Experiences are the glue which will make you either bond with the camera setup you are using or eventually detach with it. Of course the specifications, image quality, ergonomics and all that will, in some way, lead you to some specific camera, but in a broad picture of life specs have very little meaning in the end. Experiences, images and memories you create are much more important and after decades nobody cares about the crop-factor, megapixels or burst rate of your setup (well you might, but only for sake of understanding how amusingly important that all once seemed). However, the experiences are the real thread of life which you will remember and be meaningful for you even after decades.
That’s why it’s really no miracle that my old Nex-5N became my dearest camera setup. It was my first digital camera that I actually bought myself instead of loaning from one from my friends. It was the camera I used when creating memories of my first daughter Aura. And finally it was the camera I happened to have when the photo bug bit me and I became a photography enthusiast that I am today. As you can see, the status of Nex-5N in my life was determined by the experiences I had with that particular camera, and if you follow this train of thought you’ll quickly understand that there are special occasions in everyone’s life when ‘that camera setup’ can emerge, and that those occasions are very much convoyed by the experiences you live. To continue this thinking, it seems to me that you can only have, at most, two or three ‘golden camera setups’ in your life, depending how active you are with your camera and what happens in your life – other setups are just ‘noise’ and uninteresting upgrades in-between the life situations. Those golden setups are the cameras you will remember with great joy and also something you will always find yourself yearning back – even if it would be totally impossible.
This is what the perfect camera setup is, and it’s what many of us are building bit by bit with lenses, accessories and such. As for my current Sony/Zeiss setup, I can safely say that there is a lot of ‘gold-potential’ there from both of the specs and the life’s point of view. For example, in terms of lenses, I’ve got great setup of different focal lengths with Zeiss image quality. Some of them are more traditional manual focus lenses (Loxia) and some of them are modern performers with AF and such (Batis & Touit). There is really nothing missing. In terms of life, I’m documenting the first steps of our second daughter Meri while Aura is also growing up, and both of them are bringing new things to our life on a daily basis. In short, I’m living the perhaps the most significant years of life and I have a camera setup to match it – at least for this year as the ‘Days of Zeiss’ project is determined to end at 31st of December. ‘Keep on shooting’, I try to remind myself every day.
And yet, one just cannot capture everything. As we were on a holiday at Åland islands, one of the greatest thing there for us was the sea. To understand how great it was for us, you have to know that normally we live at the continent and there are just lakes which we use for swimming at summer. Now that we were at the Åland islands we had an opportunity to swim at the sea – which was also first time for Aura and Meri to be in contact with the sea. This all happened on beach where there was so white and fine sand that ‘how can sand be as white as this’ Aura spontaneously yelled when she saw the beach. I took many pictures there, but my favourite moment was when I carried Aura on my lap deeper into sea. She hold her hand around my neck as she was squinting for bright sun light. When we got deep enough I threw her into air so many times that eventually it hurt my back. She was giggling and salty seawater was splashing into my eyes as I tried to threw her as high as I could. After that we got up on the dock just to run into beach and to do it again. One of those moments that wasn’t captured by the camera but I hope recollection of it will emerge from the pictures I did took. It’s all about the experiences.