So the Pentax K-01 received a 69 on DP Review, and overnight all the K-01 photos that I've taken got 25% worse. Not.
It's a funny thing - we cheer on cameras these days like we cheer on sports teams. It's like fantasy baseball, where statistics are the only things that matter. Never mind that it's a great day for a double-header or that little Johnny is going to his first baseball game. Forget the lump in the mattress from the new glove being broken in. Forget the crack of the wooden bat as it strikes the ball and the muffled snap as it lands in a glove. Forget the love and the lore and the romance of baseball. Boil it down to numbers. Reduce it to pink slime and then build it back up into a simulacrum of a team, a vestige of a league, and call it a day. It may be interesting to the stat hounds, and may be a great way to pass the time. But let's get one thing straight - it isn't baseball. Like the name says, it's a fantasy.
Likewise with photography. I used to get as caught up as the next guy speculating over rumors of the next great camera, wondering how it's going to measure up to the other cameras, and whether or not it's a smoke signal from the manufacturer. It was kind of fun having endless debates online about these things. Each post was my chance to step up to the mic and tell the gathered dozens where I thought the camera world was going.
You know where all that forum posting got me? Nowhere. Even worse, all of that "fantasy photography" actually took time away from other things. Like photography. And writing. And working on my video chops and editing chops. And life. And January turned into April in the blink of an eye and I looked at all of those photography projects I had imagined in the winter languishing in the corner. And so I gave it up. Gave up PentaxForums. Gave up Mu-43.com. No more posts. It was fun while it lasted, and I still lurk from time to time. But that's becoming less frequent. And I'm spending more time wondering what to bring to my next video shoot. And I'm learning about multicam editing in Final Cut Pro X.
I'm still looking at cameras, but it's more pointed now. I look at them like tools, not teams. So when the K-01 gets a 69 I don't react like my team is languishing in last place (hello Phillies). I shrug it off, and appreciate that the camera does what I purchased it for - take great photos. Or at least give me the chance to take great photos. The great is up to me.
Don't get me wrong - places like PentaxForums and Mu-43.com are tremendously valuable resources. I give a lot of credit to the creators and admins for building vibrant communities. And I did have some fun. But we've each got to find our balance, and I've got to move mine away from the keyboard and closer to the shutter.