Sunday, November 18, 2012

What Makes Us Upgrade

Let's be honest.  I have a weakness when it comes to buying camera gear.  If I were single, I would probably spent all of my disposable income buying cameras and lenses.  Back in the film days, upgrading a camera usually involved a 5-year plan.  A film camera was made to last at least 5 years before an upgrade was considered, because most camera models had multi-year life span.  Some of them, like the Pentax K-1000, was in production for decades.  My Pentax Program Plus lasted about 12 years for me, and it was still in perfect working order when I traded it in for my last film camera, the Canon Elan II, which lasted about 5 years before digital came along.

Digital fulfills our instant gratification desire. We push a button, the picture shows up on the screen.  We no longer need to wait hours, and sometimes days, before we see the pictures.  We no longer had to count and consider before pushing the shutter, because we are no longer restricted to 36 frames of film.  We can now scrutinize the pictures to the pixel level, versus looking at a 4x6 print.  We get more and more dissatisfied with image quality because we pixel peep, and the newest camera must be better, or so says the marketing department of the camera companies.

Last week I shot Dillon's school concert, with my Canon 1D Mark III, at ISO 1600 and 3200 and the 85mm f1.2L.  I pixel peeped at the meager 10 Mega Pixel files, and I am actually very happy with the image quality.  Seeing images from the 1D III has suppressed the desire to upgrade to a very large extend.

For those of us who are short on disposable income for camera gear, we should take a step back, look at the pictures we have taken with the cameras we have, and ask ourselves, are we really unhappy with the image quality, and really need to upgrade our cameras?

King Street Social - NEX-5N & Tamron SP 17mm f3.5


  1. I upgraded my G1 to a GH1 simply because I wanted video. Aside from that I moved from my EOS to the G series because it enabled me to get more camera performance for less money.

    So I'm with you on this one :-)

    1. You are sensible, obakesan, but most of us are very good at self-control.