Lots of people ask what camera they should get to replace their existing one. When asked, the reason for upgrading, it is that their existing camera is old. It didn’t break, nor is it incompatible with the new type of sunlight we get these days, it’s just old. I find this a little puzzling because obviously the sun hasn’t been upgraded to a new operating system and is still producing the same light as before; so obviously their images haven’t suddenly become worse. This leaves me wondering why exactly they need (as opposed to “want”) to upgrade their old camera instead of considering the alternatives available.

I own a Canon 7D and really like the images it has captured. But the fact is that the really good ones are almost all good because they were well lit and well composed. None of them are good because they have a few extra pixels or because my camera has a magnesium alloy body and some extra buttons. I happen to live near the sea in a very humid climate and like to shoot Rugby, so a weather sealed body with a high fps is useful, but it certainly isn’t essential.

So, I guess my question to these people boils down to, what is it your current camera can’t do, that a newer model will allow you to do?

  • Why not buy different/better glass instead? Adding a different type of lens to your kit will allow you to take a type of pictures you cant get with your current set up, and still wouldn’t be able to if you put your current lenses on a new body.
  • Alternatively spend the money on a great holiday to somewhere far away and get photos you will never be able to get at home, even with your new camera. – I have a 70-200 lens with my 7D. I could have bought a 1D and a bunch of more expensive lens, but then I would have been able to go to Sri Lanka in December, where I got some of the best photos I’ve ever taken.
  • Learn more – I also wouldn’t have been able to afford to go on a short photography course which was instrumental in dramatically improving the quality of my composition. Oddly, just owning a 7D didn’t automatically make me a good photographer

Conclusion

If you need a new camera, buy one – provided it does something you need. If it doesn’t, then you should at least consider a different upgrade such as new glass, lessons or a trip to a new location. They could easily have a much greater impact on your photography than replacing an old camera body.