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Upgrading your camera?

By September 6th, 2019Photography Tech Talk6 min read

Shutterbug Walkabouts camera gear

Upgrading your camera?

You may like to consider these factors before you do…

Inspiration for this blog post comes from frequent conversations with our Shutterbug guests during tuition sessions and our own experiences with camera changes. Roy recently upgraded his camera so we also share the three main reasons for his eventual choice.

So, why upgrade? Well, everyone’s reasons are different, here’s some we’ve heard:

  • You simply want to have the latest release.
  • Your friend has a different camera and you want the same one.
  • You believe a new camera will improve the photos you take.
  • Newer models of your camera have far more features.

You might think your selection will be a simple choice – you study catalogues and brochures, browse camera stores online, visit your local camera retailer and then you buy a latest release camera because it looks good and it can do lots. Maybe it’s on sale at a price you can’t resist.

However, if you plan to invest in a camera for the long term you might be better off thinking it through a bit more, rather than assuming the latest release is simply the best option. Each generation of digital camera released into the market comes with more features and can be a vast improvement on previous models, for instance

  • low-light performance
  • auto-focus capabilities
  • continuous shooting frame rates
  • larger LCD screen with improved daylight visibility
  • new general features (HDR, GPS, WiFi)

BUT, here’s three things we suggest you first think about before starting your research:

  1. What frustrates you most about your current camera?
    For example, is it slow to focus, especially in low light? Or is finding things in the camera menu time consuming and not intuitive?
  2. What type of photography do you enjoy the most and/or what is your photographic style? Eg sports, wildlife, landscapes or portraits, low-light, close-ups or macro etc
    Being aware of your own goals will help you select the best camera with the right features to suit you.
  3. What is your budget?
    The highest priced camera may not be the best one for you – why pay for features you never need? There are so many options in the marketplace these days there’s sure to be one that suits you AND your budget.

Not happy with your existing camera’s image quality?
You may not necessarily need a new camera body; instead the issue could be the lens you’re using. Most people don’t realise the lens plays a greater part in producing high quality, sharp images, more so than the camer body itself. Have you ever heard the words ‘good glass’ ? It’s a term often heard in professional photographer circles and it simply means a good quality lens. It could well be that a new lens with your existing camera body will help you create the photos you imagine.

Why did Roy upgrade?

Roy deliberated over several months about an upgrade and it was only after extensive research and contemplation that he did, and recently purchased the Canon 5Ds. For many years Roy’s been shooting with a Canon 1D Mk III and Canon 5D Mk II. Each camera had individual advantages and he certainly got significant use of both, although as the years passed he was mostly shooting with the 5D MkII.

When Canon released the 5D MkIII Roy strongly considered making the purchase but after researching the camera details and online reviews, he just didn’t feel the new release was going to be of any more benefit to him and he couldn’t justify the expense at the time. He was waiting for  a ‘ground-breaking’ camera to be released into the marketplace! There was even some thought Roy may even move from Canon to another brand, but that’s a whole other topic – in particular considering the lens mounts and how he’d be able to use his existing Canon lenses with adapters without significant further expense.

Roy’s top three reasons for upgrading from the Canon 5D Mk II to the Canon 5Ds

  1. An increase in the auto-focus points from 9 on the 5D MKII to 61 on the 5Ds – a huge jump!!
    This allows the ability to focus accurately without the need to focus then recompose. The low light focussing was also enhanced.
  2. Higher resolution: an increase from 21MP on the 5D MKII to up to 50MP on the 5Ds
    The higher resolution suits his style of photography and allows much more cropping options. It also comes with the opportunity to print larger images for display.
  3. Greater dynamic range and lower noise
    Allows for greater ability to capture both bright and dark areas within a scene at the same time and has lower noise at high ISO settings.

There are many other reasons and too many to go into in a blog. Our aim here is to have you think carefully about your next camera or lens purchase so that you can gain longevity from the choice and investment you make and get the results you are looking for.

When you purchase your new camera one of the best things you can do is go through the menu and adjust the settings to the way you want them… for example, the date and time, image size recorded, copyright information and other settings for the your style of photography. If you’d like some assistance with setting up your camera for the first time, we can adapt our ‘Master Your Camera’ private tuition session to suit this very purpose. It’s also a way that you’ll learn how to better drive your camera. 

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