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Upgrading Your Camera: When Should You?

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Have you thought about upgrading your camera lately, but aren’t sure when the best time is? When you purchase gear for your photography business, it’s a big choice for you to make. In our Guide to Camera Bodies, we share the top cameras for wedding photographers. Sometimes, it can be difficult to decide whether you actually need a new camera or if you just want one. Camera bodies are expensive, and require thought on your part. If you think you are ready, or even if you know you won’t be ready for a while, here are things you can ask yourself when you want to know when you should upgrade your camera.

Camera Limitations

Does your camera limit you from photography activities? For example, do you find you shoot in dark locations quite a bit? Shooting in the dark can be a challenge alone, so if your camera lacks the ISO performance to shoot at low light, you may want to consider purchasing a new one.

“If you know you’re going to shoot in low light, you have to have a camera that has high ISO. If you don’t feel comfortable with your camera shooting at 3200 ISO or higher, I give you the right to go buy yourself a new camera. You have to make sure you are going to produce professional quality even in low light.” – Scott Robert Lim

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Image Compliments of Scott Robert Lim 

Also, do you have limitations with your camera because it’s too used or even broken? You use your camera to shoot engagements, weddings, and for practice – it makes sense that its effectiveness might lessen over the years. Plus, how many times have you dropped it or bumped it against something while you were shooting? The wear and tear on a camera can be significant, and often times, it’s more expensive to repair your old camera than it is to purchase a new one. In this case, it may be a good reason for you to upgrade your camera.

Newer cameras will typically come with improved functionality, like expanded autofocus points, back button focusing, wifi enablement, and more. Analyze the market to see if you can put any of these new functions to use.

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Related: Are you using these 3 custom camera settings to speed up your shoots?

Skill Limitations

Do you notice your photography skills have caused you to grow out of your camera? Although your camera is not the reason you are a good photographer, it does help you achieve the images you envision.

For example, maybe when you got your current camera, you were a new photographer. You needed a camera to help you start taking photos, but didn’t have the budget (or the camera knowledge) to purchase a mid-level camera. After a few years of experience, you have more skills and knowledge about photography and shooting, and need a camera to help you achieve certain techniques. For example, if you struggle with noise in low-light situations, or you love to shoot wide open, you may need a full-frame camera. This upgrade can help you continue your shooting techniques, as well as spark your enthusiasm and creativity.

Related: How can your shooting skills help you create stand out imagery in the toughest situations?

Camera Necessity

Have you ever shot a wedding where your camera failed and you missed several images? Gear disasters happen often, and it is a wedding shoot nightmare that can happen to any photographer. For this reason, you may want to upgrade your camera to have a back-up with you at all shoots. You should have back-ups for most of your gear, like memory cards, flashes, and batteries; your camera is no exception. When you have a back-up camera, you avoid missing any images or moments from the wedding day. Your reputation stays intact and your clients remain happy with the images you provide to them once they’re color corrected by a post production photography company. So, when you decide you want to upgrade, you can use your old camera as your back-up and shoot with the new one.

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Learn Posing From the Pros

After you ask yourself those questions, take some time to do a bit of research to see if an upgrade is really what you want. You can rent a camera body to start. If you know what camera you may want to purchase, rent it from a company like LensProToGo. This can help you save money while you make your decision. Plus, if you realize that it is not the best fit for you, you are not committed to it and can try others.

Sometimes, it can be challenging to know if you actually need or want a new camera body. Here are a few additional thoughts to consider before upgrading:

  • You like the look of a camera. This may not be the best reason for you to upgrade, especially because you need to run your business and place income in other areas.
  • You want to appeal to different clients. Your ideal clients will like you because of who you are as a person and photographer, as well as the images you provide. Your camera doesn’t create beautiful images; you do.
  • You are not satisfied with your images. When you need to advance your skills, or create a new direction for your photography, it’s not because of your camera. Instead of a camera upgrade, use some of the money you would spend to attend a few workshops and advance your skills.

Are you thinking about upgrading your camera, but aren’t sure what model is perfect for you and your business? The Wedding Photographers Guide to Camera Bodies lists the best cameras on the market today to help you make your decision. Grab it today!

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