Well, it happened!
The camera I paid USD $5000 for only 14-months ago is now obsolete. My D2X is merely "last-years-model" now that the D2Xs has been released. How should I feel? Should I sell my faithful D2X and buy a new D2Xs?
NAS screams buy, buy, buy! My wife screams no, no, no! Like the moderator of my life forum my sweet wife, Digital Brenda, keeps my head on straight. She reminds me that the D2Xs only adds a few new features, and that most of those can be added to my D2X when Nikon releases the inevitable firmware upgrade.
What about those who bought a D2X on May 31 2006, the day before the D2Xs was announced. How do they feel right now? Well, I would be a little concerned if I just dropped several thousand dollars on what's now "last-years-model." This is one of the hazards of buying technology items. Most camera companies are very tight-lipped when it comes to new cameras. Only at the last minute do they leak information to get the channel swirling. It is hard to know when a camera company is going to release the latest thing out. When rumors start flying, maybe it is the time to wait? Usually, just before a release of something new, there will be a price drop on the older camera. Only a few weeks ago, Nikon announced a price drop of USD $500, on the D2X, and now, here's the D2Xs. If I remember correctly, this is what happened when the D70s replaced the D70, and the D2Hs replaced the D2H. Are we learning?
Digital cameras are more like computers than ever. If you buy today, they will inevitably release a "better" model tomorrow. So, what's a fellow to do?
Why? Well, since we cannot foretell the future very well, if we sat around and waited for the latest thing out, we will be sitting around waiting from now on. Gone are the 10-year camera cycles. Now we have two year cycles at the most. This can be maddening. If you chase the technology, you'll drive yourself crazy. Even pro cameras are replaced in a minimal time.
So, there are three times to buy:
1. Immediately upon release.
2. Six-months after release.
3. When the price drop occurs.
Number 1 : If we buy instantly upon release of a new camera we will experience several emotions. One is the giddy frustration of trying to grab an item that everyone else is trying to grab. It is like rushing through a super-store, elbowing others out of the way, trying to grab that last Cabbage Patch Kid doll. If you score, you can dance, sing, and jump around knowing that YOU own the highly desirable newest camera. Only then do you start feeling the fear and anxiety that comes when you start reading the forums. Does my new camera have AF problems? Did I see banding in that image? OMG...what only a few minutes ago was the dream camera has turned into a nightmare camera with BUGS. I bought new technology first, and now I am joining the ranks of beta testers who will work out all the bugs in the new camera by finding them, complaining bitterly on forums, sending the camera back to Nikon 22 times, and swearing that I will soon jump camp to Canon if this isn't resolved. Some people even experience intense ANGER .
Number 2 : Well, I have been patient, and I am buying several months after initial release. Most of the screaming has died down in the forums, and now people everywhere are raving about the somewhat new camera's great, wonderful, unmatcheable powers. My camera has been debugged and a firmware upgrade is out that corrects initial software issues. I experience the emotions of happiness , gratitude , and satisfaction that I now own the latest thing, and it takes really great images. It has the best feature set of anything out there. I am mellow !
Number 3 : Wow...did you see how the "latest thing out" just had a great price drop. I feel the need to buy now. The price is right. I hear a few rumors about a new camera coming, but those are only rumors, right? Why, this camera has only been out about a year, so surely they will not replace it yet. Yes, I'll buy now! I am happy that I have my camera. People everywhere are raving about its power and features. Everyone is swearing that they will never get another camera for 100 years. This is THE camera. And I own one! YAY! BUT...what is this in the forums...an announcement. An "S" model has been released today! Noooooooo!!!!!!! Auuuugggghhhh! My camera has been replaced. It is obsolete. I just bought it, and it is OLD now. Gaaaaaahhhhh! I feel pain , sorrow , and unhappiness ! I feel sad !
Have YOU experienced any of these emotions? When did YOU buy your camera in the cycles described above. Were you a patient and wise one who let a little time pass and saved yourself the debugging cycle? Were you an entusiastic one who revels in the thrill sport of buying immediately upon release? Or, were you the miserly type who wanted the cheapest price on a new camera.
I have always been soundly in the BUY IT FIRST camp, and have suffered accordingly. At the same time, I have reveled in the newness of the camera, and enjoyed the fact that I have the latest thing out. I have also felt the pain when the "S", model is released. In fact, I am even now feeling that pain, and it has caused me to blog to you about it.
My D2X is a fine camera, and takes great pictures. It is my faithful compation of 14-months. It will not stop taking great pictures just because Nikon is refreshing its lineup for continued market share. I'll get the firmware upgrade installed post-haste when it is released. I'll buy the buffer upgrade when it is announced. I'll keep on using my OLD D2X until it becomes truly obsolete in about a year when the D3 is announced.
Then the fever starts again. I'll be fighting YOU to get the first D3 off the line. I'll be one of the first to chime in at the forums with my blissful happiness at taking delivery. I'll be one of the first to post my great pain and anguish when I discover that my images turn blue after one week, or my LCD monitor leaks motor oil on Thursdays. Then, I'll look back at my trusty old D2X, and keep taking pictures with it, while I send my beta camera off to Nikon for a flapperzoid replacement.
Someday my D2X will be relegated to the backup camera in the seldom used camera bag compartment. But, until then, for at least a year or two more, I'll continue to revel in the vastly superior output of my New Old D2X.
Keep on capturing time...