with Courtney Slazinik
When to upgrade your camera
When to upgrade your camera

Is it time for you to upgrade your camera?

This is a question I often get asked. There is no right answer to this question as it is completely a personal decision but this is the advice I give.

Instead, I challenge you to answer these three questions before you go out and make any new purchases.

  • No.
    Why do you want to upgrade?

    Don’t upgrade your camera just because another photographer who you think is better has a nicer camera than you. Remember it isn’t the camera that makes the amazing photos it’s the photographer. Yes, the camera helps especially in low light situations but if you don’t know how to use it then your photos will end up looking exactly the same as they do with your current camera.

    Avoid camera envy the best you can. It can be dangerous and expensive.

  • No.
    What can the new camera do that your current camera can't?

    This is probably one of the most important questions you need to be able to answer. If you can say, I want (insert camera name) because it can do x, y, and z that my current camera can’t do then yes, you may be ready to upgrade. You need to be able to list what the new camera is capable of doing. Why upgrade if you haven’t maxed our your current camera’s capabilities.

    So when you pick up your camera, how do you feel restricted? What is it about your current camera that is holding you back from capturing the type of images you want?

    It’s so easy to look at other photographer’s work and ask what camera they have and head off to buy it. But you and I both know it isn’t the gear that made that photo amazing. It’s the photographer and HOW they use their gear, light, composition, and editing.

  • No.
    Would purchasing a higher quality lens be a better investment?

    Camera bodies tend to lose value over time. However, a lens holds its value much better than a camera body. Often times, when drooling over another photographer’s work it may actually be the lens that is achieving that beautiful image and not that specific camera body. A lot of people say invest in lenses prior to upgrading camera bodies. I think this is great advice.

    If you are unable to answer question two but are itching for new gear, I would suggest it may be best to invest in a new lens instead or a course to better understand your camera.

    When trying to decide what lens to purchase next, figure out what it is you like to photograph and which lens will help you get the look you want.

    Then rent the lens. Yes, rent it. I am guilty of buying a lens because a lot of my photography friends had it. I loved the images they captured with their macro lens so I bought one too.

    Big mistake. I don’t enjoy macro photography. I now had an expensive lens sitting on my shelf collecting dust. I wish I had rented it first.

  • Tracy
    September 14, 2017 at 12:17 PM

    Great reality check! Gear envy is so real!

  • Jarmo Huovinen
    September 14, 2017 at 4:35 PM

    I’m not kidding, but what needs update is our heads. So try three weeks Yoga challange and notice your changed mindset to everything you see.

  • Carla
    September 14, 2017 at 6:22 PM

    Excellent advice!! No more camera envy regrets.

  • diane
    September 14, 2017 at 6:27 PM

    Great advice! I upgraded last year after over a year of wondering but once I got to that point where I was like I NEED more focus points and was getting grain at even lower ISOs it was a game changer! I do need a MACRO though…I’ve borrowed before but I’ve been getting away without it so far!

  • Sam Suffit
    September 15, 2017 at 3:38 AM

    Right to the point! Very good advice. Thanks.

  • Kartini
    October 1, 2017 at 5:53 PM

    Thanks for the advice! Going to have a thankful heart, and try to learn more about the functions my current camera has. :)

  • Debora
    February 19, 2018 at 10:28 AM

    I made do for a long time with the same camera and just got one new lens (for years). Recently came into some money and really upgraded camera body and got new lenses, but did know what I wanted and why. Still learning the new system and having fun!

  • Roger Waskow
    May 7, 2018 at 8:02 PM

    So, so true. My first camera was stolen. Insurance paid out so I put towards the amount and got a better one and because I read about the better one sold my second and bought third. Cannon 70D. One difference is I’m so happy with this one. Had a look at the 80D and it’s upgrades and would like the water and dust resistance but I’m concentrating on super good lenses for the next few years. So lover your article as it’s nearly cured me.

  • Tina
    May 10, 2018 at 11:39 AM

    I agree, it is easy to get sucked into the camera envy craze!!! I bought a 50 lens and kept my camera wow, great results, people love my photography and so, I will keep doing the same thing. I wanted an 85 or 70-200 but honestly the 50 gives the very same bokeh results. My canon is a 7d which mean one of the fastest out there, so I don’t feel I even need a full frame camera. In this crazy world, we are dying to keep up with everyone, wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy our own space, our own art with a little peace and abundant joy?? I wonder.

  • Jaisinh
    May 16, 2018 at 6:45 AM

    I’ve got the very first Canon 5D. I now want to upgrade to a mirrorless format. But Canon has caught up with the mirrorless leaders like Sony and Fuji. My Canon lenses are great and don’t want to get rid of them, and yet feel that I don’t want to use adapters. So my dilemma is, should I sell the lenses as they will fetch a great price, or wait to see what Canon has in the offering later part of this year in comparison to the present market leaders?

  • Mary
    June 21, 2018 at 11:36 AM

    I’m still learning my camera and lens not ready to upgrade just want to get to know my camera and more familiar with the lens.

  • Christopher James Hall
    April 7, 2019 at 4:34 PM

    I would agree with the comment of upgrade glass before the body. Doesn’t matter what body you have if the lens is poor quality.

    But then again. Make sure you have learnt all you need to know with your current body first.

    The most important part of any camera is what’s behind it.


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