Over the last few years new cameras have been coming thick and fast. Trust us, we know it can be incredibly tempting to go out and buy a new camera just because. However, before you splash the cash have a read of this article and then ask yourself if you need a new camera.

Here’s the thing, camera manufacturers pay big bucks to PR firms who then make their cameras sound like the next best thing. They make you believe that you need it, TODAY! However, chances are, the camera you have right now is more than good enough for now and years to come.

There are some legitimate reasons to buy a new camera as well. In this article, were going to explore the dilemma and go over a few questions that you need to ask yourself before spending your money.

Question 1: Why do I need a new camera?


This is the number one question you need to ask yourself. Why do I need a new camera? Has your shooting style changed? Are you working within different genres? Have you outgrown the feature set of your current camera? If you answered yes to any of those questions then maybe you do need a new camera that will fit your changing needs. After all, gear does matter to a point.

However, if nothing has changed with the way you shoot you probably don’t need to drop the cash. If you aren’t using all the features of your current camera, or if you’re not exploring new avenues, your current camera, DSLR or mirrorless, micro four-thirds, APS-C or full-frame, especially if you purchased it within the last three to five years, is still more than good enough.

Don’t fall for the marketing hype. At the end of the day, if you’re not using your current camera to its fullest potential, upgrading will do nothing for you. You’ll be better off saving your money until you do need a new body.

Question 2: What can the new camera do that my old one can’t?

As mentioned above, more features will be lost on you if you don’t already maximize the features of your current equipment. So, before you splurge, make a list of the features of your current camera and a list of features in the new camera. Is there anything you absolutely can’t live without? Will a new camera help you do something that your current gear stops you from doing?

If the answer is yes, check out one of our many roundups. They’re designed to help you find your next camera, lens or accessory. If the answer is no, stick with the camera you have and save your money. Don’t forget, it’s easy to forget about needs vs. wants.

Do you need a camera that has a bazillion focus points? No. Does it sound good and make you want them? More than likely. Do you need to be able to rattle off 20 frames per second? Unless you’re a wildlife or sports photographer, probably not. Weigh up your needs versus your wants and make a sound decision. Doing this leg work could save you thousands.

Question 3: Do I really need all those megapixels?

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This is the big one. Camera manufacturers live and die by the megapixel counts in their cameras. We live in a world where more is seen as better. However, this is not always the case. One piece of advice I can give is to never buy a camera just based on megapixels. Megapixels are not the be-all and end-all. The truth is that most, not all, but most photographers out there rarely need more than 24 megapixels.

As an event and portrait photographer myself, I can tell you that 24 megapixels is more than enough. The current crop of cameras out there with roughly 24-megapixel sensors (and some with less) offer more than enough resolution for all but those who NEED to capture extreme levels of detail or who blow up and print images at huge sizes.

I rarely have clients asking me for prints over 20-by-30 inches and a 24MP camera can handle that easily. You also need to factor in RAW file sizes and if you have enough storage media (both SD cards and hard drives/SSDs). You also need a computer that’s powerful enough to edit them smoothly.

If you’re a product photographer, a fine art photographer, a fashion photographer or a landscape photographer and capturing immense amounts of detail is paramount, get a high megapixel camera. If you don’t own lenses that let you get closer to the action and you need to crop heavily, it might be worth it too. Otherwise, I promise you, 24 megapixels are more than enough. Don’t think that higher megapixel sensors are magic, they’re not.

Question 4: Will my money be better off spent elsewhere?

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Honestly, yes. I will say it again. For the vast majority, your current body, if purchased with the last three to five years (and possibly longer) is more than good enough. If you think you need a new camera to create images with more quality, I have some news for you. A new camera will not make that happen. Instead, invest your money in new lenses or in training programs to improve your skill sets.

Better quality lenses are greater than new cameras. I cannot stress this enough. Quality lenses are everything. I promise you, high-end lenses will breathe new life into a camera that you think is past it. If you have high-quality lenses and a decent body and your images still don’t make your jaw drop, the issue is not the gear. Invest in yourself and buy some photography training books instead.

I hope this has helped you understand whether or not you need or want a new camera. If you want to buy a camera just for the hell of it, that’s fine, enjoy! Still, don’t think that doing so will make you a better photographer, or that it will improve your images, so invest wisely.