Today I got hired for a job that will be this weekend. It’s fairly late notice but I am very excited about it. I’ll be covering a rather large event and will have multiple cameras going as well as a station for uploading the images. Last week… I bought a bunch of the new Sandisk Extreme Pro CF cards (16GB 90MB/S WOOOOHOOOO!!!!) just because I thought it would be a wise thing to have around. As it turns out, these cards are going to be very critical to my performance this weekend. I’m going to be running cards all day from the cameras to the computer to upload the images into Aperture 2.0 in order for customers to come by my booth and view/purchase prints. If I had slower cards, like an extreme III for instance, the time it takes for the upload may hamper my ability to show images to my customers, or edit images before printing, or sort images to be able to find them faster if I can tag them etc.. I’m very glad that I’ve got these cards.
Now it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I didn’t have the cards, but I do feel like it makes my life a whole lot easier knowing I’ve got the fastest things out there. It gives me that feeling that I’m not letting my business suffer in any way and that I’m providing the best possible service to any of my potential clients. Peace of mind I suppose. The point I’d like to make here is that I could have waited until I needed these cards, but then it may have been too late. I purchased these bad boys off of eBay for $180 each as appose to the retail price in stores around here for $380 or so. So if today I got a job and needed to acquire these cards, I would have had to pay nearly twice as much as compared to when I had the time to order these and wait for their delivery (1 week or so).
Someone also asked me a few days ago why I have two of the same body. My response was that I never know when something might happen and I see no reason for my backup camera to be any less in quality as my primary. I do think that when it comes down to it, the cameras we use and cards we have in them don’t make much of a difference for the love of photography itself. I was really happy shooting on my Canon SD400 5 years ago – a tiny point and shoot with a nifty macro feature – but when it comes down to business, I feel it’s my responsibility to provide my clients with the best results. To me that means getting the best gear, and knowing how to use it. A $5000 camera body works just as well as a $2000 dollar one if you’re not sure how to take advantage of it. And part of that is giving yourself the ability to use it to its full abilities… ie. the extreme Pro cards.
It’s important to understand that as upsetting as it may be to hear, we are sometimes limited by the gear we use. I’ll always be an advocate of “where there’s a will there’s a way”, but again, some of the time, it’s just going to be a lot easier if part of that way includes a stop at Vistek to pick up a new pocket wizard or something.