When should you upgrade your camera gear?

Photo by Alexander Wang on UnsplashLet’s talk about camera gear.

I couldn’t guess what percentage of photography conversations revolve around gear, but I’d bet it’s high.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with enjoying that side of it, keeping up with the latest specifications and most up to date gear etc if that’s what folks like to do.

But there are a lot of photographers stuck in the middle getting caught up in “gear mania”, worrying about upgrading etc when they really don’t need to be.

Here’s when I think is a good time to upgrade:

When you reach the limits of what you’ve already got.

For example, my Canon 5D Mark II is 8 or 9 years old at this point.

The temptation to upgrade has been strong when the latest and greatest are announced every year or two…

But I’ve resisted.


Because I haven’t reached my cameras limits yet.

Sure, there are heaps of new cameras out now with more impressive dynamic range sensors, or with more megapixels etc. You know the story.

But I couldn’t care less about dynamic range.

99% of the time I photograph at sunrise or sunset, with my camera on a tripod. And a big chunk of that time I’m shooting multiple exposures anyway.

So when I’m thinking about upgrading, a question I ask myself is this:

“Would I rather spend $5K on a new camera with a couple more stops of dynamic range, or just capture an extra bracketed exposure and blend it in with the rest in Photoshop?”

Another is:

“Is a new camera going to make my photos $5k better than they are now?”

Probably not…

Because it comes down to the old-but-true cliche.

It’s not the gear, it’s what you do with it that counts.

To learn how to get the best out of the gear you’ve already got, click here.



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