When should you upgrade your camera body?

Canon 24-70 f4L, Photography courses online upgrade your camera
Canon 5D Mk IV © Paterson Photography

When is it time to upgrade your camera body?

Many of my students ask me this question when I am teaching. Really there is no firm answer that I can give.  Unlike film cameras digital cameras have several things that can hold a photographer back from getting better pictures.  The first thing is the resolution of the camera.  If you have an older camera that is under eight mega pixels then I would say this is a good reason to look at upgrading.  There are many reasons that you may not want to upgrade. Some reasons such as if you only print four by six and five by seven pictures and never go any larger. But if you like larger prints this may be something that is holding you back.

Something that is harder to decided on is if you have an older camera with poor dynamic range.  Dynamic range is actually how many shades of a color that the camera records. It is not something that is easy to find out about in the different cameras that are available. Some of the first digital cameras that were manufactured had very poor dynamic range. If you were taking a picture of a bride in a white wedding dress and a groom in a black tuxedo you would get a white dress and a black tuxedo. But no shades of gray in the picture. Today’s digital cameras with better dynamic range show many shades of gray between white and black. Better dynamic range can actually make a picture look better than just increasing the mega pixels that your camera records.

Enough lenses

Another good reason to look at upgrading your camera is if your camera does not offer you a wide selection of lenses.  Different manufacturers offer different selections of lenses, if you need a large telephoto lens and your manufacture does not offer it it may be time to upgrade your camera body to a different manufacturer and take advantage of their lens selection. Or if you require specific external flashes and you cannot find any that fit your current camera you may be further ahead to upgrade your camera body now and purchase equipment that will fit the new camera body than to try to deal with the shortcomings of your current camera.

Another reason you may want a upgrade your camera is if you’re having intermittent issues.  These are some of the hardest things to have fixed in your camera as they tend to only happen at the most inconvenient times.  A camera that is not reliable is not worth keeping around, especially if you’re doing any shooting for a client.  Better to bite the bullet now and get a trustworthy camera body that you can count on when you’re shooting than to wait and have a major issue happen during an assignment.

Time to upgrade

And the last reason that I’m gonna touch on today is you should look of upgrading your camera when you have time.  I hear from so many of my clients that tell me they had to make a last minute decision to either change their camera system or buy a new camera body when they had no time. It is much better if you’re thinking of upgrading in the future to do it when you have time than to wait till you’re leaving on vacation, or the week before a major assignment is coming up.  If you plan for it you can allocate finances, shop around for the right product & for the right price and get use to using your new equipment before you actually need it.

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