I’m often approached and asked by many; “Have you check out the latest and greatest camera gear, I’m looking into buying it, what are your thought on it?”
Honestly, that’s a serious question that stops me in my tracks. Let me explain. Most of the photographers who ask me that question also confide that they are on a very tight budget and really don’t have the money to spend. Yet, they are seriously considering going into debt to obtain the new gear. So WHY would they do that?! The reasons I often here; they have been led to believe, for years, that in order to take great photographs you need the latest equipment. Then add insult to injury; you need the latest equipment to be considered a “professional” or even a serious amateur aspiring to becoming a professional.
This is the time when you want to be completely honest with yourself.
Here’s the bottom line and many will disagree with me: There should only be (2) reasons for you to get the latest and greatest photography equipment.
A) You WANT IT period and CAN afford it; and
B) Your current equipment truly and honestly NO LONGER serves your purpose (which I’ll get to in a minute.)
Now, if you do not fit into option (A), then my honest and humble opinion is “Photograph with what you currently have and be grateful.”
What will make you a great photographer is the development of your craft and the development of your skills. Practice, Practice, Practice. Learn everything about your current camera. Get use to it in your hands. Get use to all the buttons, features, and menus. Take out that manual, look it over from time to time and always keep it with you in your camera bag so that you have it to reference. Most importantly, remember that the camera is a TOOL. The camera does not take the photograph; it does not press the shutter button at the right time and position itself in the right place. It is YOU, the photographer, that makes that photograph in combination with your creative thinking and decision. NOT the camera or equipment.
If you doubt me, take a look at these photographs. I took these with a 2008 (5 year old) Olympus E-520 – 10 megapixel camera with the highest ISO that it can give of “1,600” yes that’s “1,600” not “16,000”.
Here’s the kicker! I’m still using that camera and it is the only digital SLR camera that I have and that I own. For many reasons that are exactly like yours. I live on a budget, I choose not to have unnecessary debt and I’m focused on being financially self sufficient; plus I love my camera, but with one difference. Option (B) Your current equipment NO LONGER serves your purpose.
Although I love my Olympus E-520 and I know it inside and out and I use it consistently, it no longer serves my purpose with respect to my Landscape photography. My Landscape photography is suffering do to the cameras poor performance in low light situations (remember it’s highest ISO is “1,600” not “16,000”) and we all know that the best landscapes are captured during sunrise and sunset. As a result, option (B) has led me to seriously consider the decision to upgrade my camera equipment or perhaps purchase the latest and greatest gear. Stay tuned to fined out!
I hope this helped or has shed some light into when to upgrade or purchase the latest and greatest gear.
In the meantime “Photograph with what you currently have”, love what you do, have fun and be grateful”
Enjoy, Respect and Love what you do.
This is Lifestyle Photography with a touch of Elegance, Style, Charisma!