The Bangkok Frugal Photographer

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Definition of frugal from

  1. Economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful: a frugal manager.
  2. Entailing little expense; requiring few resources; meager; scanty: a frugal meal.


thrifty, chary, provident, careful, economical.

Maybe I should rename this blog “The Frugal Photographer”. Unfortunately the domains and have been taken already.

Everybody I know is getting the latest cameras and accessories like the Canon EOS-7D. I am on a budget and I’m going to control myself. It is great to read about the latest equipment. I am sure I would love to be able to purchase anything and everything that takes my fancy. But I want to be responsible and frugal.

(Of course with the 7D I can easily say that – it isn’t available in Thailand yet.)

I am reading all the first impressions (for example Michael Willems’s ongoing summaries) and reviews and every time I see something even mildly critical I saw “Oh well then, it isn’t worth it!”.

I console myself with the fact that a good photographer can take exceptional pictures with common equipment. My 2004 Canon EOS-300D Digital Rebel still takes great pictures if I am careful and patient (it’s slow!).

My 2006 Canon EOS-30D is much, much faster and takes fine photos. OK it does not have video or Live View and it doesn’t scrub its sensor every morning and evening but I still love it.

I have a modest selection of Canon lenses but nothing from the L series. My Canon MP610 printer / scanner is nearing its second birthday.

My laptop is a modest Compaq Presario CQ40 with no additional screens or other fripperies. I do have tons of disk space and up-to-date versions of the key software I use daily.

I take some pride in the fact that I have zero recurring software expenses. I have free accounts with Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Flickr, PicasaWeb, EveryTrail, Mozy Home and so on. And of course this blog is free courtesy of WordPress.

I’ve written extensively about my Nikon Coolpix P6000. That’s my only photographic extravagance this year. It’s getting a bit worn now but I have finally worked out how to work around its sloth and I enjoy it a lot. 80% of the time I do not take either DSLR out with me. The P6000 does fine.

Of course the P7000 will be out soon and I’ll have camera-envy all over again. But there have been no new rumours since August, so I’ll have bragging rights about one of my cameras for a little while.

frugal. Unabridged. Random House, Inc. (accessed: October 15, 2009).

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6 Responses to “The Bangkok Frugal Photographer”

  1. Michael Willems Says:


    a) My 7D just locked up again, just now!

    c) I still like it.

    c) Best, sharpest pic anyone every took of me was with a Rebel XS and a 50mm f/1.8 lens.


    • BKKPhotographer Says:


      Do you think it is true that the best investment I could make to take better photographs is not a new body but higher quality lenses?

      I like to take cityscape photos from the apartment window. My non-image stabilized Canon 75-300mm F4-5.6 zoom has quality challenges. If I put that same lens on a 7D I doubt my photos would be a lot better.

      But if I put a better quality lens on the 30D I think I’d see a noticeable difference.

      • BKKPhotographer Says:

        For example (US) offers the Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras for US$1,578.

        That may be a better option for me than a 7D body.

  2. Gaeng Says:

    You are right. Better to save money.

  3. BKKPhotographer Says:

    I’m going to change the blog’s title to “Frugal photography, travel and computers in Bangkok, Thailand”.

    Good idea?

  4. I’m a Google Wave Previewer « Bkkphotographer's Blog Says:

    […] one Windows laptop to the tools I really need. I uninstall software I don’t like or use. My Compaq CQ40 is over six months old and it’s still humming along. I view that as an achievement – I […]

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