Is it REALLY time to upgrade your camera?

Nov 28, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Is it REALLY time to upgrade your camera?

Nov 28, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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New gear is constantly being announced and cameras are getting better and better. Plus, at this time of the year, there are also *oh so tempting* Black Friday deals. So, to upgrade or not to upgrade, that is the question. In this video, Mark Denney shares his own answer to it and explains why you may not want to upgrade your gear just yet. And if you’re not sure when to do it, this video will definitely help you to make the right decision.

YouTube video

Mark has used a Sony A7R Mark II for four years now. He says that he didn’t really think much about the upgrade when the Mark III was announced. But this year’s Mark IV had him thinking more seriously: “Should I upgrade to the Sony A7R IV?

If you’re having the same doubts, calculate the cost first. Mark researched a bit and figured out that he could get around $800 for his old camera. It would leave him with around $2,700 to give out of pocket if he wanted to buy an A7R Mark IV. Okay, for me, that’s a lot of money. For some of you, it may not be. But whatever the case is, think – does it make sense spending money on a new camera?

Now it’s time to think about the benefits and what you get if you upgrade. Mark notes that the Sony A7R Mark IV has a better battery life than his old camera, it has dual card slots and a touchscreen. It also has an improved weather sealing, slightly better dynamic range, and improved AF system. A great improvement is a 61MP sensor, compared to the 42MP sensor in his old camera. Well, those sure are many improvements. But dig deeper. How much do you need these upgrades? Do you need them at all?

In Mark’s case, he realized that some of these features would be nice to have, but he doesn’t need them that badly. In fact, with larger image resolution, he would also need to buy a more powerful computer and definitely more external storage. It would add up to the price he previously calculated. This is something to have in mind if you also want to switch to a camera with a bigger resolution.

After thinking it through, Mark realized that a new camera wasn’t going to make him a better photographer nor make any additional revenue for him. And if he was to spend $2,700 on it, it would be nice if it at least paid itself off after a while, right? So, he eventually decided to stick with his old camera, because it does the job and it has everything he needs.

Personally, I also don’t make rash decisions when choosing gear. Like Mark, I also do my research and think it through before upgrading. I ask myself: Is this camera/lens gonna help me be a better photographer or take better photos? Is it gonna give me something essential that my current camera doesn’t have? Since I don’t make money from photography, I know it won’t pay itself off. But I ask myself one more important question: Is this gonna make me happy?

Of course, I’m not saying you should never upgrade (neither does Mark). But I just believe that you shouldn’t do it impulsively. Do some research, think it through, and then make the decision. In fact, I believe that only this “rational upgrade” will really make you happy. But that’s just my opinion.

How do you decide when it is time for an upgrade? How often do you buy new gear? Let us know in the comments.

[STOP UPGRADING YOUR CAMERAS! A Landscape Photography Debate via ISO 1200; image credits: C. Cagnin on Pexels]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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10 responses to “Is it REALLY time to upgrade your camera?”

  1. John Wojciechowski Avatar
    John Wojciechowski

    I agree. I upgraded from a D90 to D7100 and it was an amazing upgrade. Lately, I fell for the hype and upgraded to a D500. What a mistake. Luckily, I still had my D7100. I returned it and kept my D7100. It has better resolution. The hype said you won’t notice the lower megapixel D500. Better high ISO performance. What a load of crap. Definitely not worth the hype.

    1. Andy Charles Avatar
      Andy Charles

      I think the problem is with you not the d500. The 500 absolutely destroys any other aps-c body out there and losing a whole 4mp makes no difference.

      1. John Luce Avatar
        John Luce

        What a delightful satement you made, very dismissive. I have a D7100 and I stwill still take it over anything else I can afford. It’s the guy behind the camera, not the camera itself that defines the results.

  2. Andy Bennet Avatar
    Andy Bennet

    Fácil. Cuando la antígua cámara ya no funcione…. Mejor cámara y mas nueva no te hará mejor fotógrafo….

  3. Christian Lainesse Avatar
    Christian Lainesse

    at this point, only if it stops working

  4. W Douglas LeBlanc Avatar
    W Douglas LeBlanc

    When the 7D MK III arrives, I’ll stop right there for camera bodies for a considerable time. Hopefully a decade at minimum.

  5. Roland Wichser Popfotograaf Avatar
    Roland Wichser Popfotograaf

    Never

  6. Frank Hunter Avatar
    Frank Hunter

    Had my D7100 since it came out. Fantastic camera but it was time to move up. I just went full frame mirrorless with the Canon EOS RP. Love it.

  7. P Jay Madigan Avatar
    P Jay Madigan

    When my Nikon d750 shutter stops working at 15k and the warranty is 6 months past…

  8. Ratlle Ro Avatar
    Ratlle Ro

    Time it is, but not the moment!