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Thread: When does one "outgrow" his camera??

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    When does one "outgrow" his camera??

    or maybe... "when is it time to upgrade to a new camera body?"

    are there any preset rules on when one should upgrade? or does it solely depend on ones "line" of photography??

    except of course when the camera is broke beyond repair....[:P]

  2. #2
    Senior Member clemmb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Glenn Heights, TX

    Re: When does one "outgrow" his camera??

    What camera body do you have?


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Re: When does one "outgrow" his camera??

    I would say that it is time to upgrade when your skills are limited by what you're using. Usually, though, what you're using is limited by your skills (my case). If you shoot birds and have gotten very good at it but 3fps on your rebel is taking away all your potentially awesome images, than a 7D or 50d would make sense.

    well, that's my idea [H]


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    The Netherlands

    Re: When does one "outgrow" his camera??

    Quote Originally Posted by bburns223

    I would say that it is time to upgrade when your skills are limited by what you're using.

    I agree with that. Also if technology has been seriously improved at points you need it an update would be welcome. An "old" 10D/350D etc etc can still make amazing pictures. However if you need lowlight iso performance it wouldn't be such a great choice anymore compared to the newer generation. It's just depending on what you need and expect.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Vancouver, Washington, USA

    Re: When does one "outgrow" his camera??

    Quote Originally Posted by jks
    When does one "outgrow" his camera?

    Some photographers shoot in circumstances that are specific enough that they are not hindered in any way by their camera, but most of us are limited by our cameras to some degree. As the photographer grows in experience, the camera becomes more and more of a limitation. At some subjective point it could be said that the photographer has outgrown the camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by jks
    when is it time to upgrade to a new camera body?

    When several conditions are met:
    • There is a new camera body that will reduce limitations and improve your photography
    • There are no other purchases, such as a lens, that would have a stronger impact.
    • You have the money.

  6. #6

    Re: When does one "outgrow" his camera??

    My personal rule is when my body is limiting my creativity. Or I have some money burning in the bank (not that often)...

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Re: When does one "outgrow" his camera??

    In my mind, the #1 job the camera must do correctly is focus. Every other feature in a camera is superfluous to it's ability to focus sharply. Within limits, nearly everything else is within your control either at the time of capture or can be addressed in post production.

    Not surprisingly, the focus system improves with every step-up in camera. Hence, in my opinion, you should always own the best camera (with the best focus system) you can afford. Period.

    Obviously, if you never have an OOF shot, then you don't need to upgrade.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Re: When does one "outgrow" his camera??

    As far as I'm concerned, I'm pretty
    sure I hadn't outgrown my Canon 500D bought in June 2009 when I
    bought a Canon 5D Mark II in December. Nonetheless, there are several
    considerations which come to my mind.

    First, how much money one can afford to
    spend (throw away?) for a hobby, which is by far the most important
    thing to take into account. If one can afford a full frame, the next
    dilemma comes: is it worth it?

    I thought about it for at least one
    month and I was on the verge to keep my 500D since, despite of
    reading tons of reviews, articles, books and so on, I could not
    properly understand the advantages of a full frame:

    1. I don't need to shoot at 12 mm, so
      why the cropping factor should limit me?

    2. I don't need more FPS

    3. I don't need 20 Mpixels

    Since I already had a Canon 70-200 L
    F/4 IS and a decent (400$) 28/135 F/3.5-5.6 IS, I don't even know why
    eventually I bought a full frame. But, after buying it, I discovered
    a completely hidden (at least, to me)new worldbehind the reviews,
    the books and whatever else.

    1. The focus system is screamingly
      more precise than my previous camera and in several cases it's a
      matter of life and death for a picture.

    2. The ISO advantage is perhaps the
      most important one, since at ISO 3200 I get roughly (if not
      a little less) noise I used to get at ISO 800. This means to be
      able to shoot tons of photos which would beimpossibleotherwise.

    3. Most of the lens are really
      conceived for a full frame camera. A Canon 24-105 L F/4 IS has
      “sense” in a full frame, since it lets you shoot wide and with a
      decent close up. Mount it to an 1.6 APS-C and you get between 40 and
      160 mm. That is, neither wide nor zoomed... The same applies with a
      70-200, which can be used for portraits and for medium zoom,
      although on an APS-C it becomes a “zoom only” lens. Finally,
      even the Canon 50 mm F/1.4 loses part of its flexibility on a APS-C.

    4. No, I don't need 20 Mpixels but
      now I can make brutal crops and still have a nice picture of
      something which has been shoot in a different orientation.

      As far as the features are concerned,
      my suspicions were confirmed: nothing critical for me with the new
      camera, but after the aforementioned points, who cares?

    Of course, this is pretty personal :-]

  9. #9

    Re: When does one "outgrow" his camera??

    You outgrow your camera when having a better one would improve your photographs. It is not easy to improve your photographs with a new body though. I know when I bought my XT I was disappointed in it, then I learned why my photos looked worse, or the same as my 3.2MP Olympus. I was dissapointed in my 40D when initially my photographs looked better from my XT. In both cases though, the money I spent on the cameras drove me to take better photographs and "get my moneys worth". Of course there was that whole love of photography thing too. It is very difficult to take a picture that would look better than the best my 40D can take. It means stopping down, and using a tripod and controlling the lighting better if possible. Higher ISOs help, but can you handle the motion blur which can be there as well. How about your lenses, are they good enough to resolve for an 18 or a 21MP sensor? Do you crop a lot? I have decide for myself that while I would love to get a new camera, I just can't beat my 40D often enough that I need to step up. When I go on vacation in the summer, I am planning to rent a 7D and a good lens. I like landscape photography, and I will go through all the steps, Tripod, Low ISO, Sweet spot aperture of the lens, Mirror Lock up, using liveview to focus, and the timer to trigger the exposure. For all my regular photos, I don't really need to upgrade.


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