Of Cars and Cameras

mclaren 650s

It’s a week of desires unfulfilled.

It started Sunday, when I drove a McLaren 650S for about half an hour. It’s a car, and what a car: 641 horsepower in a twin-turbo V8 engine, maximum speed of 207 MPH (333km) and 0-60MPH in 2.9 seconds. For the first time in my life, I regarded Porsches as slow impediments to exhilirating acceleration. Oh, the thrill.

It will continue tomorrow, when I’ll visit PhotoPlus Expo in New York and get to play with all those new goodies and hold Leicas, Nikons D810 and Canons 7D Mark IIs, among many others. I can click away, behold studio setups I can’t afford and dream about megapixels I don’t need.

Cameras and cars are among my weaknesses, together with notebooks and fountain pens. Can’t get enough of any of them. Rationality doesn’t have anything much to do with it.

Luckily, though, I still have half a brain and know a bit about our financial limitations.

McLaren’s marketing team might have thought when they invited us for that test drive that we have some spare cash to the tune of $300,000 lying around, but we don’t. We can’t even afford the car that provides tons of fun without the need for a second mortgage, the Mazda Miata I so desire. We got a kid going to college next year. Enough said.

So, saying no to the McLaren is easy. It just makes me wonder why I never pursued a career on Wall Street.

Saying no to all the cameras I desire is a bit harder. I can make a case for each and every camera and lens I need want.

In the end, though, a lot is like that McLaren.


I’d want a Canon 1DX for its blazing speed, but I don’t shoot sports, birds or wildlife. Hence, no need for the camera.

I want the Nikon D810, as it seems the perfect all-around DSLR right now. But I already have those megapixels in my Sony A7R and when I travel I’ll take a smaller mirrorless camera over any DSLR. Hence, no need for the D810.

I’d love that low-light performance of the Sony A7S, but $2500 is a bit much for what I otherwise have no desire for.

Oh, and I’d gladly take a Pentax 645Z, but just like I don’t need to get from 0-60MPH in 2.9 seconds, I don’t need 50+ megapixels either.

Lust is fine. It keeps the manufacturers busy with innovation and competition. And it keeps us busy on the internet, talking about stuff that doesn’t exist or we can’t afford.

In the end, though, any car will get us from A to B and any decent camera from observation to print.

And that’s what counts.

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