways to expand my business that don't cost a lot. I probably need to do more advertising of some kind, but the fact of the matter is it's a struggle to start a photography business in an area where Walmart pictures are seen as good enough and Sears is a splurge.
So, yeah, I'm jealous. That doesn't make it any smarter to drop that much money on camera equipment before your business is making enough to balance it out on your taxes.