What’s The Most Expensive Tech You’ve Bought?

What’s The Most Expensive Tech You’ve Bought?
Image: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo

If there’s one thing that I wish I had an unlimited amount of disposable income for, it’s cameras.

I haven’t had a chance to knock up an Off Topic recently, with the constant hustle of Gamescom and then catching up with the beginning of the silly season proper. And with Christmas coming up, and people having calmed down from the pre-tax refund sales – what can I buy that the ATO won’t mind me claiming, etc. – it seemed like a good time to ask people about their most expensive tech buys.

For sake of keeping things interesting, Tesla’s do count for this. Sure, you could buy a regular car. But if you’re buying a Tesla, half the appeal is the fancy tech (along with the all-electric nature).

Anyway, personal tech purchases. For me, it was my first investment in a ‘proper’ camera.

I’d had some point-and-shoot cameras before, ones that only cost a couple of hundred bucks. But after spending a lot of the year saving, because I was still living at home at the time and able to put away a good amount of money, I wanted to get something that I’d be able to do product and event photography with.

So I shelled out on a good camera: and at the time, I was able to pick up a Canon 7D with a 50mm f/1.8 prime and the nice 24-70 f/2.4 Canon L lens for around $4000.

That’s still kicking around, and while I got a lighter lens, I eventually swapped the 7D out for a mirrorless Sony A7. It’s a hell of a lot lighter, and although the kit lens wasn’t as nice as the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (what a great value buy that was), having modern features like Wi-Fi make the world of difference.

Seriously: being able to transfer shots to your phone and then quickly edit in Lightroom on a nice screen helps a lot.

So that’s the most I’ve shelled out in one hit. Not a TV, not a car, but a camera. And I wish I had money to do more. Have you seen the Sony A9, or the new Nikon mirrorless range?

Anyway, I’ll stop fantasising over here. What about yourselves – what’s your biggest splash on tech?


  • I impulse bought a nikon AW1 a while back as a fishing camera, got it for a song. Since then it’s become my goto travel camera, so I’ve now spent several times more for a bevvy of cx lenses, knowing that it’s a dead format. The effective length of its tiny lenses are insane, the af speed is phenomenal, and the glass is very good. I can take good shots of the moon with a pocketable lens!

    But I’ve spent orders of magnitude more on cars, buying older classics and bringing them to stock, then ditching half of it for improvement. I always lose money, always say I’ll never do it again, but here i have a ’89 supercharged mr2 waiting for its new rear calipers…

  • Not quite tech (optics), but $3k for my Nightforce Riflescope was pretty pricey.

    Otherwise, purchases like Titans, Threadripper’s and Ultrawide’s certainly have added up.

  • Although I have bought more expensive things since, given how long ago it was and my income at the time, my imported Panasonic FZ-1 3DO player would have to be my biggest splash on tech.

    It was 93 or 94 and I paid around $1000 for it. I have no regrets as it got plenty of use and was great for multiplayer.

  • Top of the line Wacom tablet + photoshop in the mid-00s.
    Barely fucking used it. Now superceded by entry-level Surface Pro. Dumb me. Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb. That money was wasted.

  • Hmmm…. I don’t know. I’ve got a huge amount of money sunk into my workstation and server hardware, yet I can’t really point to any one thing as a huge purchase. It was all accumulated piecemeal with ebay scrounges for the most part [though I do buy PSU’s and hard drives brand new, as those are basically consumables]. I did put a Seasonic Prime Titanium into my new server last year that I’m particularly fond of. Quality is astounding, 10 year warranty too which is absurd. Also the most expensive part of the build.
    I did order a Purism Librem-5 phone though, which came in at around the $850 AUD mark.

    I don’t really have any interests which I can justify sinking in huge amounts of money in. In tech you tend to get diminishing returns for the prices of top-end stuff, and unless you’ve got a real need for it I’d much prefer to get something a tier below. I have been eyeing off some EMCCD cameras for some astrophotography, but even then I’ll probably just end up finding one on an academic surplus marketplace 😉

  • My TV. I wanted something that could do 4K and also do 100hz native refresh. It was great for the two months I had it hooked up to my PC before I moved house. In the new house it’s just not practical to have the PC and the TV together. I still use it for PC games but it’s through the Steam Link now so basically I nothing connected to it that makes use of the high refresh rate. Good TV though.

  • 10 years ago when I moved into my own place I bought the biggest tv I could. It cost me $4500. I haven’t even come close with anything else techwise.

  • Biggest cashdrop is probably either my first DSLR (Canon 400D in late 2006) or a mid-spec XPS13 in 2015.

    Since buying a house last year and renovating it this year, both of those seemingly-huge investments are feeling increasingly minuscule.

    Currently saving for a top-spec Surface Book 2 though, which will definitely top the list.

  • Canon 7dMkII, I like it as I have huge hands. Plus all the lenses? $8000.
    And a GoPro and mavik pro. My photography covers land, air and sea.
    All camera gear? Just over $10k.
    Looking to get a D5Mk5 when it arrives too.

  • Well technically “bought” might not quite be right, but for me right now its the Pimax 8K VR headset from kickstarter. I say it like that because they haven’t shipped yet.
    I bought the full package with hand tracking, so that ended up being like $1250.

    Was starting to regret it but all the recent reviews/impressions are looking great and they are finally starting shipping eat the end of this month/start of next, so it went from looking pretty bad a couple weeks ago to everything being pretty great.

  • Recently spent close to $6000 dollars on a 24 inch Sony BVM CRT broadcast monitor. Rare as hen’s teeth down here, so I had it shipped via sea mail from the States – all so I can play retro games on it. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

  • Pair of ATI 4870X2s for my crazy Crossfire rig… a decade ago. Over $2k in graphics cards. That whole rig, with SSDs, high end mobo, insane Silverstone case, custom water loop, 24GB memory and I7-980X Black is by far the most expensive tech I’ve owned and the 5th most expensive thing I’ve ever owned…

    I replaced them with a single GTX680 a few years later. It was faster.

    I replaced that with a single GTX1080FE…

    I replaced the RAID0 120GB SSDs with a single 500GB SSD…

    I moved the guts into a lighter quieter case and change to an AIO water loop…

    But that mobo is still going strong. 🙂

  • For me I’m a hobbiest film maker, and spent $12K on a Blackmagic Ursa Pro with batteries, lenses and a few other bits

  • TV. A friend who worked at JB HiFi told me they could get me a deal. Naturally, I wanted to take advantage of the offer and get the biggest, best TV I could afford. Now we do movie night every Friday in front of 70″ of 4K glory. Worth. ^^

  • Heads up Alex, typo. You mention a Canon 24-70mm f/2.4 near the start of the article. Should be either f/4L or f/2.8L. Given the price quoted, pretty sure you mean the f/2.8

  • My Vr rig, just over 3.5k for the pc and I think it was 1200 for the vive plus maybe 200 on games. It was a lot of cash but I don’t regret it. The PC still gets used for gaming daily but vr is now more like once a week. I had more fun showing friends and family than playing. Oh and $30 for the fluro light that fell victim to a mates paniced attempt at fending off an allosaurus with a virtual golf club.

  • GTX 1080, when I was all aboard the VR wagon and was able to “justify” it by winning the Rift lottery.

    Now it gathers dust while I endlessly play Splatoon.

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