I currently don’t own any photography gear. I borrow my girlfriend’s digital camera (which I bought for her) when I want to take photographs. Honestly, I don’t think the majority of people use their cameras on a regular basis, so it’s not a big deal for a friend to lend me their camera for a week or two. For example, I borrowed my friend’s Canon EOS 10D DSLR for a couple weeks when I was on vacation in Europe (see photographs of Florence and Rome). It was a great way for me to learn about the camera and what features I liked and didn’t use.
I’d like to eventually purchase my own camera, but the thought of dropping several hundred dollars on one hasn’t been a strong incentive for me to pull the trigger. It annoys me to no end that digital camera technology changes so rapidly and that a camera purchased for hundreds of dollars today is only worth a small fraction in a few years. I admit that I’m being a cheapskate, but I’m not pursuing a career in professional photography, so it makes little sense to invest a ton of money on equipment that depreciates in value so rapidly.
Trust me, I know photographs that capture one’s life experiences are priceless. My friend’s camera with over a thousand pictures was stolen on our way home from Machu Picchu, Peru. I can’t even describe how sad I was that we lost all of those pictures of us. Nonetheless, spending several hundreds of dollars on anything is still a big purchase, and no one wants to have any buyer’s remorse.
If you’re thinking about buying a camera and/or lenses, consider a used one on Craigslist. Michael Zhang from PetaPixel has a great article on buying used gear. He’s managed to continually upgrade his equipment for very little cost. If you really prefer a new camera, buy it in January or February when new models come out, and there are deep discounts for older models (Yahoo! Finance).