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    Four characters it is not time to upgrade your camera


    The post Four Signs that it is NOT time to upgrade your camera first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Adam Welch.

    I am reminded of a conversation between Ansel Adams and Ernest Hemingway that went something like this:

    Hemingway: You take the most fantastic photos I've ever seen! What kind of camera do you use?

    Adams: You write the most amazing stories. What type of typewriter do you use?

    Although I know that this chance encounter between two of my favorite Masters never happened (although I secretly hope this is the case), the important implications of this fictional exchange are obvious.


    The power of a photo is no longer linked to the superiority of a person's camera than the words of a good story that moves us to emotion. Although it is true that cameras are indeed the tools of our trade, and those tools vary in terms of possibilities, there seems to be a kind of "cart for the horse" mentality today. It looms heavily on the majority of the photographic community; a mentality that implies that if your photos do not meet your expectations, the quickest cure is to buy a better camera.

    Upgrade, upgrade, UPGRADE! That is the number that is often heard. Upgrading your camera is a natural facet of every photographer's evolution. I do not disagree with that idea. But what if I told you that a new (or new to you) camera should be more of a last resort than a first idea?

    Today we are going to talk about four signals that it is NOT time to upgrade your camera.

    You are still "figuring out" what you want to do with your photography

    About 300 years ago (it seems), when digital cameras ' s became relatively cost effective for the average shooter, I started thinking about switching from my SLR movie to a DSLR. I looked around and was advised on a camera that would be "magical" for the work I was trying to do. The problem was that I had no real idea of ​​what that work would actually be.


    Just like a certain popular character from a certain popular TV program … "I didn't know anything." I went with the camera others told me to have it and went after the kind of photography assignments (wedding, portraits, events) that were available in my Area. I had upgraded my camera – not for a real physical or technical need – but rather because I thought a new camera was needed for the task that was available.

    In fact, I had not stopped to think about what I wanted to do and how to do it before I made the decision. It was as if you were buying brushes before you knew how to paint.

    If you are still wondering what kind of photography is "good" for you, a good starting point would be to continue working with any camera that you have now. Photograph everything and everything with it: people, events, landscapes, nature, street and still life.

    Only after you see yourself leaning to one side do you have to think about upgrading the tools you need to achieve better results.

    You still stop with the "kit lens" that came with your camera

    Your brain is an incredibly complex, incredibly capable bio-computer that we are just beginning to understand. But without input and feedback from our senses, the brain is just – well – a brain. It only knows its environment based on the information that may be passed on to its consciousness.

    The same applies to our cameras.

    A digital camera can be the most beautiful huge sensor that somehow produces no noise, even at 4 billion ISO. Or, it has enough megapixels to make magnifications larger than the earth, and yet it would depend on the information it transmits through its lens. Ultimately, the lens determines the quality of the raw information light that the camera will use to build an image.

    So why do so many of us focus more on the camera than on the lens?

    Especially today, the lenses that come with bundled camera sets are generally much sharper and faster than previous packages that were offered ten or fifteen years ago. This is probably due to the higher expectations of the "average photographer" – if there is such a thing.

    Still, if the reason you are considering upgrading your camera is entirely due to a lack of sharpness or low light performance, then I recommend that you first invest in a higher quality lens. Please note: higher quality does not translate into high prices. Many prime (non-zoom) lenses with a maximum aperture of f / 2.8 and larger offer excellent optics for less than $ 300, with light-used models performing even less.

    Always remember that an inferior camera with a superior lens almost always performs better than a superior camera with an inferior lens. Therefore, consider upgrading your lens before the camera housing.

    You have never gone completely manually

    The functional steps for taking a photo are surprisingly simple. Regarding image settings for our camera / lens, there are only three things that we can control directly that determine the overall result of our exposures; shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. These are basically all we have to select to produce a digital image.

    However, choosing those three parameters can immediately startle us. Instead of taking full control of our photos, we often choose to rely on aperture or shutter priority modes (which are usually pretty good these days). Alternatively, we release governments completely and let our cameras make the big decisions for our exposure by choosing Auto mode.


    I admit that this subject is a slippery slope. I have said that many modern cameras do well in these semi-automatic shooting modes. Yet a camera, without the conscious and intentional operation of the user, is just a camera.

    For whatever reason, if you find that you never determine the "big three" settings of your camera and find that your photos lack their technical or creative qualities, I advise you to start shooting in manual mode mode. Completely new doors will open for you as you begin to understand the relationships between motion and shutter speed or depth of field and aperture. Not to mention the brilliant nuances of working with ISO settings. Once you've discovered these options, it's likely that it makes no sense to upgrade your camera in the hope of a better automatic recording experience.

    First try to play a more dynamic role in determining the technical aspects of your photographic experience. Then determine whether it is really time to upgrade your camera.

    You think your photography is not as good as anyone else

    This is the big one. It is the number one reason why you should not run out and upgrade your camera without first making a serious self-inventory. You've seen someone else's work and immediately notice in your head "if I only had the camera they use", or "no wonder their photos are so good, look at that camera!"

    In this situation I go back to that epic fictional encounter between Ansel and Ernest. The clearly secondary nature of the tool of choice is immediately apparent from the property of the owner. I doubt that few of us can still pen an "The Old Man and the Sea" if it comes with Hemingway's typewriter and typewriter. We are unlikely to have ' Moon over Hernandez ' would reproduce if the same camera and film had the same gift as Ansel Adams used that night in New Mexico.

    The point is that it is not the camera that takes the photo. A camera is only a channel for the expression of skills and emotions of the user.

    If you find yourself just being jealous of a particular photo, a simple mistake is asking what type of camera or lens they have used. The more difficult aspect to understand is that a person has made the image; a person who felt in a certain way at the time of being captured – someone who was able to take a picture through his knowledge and skills.

    The camera may have been the method for converting light into a photo, but the power and emotion conveyed by that photo was born elsewhere.

    I can assure you that upgrading your camera will not immediately make you a better photographer; only learning is possible. A camera does not take a photo; only a person can do that.

    A few last words about camera ' s …

    We have immersed some heavy ideas in this article when it comes to all the reasons why you should think before you upgrade your camera. However, with everything related to "art" and self-expression, these ideas are far from absolute.

    Ultimately, only you can decide whether a new or different camera will help you on your way to fulfilling your potential as a photographer. It is not a process that you must enter lightly or without solid reasoning.


    Socrates said, "Know yourself." That is good wisdom.

    If you find yourself looking at your current camera with an increasing feeling of aversion, ask yourself whether the performance you are missing is from the tool or the professional? In both cases you can easily solve the problem. You can obtain new cameras & new knowledge. The trick is knowing which you need more.

    4 signs are no time to upgrade your camera

    The post Four Signs that it is NOT time to upgrade your camera first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Adam Welch.

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