When Should You Upgrade?

Over the past 6 years I have seen this condition all too many times. What condition am I speaking of? It's called gear envy. Yes as a content provider we have all seen it and we have all had it. 

Seeing a brand new Nikon, Canon. Sony. Fuji, or whatever it may be come out with new gear immediately causes you to raise your eyebrows and start to salivate over it. You run it through your head on how you can afford it and try to convince yourself why you need it. This is all part of the marketing plan from the manufactures and it's a very effective plan. 

This is where most amateurs and semi-professionals fall into the trap of buying gear and wasting money that they either don't have or don't need. Seeing all those amazing specs on a new camera body is tempting, but do you really need them? Will they make you a better photographer? Will they make you more money? These are all questions that you should ask yourself. 

Let me give you a backdrop on what we use here. Our arsenal consists of a Nikon D3, Nikon D7100, Nikon 70-200 2.8 VRI, Nikon 24-70 2.8, Nikon 70-300 ED,  Nikon 50 1.8, Two Nikon SB-700 flashes, and then batteries, triggers, etc. Now you are asking "Well that's a lot of great gear" and you'd be right, but what you are missing is that  the technology for the D3 is 10 years old already. In the digital world that's forever. This is where it comes down to learning how to use your own equipment to the best of it's abilities. 

Your equipment is a tool to create content, just like a carpenters hammer, or a doctors scalpel. They use those tools to create or accomplish something. What do those two things have in common? Neither have changed much over the years. So why do you always need new tools? It's because you want and think you need them.

 Nikon D5

Nikon D5

 Canon 1DX

Canon 1DX

As a photographer, you don't need 50 mp camera bodies, and ISO to a million. You need the tool that best serves your needs to create the content that you provide. Take the D7100 for example, we purchased that as a refurbished unit as a second body and because it does video which we wanted to add to our content library. 

Last thing you need to ask yourself is this..."Do I know how to set everything in Manual?" If the answer is no, then why are you spending money on new gear that you still won't understand how to use? I am not saying you have to shoot in Manual, I am saying that you should understand how all the settings actually work. Learn how your f/stops work, your apertures, your ISO, etc. 

So here is your checklist:

1. Why Do I Need an Upgrade

2. Will I Make More Money With an Upgrade

3. How Long will it take to see a Return on the Investment

4. Will this Upgrade last me at least 5 years

5. Can I upgrade with a used purchase for much less

6. Will this upgrade help with my content

7. Do I use my current equipment to it's maximum potential 

So before you spend hundreds or thousands of dollars, make sure that it's because you are maxed out and not just because you think it's better than what you have.