What New Camera Should I Purchase?

Full frame, crop sensor, DSLR, mirrorless, Canon, Sony, Nikon. There has never been a time where so many camera options were available to consumers. Not only are there an abundance of brands, features, and options, there is also the blistering pace at which camera manufacturers refresh their camera line-ups. This adds to the dizzying decisions photographers face when deciding whether or not to purchase a new camera.  

Stock Photo of New Camera

Is it time to purchase a new camera?

It’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour of a recently refreshed version of our favorite camera setup. But in many cases, a solid reason to upgrade is absent outside of just wanting the “latest and greatest” version. I’ve personally fallen into this trap more times than I care to admit. I’ve learned that, before I rush out and make an impulsive decision, I must take my time and do my research in order to evaluate the true case for making a camera change. 

Identify the Problem You’re Trying to Solve

First, identify what you’re looking to accomplish with a particular upgrade. Stated differently, determine what problem you’re trying to solve. Are you looking for a higher resolution camera because you want to begin printing your images larger? Are you looking for a camera with in-body image stabilization for the ability to take more handheld shots in low light conditions?

Things in my Camera Bag

Things in my Camera Bag

Or maybe you’re looking for a camera body that has dual SD card slots because you’ve had a card fail and lost all your images from a recent trip. Whatever the reason, outlining the goal and the problem you’re trying to solve is a great way to determine if it’s time to purchase a new camera. 

Consider the Supporting Equipment

Secondly, assessing your new camera’s support equipment is something you should consider. If you’re only purchasing a new camera body, are you planning on using your current lenses? Will your current lens line-up enable you to get the most out of your new camera body? Or will you need to upgrade to higher quality glass in order to maximize the ability of your new purchase?  

Sample Lens photo for new camera.

What lenses you will use with the new camera?

Will you need to invest in lens adapters if you’re switching camera brands or moving from a DSLR system to a mirrorless setup? Or will you need to invest in a completely new set of lenses? Whatever the case, understanding the required supporting equipment and subsequent purchases is important, especially when identifying the overall budget to allocate towards a new camera purchase.

Accessories for New Camera

Accessories for New Camera

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new camera and forget about how this could impact all other pieces of required equipment to work in conjunction with your new purchase. 

Workflow Efficiencies 

Lastly, determining how a new camera impacts your workflow is an important yet often overlooked thought to consider. Will your new camera increase the efficiency of how you operate on-location? Or will there be a steep learning curve? This consideration is often related to camera button layout and menu operation along with overall ease of use. It’s especially important to consider if your contemplating switching to an entirely new camera brand.

Waterfall Photo

What will the new camera be used for?

We spend a great deal of time shooting with our cameras. They become an extension of us, where we don’t have to think much about adjusting our settings. Everything becomes second nature. The last thing you want is to get into a new camera that is cumbersome to operate and hinders you from working smoothly and confidently when you’re in the field. The best bet is to take your potential new purchase for the proverbial “test drive” to better understand the subtle nuances associated with operating it before you make your buying decision.

Stock photo of a new camera with a question mark.

Are you ready to purchase a new camera?

 Purchasing a new camera is exciting. It can be a real motivational boost to get out and shoot more often. But lets face it… photography is an expensive art form and making large investments in equipment shouldn’t be taken lightly. The best advice I can give here is to take your time, do your research, and identify the problem you’re trying to solve before you rush out and purchase the latest cutting edge camera technology just because the entire industry’s abuzz about it.   

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About Author Mark Denney

Hi there! Mark Denney here - I’m a North Carolina based outdoor and landscape photographer. My affection for travel, photography and the great outdoors is something thats matured over the past six years. I’ve always been fascinated with camera technology, but the art of photography was something that escaped me until 2012. This is when I discovered the calming zen like meditation that is landscape photography. I’m a naturally anxious person and photography provided me with a channel to encourage patience and a means to slow down. I’ll never forget the tranquil feeling I experienced during my initial attempt at landscape photography. I remember arriving early to my location, setting up my composition and waiting for the setting sun - this was the moment I began to realize what my passion was. The transition time between setting up my shot and waiting for the “good light” to arrive is still meaningful to me as it creates a captive audience within myself and provides ample time to reflect and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us all. Outside of the technical and creative aspect of photography, I enjoy teaching the storytelling ability of photographs and encouraging others to not focus solely on the the end result, but to appreciate the overall photographic experience.