Today’s question is – how the heck do you know if it is time to upgrade your camera.  To make the most of this post, I’d encourage you to jot down your answers to the below questions, it will help you map out your thoughts easily that way.

By the time you are done reading this quick post you’ll know exactly what considerations to make while determining if you need a new camera or not.

Consideration #1 – What TYPE of photography do you enjoy or do?

Are you a commercial photographer?
Are you a brand new hobbyist DSLR owner?
Are you about to venture into wedding photography?
Are you shooting for paying clients or just as a hobby?

Your answer to the above question is step #1 to decide if it is time to upgrade your camera.  So go ahead and answer that question yourself…we’ll come back to this in a moment.

Consideration #2 – What aspect of your current camera is holding you back?

In other words, what don’t you like about your current camera? Here are some of the reasons and camera specs that were most important to me and my work as a wedding photographer.

  • Is the auto focus not accurate enough?
  • Do you need higher ISO performance because you photograph in low light a lot?

List out the things that you feel are holding you back with your current camera right now…

Consideration #3 – How will a newer camera give you better photos?

Now that you know your list of items that is holding you back as a photographer, answer the question, how will a new camera give you better photos?

If you can’t answer that question with specifics then perhaps you don’t need a new camera.

When I upgraded from a D7000 to a D700…

  • Way better auto-focus in low-light receptions
  • Far better high ISO performance
  • Better white-balance accuracy

Those items alone were enough to make my photos way better and the upgrade was totally worth it.  Write out YOUR list.

Consideration #4 – Cost impact from a upgrade

Are you switching brands?  If so, make sure to consider the cost of a full brand switch including selling previous lenses and flashes and getting new gear for your camera.

Or perhaps you are staying with the same camera brand but moving from crop sensor to full frame – if so, you’ll want to take note of your lens lineup and see if any of your current lenses are only made to work for crop sensor cameras and not full frame.

Typically, lenses made for crop sensor cameras are much cheaper than lenses made for full frame (or either) so that is certainly a potential cost impact you’ll want to consider.

Now – write down your available budget for your camera upgrade and also write down the cost impact (if any) from the upgrade if you are doing a brand switch or having to get new lenses.

Resources to Help Your Purchase

Buying or Selling Used Camera Gear
Camera Gear (Facebook Group)

Researching Cameras & Lenses
My Camera & Lens Reviews (Nikon)
Photography Life
DP Review

Buying New Gear
I buy all of my photo gear (and everything else) through Amazon.  I love Amazon because their customer service is the best that I’ve ever dealt with and if I ever need help, they got me covered and that’s huge for me.  I am a proud Amazon affiliate which means if you purchase anything from Amazon after using my link I will receive a small 3-6% commission, despite you not paying a penny extra.  These commissions help me pay for the growing monthly costs to run Cole’s Classroom – I appreciate your support!


Should I upgrade my camera?  You now should be able to answer that question.  There certainly will be times when the answer is a very clear YES, you need a better camera for you to do a better job…I’ve been there for sure.  There will also be other times when the answer becomes quite clear that your current camera is perfectly fine and you just “want” that newest camera or gadget…heck I’ve been there too!

I hope you found this post helpful in guiding you and prompting you to work through some of the key considerations you ought to take when considering a camera upgrade.


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