Why I Downsized My Camera Package - The Paradox Of Choice By Barry Schwartz

Why I Downsized My Camera Package - The Paradox Of Choice By Barry Schwartz

Jorge Perez
Jorge Perez

4 min read

Cine Camera Packages can be fairly large, heavy & expensive...

It takes 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, Oh boy...

This was my cine camera package, the Sony FS5, this feels like ancient gear by today standards, but 6 gears ago this was pretty good, 12 bit raw, slog 2 and slog3, HLG, 240 fps at 1080p, variable ND, etc.

Donwnsizing 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, 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

โ€œLearning 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 hardโ€

This book is from 2004, so naturally some ideas and some examples used in the book can feel dated, and archaic, but in this particular case he is 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 selection, 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 condition, 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's a lot of people of 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 rig 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's a couple samples from my X100F...

So be open to test and play with equipment, cameras are just tools... Very important tools, but tools nonetheless.

BooksGetting StartedFilmmaking