Do You Need A New Camera – Digital Photography Tip Of the Week

Digital photography or more specifically digital camera have become disposable items. New models are released at regular intervals and previous models do not hold high resale value. New models incorporate new technology, usually resulting in higher megapixel ratings, new features, and better quality images.

But do you need one?

There seems to be a community of people, not just in photography but in many technology related goods, that absolutely must have the latest and greatest. That can become quite expensive and may not necessarily lead to better images. Before upgrading, you should consider whether or not the new features are really justified for the type of photography you do. Have you already identified a need for a new camera? Do the new models fill in voids you have with your current model? The camera manufacturers push megapixels, but often without significant increases in performance or features.. If the megapixel count of a new camera is the driving factor for you and you do not make large images, the upgrade may not prove to be worthwhile. However, if you have been limited with your current camera, either by the size of the enlargements you wish to make, the speed or responsiveness of your current camera, or if the image quality from your current camera does not meet your expectations, than an upgrade may be worth considering?

Other factors that may warrant a new camera may include more manual controls as your photography skills improve or the ability to use different accessories. Of course, with today’s technology, there are plenty of features that may warrant a new camera. Reviewing your current camera’s shortcomings can help determine an actual need for a new one.

Comments 2

  • Question: I have a canon S3 SI and enjoy the long focal length for shooting wildlife and the wide angle for specialized use. To do this with a digital SLR with say a 500mm lense would cost considerable $. What are the significant advantages of the digital SLR other than some lenses that the fixed lense with a variable focal length cannot cover?

  • The S3 has a 36-432mm equivalent lens which at the wide end is not as wide as a standard wide angle of 28mm. However the 12x zoom offers considerable reach with 432mm on the long end. To achieve close to that focal length with an SLR would require spending a minimum of $750 and go upwards to $8700 on a lens alone, depending of course your actual needs. To get into a low end SLR body and bottom of the scale lens would require an investment of about $2000, or 4x what is typically the asking price for the S3.

    The main advantage of the SLR would be image quality. The S3 uses a 1/2.5 inch sensor while a Canon dSLR uses an APS-C sized sensor. The very tiny sensor in the S3 introduces much more noise in the image because of the proximity of the pixels in relation to each than that on a dSLR given an equal pixel count. This also allows the dSLR to produce smoother, less noisy images at higher ISO’s making those higher ISO usable. I have seen camera’s where noise was so terrible that at even 400, the images were hardly usable.

    Also, an investment in high quality glass for a dSLR is an investment. You may upgrade your dSLR body several times without replacing your lenses. The dSLR will also more likely have faster shutter speeds, faster burst speeds, faster focusing and also the option of faster lenses which is very important for isolating your subjects against a soft or diffuse background.

    However, with all of that being said, if you are happy with your current equipment, you have not identified a specific need for new equipment, or have not been able to justify a cost vs. features advantage, than your S3 is definitely a better way to go. And of course, you won’t have many pounds of equipment to carry around with you.

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