On Houses, Cameras and Girlfriends

It is my observation that people most often want what is immediately out of reach. I remember having a conversation a couple of years ago with a friend who was trying to buy a house in my neighborhood. He was bemoaning that he could only afford a $1 million dollar house and not a nicer one that cost $1.2 million. I explained that, somewhere out there, there was somebody else who could only afford $800k and wishes that s/he could afford $1m. I further explained that the argument could be repeated over and over until you got to the lowest price point where someone is inevitably complaining that they wish they could buy any basic house with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. At each step beyond the first, each person might be completely content with the less expensive house but, for some reason, insists that they would only be happy with the one they can’t afford.

I think this is human nature. Although I’m not hooked to houses in this particular way, I suffer from this disease when it comes to cameras. Right now, I’m really drooling after the Canon 5D EOS Mark II. If you’re a camera nut, do not look at this video. Reverie is an HD video shot with the 5D using (mostly) Canon “L” lenses. The result is absolutely spectacular – likely better than anything you’ve ever seen taken with an actual video camera.

The specs on the camera are great: 21mp, new Digic 4 processor, full-size sensor, etc. Price-wise, it’s a steal at $2,700 (body only). You have to step up to Canon professional line ($8k+) until you can buy something comparable.

Of course, until I actually go on safari or take a trip that doesn’t involve a stay at the Marriott, I don’t actually need the 5D. A much better buy would be the Canon Rebel XSi which can be had for $800 including a lens. For that matter, my Lumix and my Sony Handycam are pretty good, too. But that Canon 5D Mark II – what a camera!

At the risk of sounding (perhaps, being) sexist let me apply this observation to the animal kingdom as well. I was giving my son advice a few weeks ago regarding what girl to ask to a holiday party. I advised him to pay heed to the lion’s strategy: avoid the great-looking, fast, gazelle and focus on the one with a slight limp. Every lion fantasizes about catching the fast, healthy, gazelle, but they know they’ll likely go hungry if they follow that strategy.

In the off-chance that a future date of my son should happen to read this blog entry, note that my son did not pay any attention to me. You are the good-looking gazelle. And I do want the 5D Mark II.