Photographer bling: RIP

I think the econoapocalypse has put the final nail in the coffin of “photographer bling”. There was a time when a Leica M body hanging loosely from your shoulder was the ultimate in photographer jewelry and signaled to the rest of the tribe that you were a member in good standing. A current M body would do but real street cred went to those sporting an M3 with just a little bit of brass showing through the black.

Early Leica cameras ushered in a new era of documentary photography early in the last century. Photographers’ love affair with the sturdy, rangefinder bodies was fueled not only by what it could do but as an object of desire itself. Owners kept their trusty M bodies for decades. That idea has faded with the advent of digital photography where cameras stay current for about 18 months and the “classic” digital camera has yet to roll off the assembly line.

Occasionally, a new digital body (the Lumix Dx3 comes to mind) captures the imagination and looks a camera you could wear to any event. But another body is always waiting the wings. I think bling is dead for good.

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~ by keithphilpott on March 30, 2009.

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