Remember as a child, you would go to the store with your parents and see that shiny new toy that you just wanted to have for some reason. You were never exactly sure why you wanted it but for some reason, it caught your attention and you just had to have it. Some of us have fallen victim to this way of thinking even now in our adult or young adult stage in photography. We are often hypnotized by the tools we would like to have due to its shiny and rather tempting appearance but forget the things we need. It is rather easy to fall into this trap as we also begin to think that having shiny new gear will help to improve your photography. This common misconception will end up leading to purchases that were not exactly necessary but done through this same mentality we had as a child. In this article, I will be talking just a bit about how often you should upgrade your camera equipment at a beginner level or even intermediate.
If you are beginner then I will be first speaking about some of the key things to consider before buying new camera equipment to begin your collection. Let’s dive in.
When buying or thinking about purchasing new or even used camera gear, there are a few fundamental things to think about before checking out. Some of these things are:
As we all know, photography is not the cheapest hobby out there and can easily burn a hole in your pocket if you are not careful or shopping smart. You want to have an overall value that you plan to spend on equipment and then try to get the most out of whatever that budget is or even get more than you expected or planned. With this type of mentality, you will eventually start to seek deals and purchase different items according to what you need and not just things you want. There is a clear distinction between what you want and what you need when it comes to photography that you will eventually begin to learn and appreciate.
Having the things you need to improve your craft that you will give you value for your money is very important. It’s always better to have the tools that you will use on a day to day basis than to have something that you might only use once or a few times.
Take into consideration what it is that you intend to be capturing the most during the start of your photography career. This might be a hard decision to make but it’s one you will have to make nonetheless maybe sooner than you think. Once you’ve determined what exactly your style or genre of photography will be then you can easily determine the equipment you will need and not just the equipment you’d like to have. This will encompass things such as a lens and other accessories that will help in assisting to improve the quality of your work but don’t mistake this for the improvement of your photography. The camera or equipment does not make the photographer. You can still give a photographer minimal equipment and they will still have the potential to produce better results than a next photographer with all the equipment he wants.
Having established the type of photography you would like to dive into, you begin to make a list and research all the important tools you will need to be amazing in whatever you decide.
After taking these two things into consideration then the method or process of purchasing new equipment becomes relatively easier and you will find yourself spending smart on things that will help to propel you forward.
Upgrading your equipment frequently can be very tempting as manufacturers make annual improvements to earlier models to not only grab the attention of photographers but to also pull into this habit of changing out or upgrading your equipment annual as these new releases come out. Some of us are already in this trap as it regards to our smartphone. Technology giants Apple and Samsung hypnotize every year to upgrade our phones and blind us with all the improvements on the newer models. When in reality some of us don’t even use the improvements we had on the phone prior. Before you consider upgrading your equipment you first think about a few things.
This is the first question you should as yourself before putting a dent in your bank account or checking out of your nearest camera store. New and shiny things will always look amazing because they’re supposed to so that they can draw your attention. However, when you finally have this piece of equipment in your hand, all this excitement and bliss can eventually fade as you’ve not actually used that it is you got as much as you thought you would initially. Sadly when you acknowledge this, it might be too late and you’ve fallen victim to a marketing trap.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not to say that new equipment is not worth the investment. This is to encourage you to ask the question if the investment is going to be worth it for you as the photographer.
This is the next question you should ask yourself after you’ve asked the first one. We are often guilty of not using what we have to its full potential which is something to think about. If you’re confident that you have not yet mastered the equipment you already have to your disposal then you know you should not be investing in more things you won’t potentially master as well. If you are confident however that you have indeed mastered you have mastered the tools you have at hand then maybe it might just be time to step it up.
In conclusion, how much you should upgrade your gear can solely be dependent on you as a photographer. I hope these points have been helpful in guiding you in the right direction and I look forward to seeing you again.