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Thread: When you need to upgrade your camera ?

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    When you need to upgrade your camera ?

    Based on a few threads here lately, and a discussion or two Ive had with members at various AP meets I thought a thread might be useful for those quite new to photography about why, when and if you should upgrade your camera body

    I've searched for a similar thread and can't immediately see a generic advice one, apologies if I have missed it.

    I'd be very happy for experienced members to chirp in too

    My thoughts are that all too often I see members with say a Nikon D90 suggesting that they "need" a D7000, or D700, becuase somehow that's going to improve my photography

    Now, Id suggest that in the vast majority of cases that's simply not going to happen to be frank.

    I think that in general most new (within the last three years) camera bodies at pretty much any expenditure lebel for an SLR for any brand under most conditions (and there are exceptions) have the built-in capability (focus ability, colour rendition, noise characteristics, dynamic range, contrast, shutter speed, megapixels) to take brilliant photos every bit as good under most conditions as say a Nikon D3 or Canon 5DMkii

    So, I think, before rushing to the conclusion that you need to upgrade, think about why, what else is there that could be causing what I think is a problem - and that usually comes down to experience, skill, and lenses than camera body.

    Now for the exceptions. And I think they are exceptions.

    As an example, noise.....some camera bodies just are rubbish over say 800 iso. And so if you are shooting low light night shots, sport at dusk etc then that's going to be important.

    So, your thought please ?
    Darren
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    Amor fati!
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    as i stated in another thread, next to iso the d90 for example in movie mode will not auto focus and if this is important enough to you you might want to upgrade.
    also another condideration is how many shots per second the camera will take. my d40 only did 2.4 i think, and it had to be in small jpg at that... the d90 does about 4.5 in raw and much bigger buffer so will keep going after the 4.5 shots where as the d40 stopped as the buffer was full.

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    Well, my body (k10d) being older is useless above iso 400 and any long exposures (better then a minute) at any iso (even 100) will end up with horizontal banding through the middle of the shot. I think mine was made at the end of a loooong shift.

    My last upgrade was from a *ist ds (6 meg pentax) and the difference between the 2 bodies IQ wise using the same lens is instantly noticible even at like 25% full size

    I thinks maybe it's nearly time for a k7 or a k5. but some sexy glass is oooh so sexy and can make nearly the same difference.
    Greg Bartle,
    I have a Pentax and I'm not afraid to use it.
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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    I agree, clean Hi-ISO is probably the biggest limitation a body at the entry level will present. Machine gun fire over 5FPS is not all that often useful and depending upon what your intended output is, the resolution may be an issue for large prints.

    As you and I know, the ISO ability of the Nikon FX bodies really is superb, especially helpful for keeping that SS up for sports shooting, and that is worth the price of entry for at least a D700 IMHO.

    Glass is a big consideration for quality images before bodies.

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    I think the last three examples are very good for showing good reasons why to upgrade - basically you hittng the wall for specific reasons with a current body

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    I'm soooooo going to show this thread to my Fiancee!!

    It's ok babe, Kiwi says I can have a new body!
    If only I could go to the Gym and buy a new body there too!

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    Amor fati!
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    oh and when you have so much money that its burning a hole in your hip pocket and you just have to spend a whole bucket load straight away!

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    Member JohnRA's Avatar
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    My 50D is a better camera than I am a photographer ....... Next question please.
    John.

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    Agree wholeheartedly with this thread. Any camera released in the last few years is quite capable of taking good to great photos when used by a skilled photographer. Also agree that high ISO is the area that is being improved on rapidly by the manufacturers at present, and could be a reason to upgrade. I think anyone considering posting an upgrade thread, should include their current best work (photos), so we can see if upgrading is going to be of benefit or if heading over to the photo forums and learning would be a better goal.

    Oh, but I like shiny new bright things that smell like they have just been unpacked from the shop, and my D3 just won't cut it any more, so I want.....
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    have to agree totally with you here Darren. I`m going to step up from a D80 to the D7000 very soon and am looking forward to it. Doing it for all the reasons you stated. I`m really happy with the D80 BTW and have learnt lots with and from it. Knowing what I do now, I am sure that I can achieve better results overall with the 7K...due to improved features. Still be sad putting the 80 down though.
    Graeme
    "May the good Lord look down and smile upon your face"......Norman Gunston___________________________________________________
    Nikon: D7000, D80, 12-24 f4, 17-55 f2.8, 18-135, 70-300VR, 35f2, SB 400, SB 600, TC-201 2x converter. Tamron: 90 macro 2.8 Kenko ext. tubes. Photoshop CS2.


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    D80 to IR conversion is fun...but its always good to have a backup camera anyhow

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post

    Oh, but I like shiny new bright things that smell like they have just been unpacked from the shop, and my D3 just won't cut it any more, so I want.....
    D4s....I will have it! Assuming Nikon release it that is.

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    I upgraded because the AF module in the d40x was crap had only 3 AF points, and annoyed hell out of me. However, additional useability features (command dials, more buttons, DOF, top LCD) were a bonus that assist me in setting the camera to what I want quickly. At the same time, better ISO performance and higher frame rates have been useful.

    Rick wrote:
    Any camera released in the last few years is quite capable of taking good to great photos when used by a skilled photographer.
    But the key point there is "skilled photographer" - I think that going up a level in camera introduces useability features that help the less skilled achieve better photos, and perhaps better skills (at least that's what I tell myself and my wife).

    I firmly subscribe to the view that the person pushing the shutter has far more influence on the quality of the photo than the camera. However, photography should have a level of enjoyment - and for me, I enjoy having a new gadget with more knobs and dials, regardless of its quality impact on my photography. Yes, taking a good picture is enjoyable, but I also like to enjoy the process, and a newer model camera can help with that.
    Regards, Rob

    D600, AF-S 35mm f1.8G DX, AF-S 50mm f1.8G, AF-S 24-85mm f3.5-4.5G ED VR, AF-S 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G VR, Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM
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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser DAdeGroot's Avatar
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    Agree also.

    As a general rule, the only time you need to upgrade is when your current body is limiting your ability. i.e. too noisy for low-light/long exposure/high iso, too slow to focus or woefully inaccurate focus.

    All my camera progressions have been because of a definite, identifiable need. It helps greatly if you need to justify the purchase with your finance dept. / better half.

    Having said that, one of my most lucrative photographs was shot with a Canon 400D and Sigma 10-20. It's easy to get hung up on image quality and how a new body will improve that, but you really need to be aware of the end result you require. A 10Mpx image can be used for a Billboard due to the print resolution of the billboard. A 6Mpx image is usually fine for a full page magazine image.
    Dave

    http://www.degrootphotography.com.au/
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Now for the exceptions. And I think they are exceptions.
    Ego. If you don't have the skill of The Stig, why drive a Porsche, Zonda, Bugatti Veyron, etc ?

    Agree that you need to have hit the wall with your existing equipment to justify an upgrade though.

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    All very salient points.
    I'm going trekking through Nepal and Tibet in the coming months and my first thought was 'oh no! I only have a 40D. Everyone else will have pro cameras' then I stepped back from my ego and realised I am getting some great shots with my 40D and there's no reason to upgrade other than keeping up with the Joneses.
    Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. ~Scott Adams

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