When You See A Better Model……….!!
Breathes there a photographer with soul so dead, who never to himself hath said…..I want to upgrade to a newer model! (with apologies to Sir Walter Scott, whose words I have borrowed)
When you buy your first SLR……you were after it…….just like newly married guy who adores his better half, for the entire world to see. You learn the techniques to shoot better photographs, try to understand the working of the camera, lenses and fiddle with it to the best of your ability.
But a day comes when you see a full page advertisement of the newer camera model, which boasts of higher mega-pixels, newer software, faster frames per-second count, better view-finder, better display, and you start yearning for it ! The Ads are all written in attractive terminology that appeals to your inner urge to stay ahead than your neighbor, who showed you his latest camera acquisition just recently.These ads do their work diligently and make you line up at nearest outlet to get the newer model. It is a psychological warfare, which most of the time the companies win !
So, friends, the mute-point is, when to upgrade your camera ?
Let us analyze the mega-pixel race. How many mega pixels are required ? Look, if you print photographs that are 8 inch by 12 inch, most of the time, then you require an image 3600 pixels wide and 2400 pixels high. This translates into 8.7 megapixels. So even if you have camera with 10 mega-pixel sensor, it would be just fine for your purpose. And if you know photo-editing then even with lesser mega-pixel count camera, you can work wonders !
However, there is plus point to this aspect of the race, that if you have more mega-pixels, you get better intricate details, if you crop a part of the picture and blow it to bigger size. But there is a down-side also, if the size of the sensor remains the same and the mega-pixel count increases then you literally cram more and more photo-sites into a coffee bite size sensor. This creates more noise as you increase The ISO in your camera.
Second point camera companies hammer on you is that the frames per-second count of the newer model is more.” Frames per second” comes into play only when you shoot flying birds, planes, faster actions. If you generally shoot portraits, sceneries, stationary subjects, then this count takes the back-seat. If you are besotted by birds ( I mean the birds on the trees !!!) and fast running animals or you cover cricket , football matches and athlete meets, then go for newer model.
The third point they mention is the newer software inside the camera, that translates digital images into photographs you see. To some extent, this claim of the companies is correct, as better software many a time translates into better pictures. This also means lesser noise at higher ISOs.
They also mention number of focus points in the newer model they introduce. More the number of focus points, better action shots you get. But here again if you shoot portraits, stationary objects and know about aperture priority mode while shooting sceneries, then the number of focus points may even be just 9 or 11, you get better pictures.
Always remember that camera body is nothing but a black box that translates the digital images into a photograph. But what makes a good photograph, is the lens. Better the lens, better is the photograph. So instead of purchasing a better body right away, purchase a better lens you have been thinking of.
Now , in the end I am going to tell you the advantage of owning a second body. If you shoot on locations most of the time and change the lens often, then it pays to purchase a better body. This will help you in preventing your sensor getting dust on it. If you change the lens outside in open, a gust of wind can play a spoil-sport by getting miniscule dirt particles inside your camera. Hence while going on a sojourn where you want to have the best of both the worlds, shooting distant objects by using long focal length lenses and shooting adorable portraits by using a prime lens, you can get the photographs you desire, without dust playing a spoil-sport.
So friends, this is what I genuinely feel, but I am sure as it happens in everyday life, whenever you see a better “Model” ( the pun is intended ) you get the urge to get it……..how far that benefits you is for you to weigh the options !! Best of luck!!