Looking back on my technology-related purchasing history I cannot but wonder if I am officially a dork.
Eight years ago I bought my first DSLR camera and it was not what many would buy at the time. While everybody was looking for a Canon or a Nikon and at the time felt not very sure about a Sony I went for a Samsung, Samsung GX-10. I was actually choosing between Sony and Samsung but a positive review and a double-kit option won me the Korean-Japanese war. Besides, I’d already had a great experience with a point-and-shoot Samsung film camera before.
I wasn’t the only Samsung user but I definitely felt unique in any serious photographer’s environment as everybody else had Canon or Nikon. Their everlasting battle was one of the reasons I didn’t even consider them – why waste time and neurons on figuring out which is the best? It is much better to be using what nobody else around is using and get quite nice results. It is the photographer and not the camera that takes the pictures in the end, they say (not that I entirely agree with that).
My Samsung went through fire and ice with me, travelling from -30°C over the frozen Volga River to 100°F and 100% humidity in daytime French Quarter of New Orleans. It never failed me come rain or shine. It had some shortcomings that gradually became my limits, but in some respects, it is still a great camera. Yes, with well over the guaranteed shutter release count it still works.
When time and opportunity came to buy a newer camera I never even looked towards some alternatives. Having a few lenses I had no other choice but a Pentax since Samsung decided not to continue with DSLRs. Some told me it might be good to consider a Nikon or a Canon, but how could I have betrayed my lenses and my old camera? No way. I made a practical choice that solidified my dorkiness.
Pentax K-5 was great as it widened my horizons where Samsung had limits, it gave me new options where Samsung had none, and it brought a few more lenses with it. Besides, I could carry both cameras and use whatever lenses on both of them, which was hilarious in certain situations – no wasting time on changing glasses, just grab the camera with the right lens.
But you can already see the pattern here. I never considered the majors opting for the outsiders. I bought cameras that few people would even remotely think of buying. I bought from the dying breed. Samsung developed only one more DSLR after mine and went on to work on mirrorless cameras only. Now they have just sold even that (to Sony). Pentax is still around (though bought by Hoya) but is almost invisible and lives mostly in the lore of “maybe someday developing a full-frame body”. Yet with my baggage of lenses if and when the opportunity comes to buy something new it would most probably be a Pentax (unless I decide to try the mirrorless world with another lesser known Fuji).
My technological dorkiness doesn’t stop with the world of photography. After three years with Android and its multitude of applications, I converted to a Windows Phone user with its shameless app gap. I could have bought a decent Android-driven phone for the money but after some deliberation, the choice was made. I guess it was predetermined from the start by my history of purchasing from the minority brands.
Lumia 640 XL is a good smartphone – I love the big screen, I love tiles, I love some of the features and apps. But I hate being left outside alone with a mere handful of apps even by Microsoft itself. The creators of Windows Phone prefer developing and updating applications for the competing OSs, and other developers take a lead from that avoiding Windows Phone as far as possible. Even many of the system fans are starting to panic that this is it and soon it will be all over for Microsoft’s mobile ecosystem.
I will stay with Windows Phone for a while, I simply cannot afford to switch too often. But I fear that with the smartphones when time and opportunity comes I will have to give up my dorkiness and convert back to the Android faith. Life is short and cannot be wasted on waiting for Microsoft to fill it with the same choice of apps as competitors have.
Despite this possible cave-in I can always keep on bragging my dorkytude by buying physical CDs and DVDs from Amazon while everybody else gets their music and films from trackers for free, or by enlarging my country music collection while nobody else around knows a thing about contemporary country music. So for every case of conformism I get two of non-conformism in technology and entertainment.
So, am I a dork? I certainly am and proud of that. I am a dork, I am here, get used to it.