Introduction

Wether you are an amateur or professional photographer, you’ll want, at a time, to buy a new camera. This desire will come sooner or later depending of your personality, but this moment will happen…

Questions you have to ask to yourself

To know if you have to buy a new camera, you should ask to yourself several questions. Firstly:

Do I want to buy a new camera because because I need it or because I cannot resist to buy this wonderful new … (fill the blank with the camera of your choice)?

  • Answer 1: “A cannot resist” – If you can afford to buy it (and your family will not suffer the consequences), buy it! You will one day sooner or later! So, enjoy using the new camera as soon as possible!
  • Answer 2: “I need it because…” – In this case, you will have to ask yourself another question. Because you will always find good reasons to buy your new toy. If you are a professional photographer, you should always have this second answer, and it is even more important to ask to yourself this another question.

Let’s take a real world example: myself ;-) Today I’m working with two DSLR. One of these is a Nikon D2X.

Nikon D2X

Nikon D2X

I own it for several years and it is always a perfect tool for my work, but there is always this new DSLR that I’d like to buy… So, I must ask to myself the good question and be honest when I answer to it:

What are the new features of this new DSLR that will help me in my daily basis work or get new customer contracts?

  • “the LCD screen is better” – Sure I like a lot the D700′s LCD screen. I have a better feedback regarding image quality and details. It is far better than the D2X’s LCD screen. But does this LCD screen prevent me to take good photos? No, so it is a bad argument.
  • “there is less noise above ISO 400″ – It’s true. But I mainly use the D2X for sport event photography during daylight. If I need to take photos with an higher ISO, I’m using my D700. So, this is another bad argument.
  • “I can record videos” – This is the new hype in the photography business. But does my customers ask me if I could provide a movie alongside my pictures during sport events or during corporate events? Not yet. I’ll have to think about this argument in some time when my customers will ask me to shoot movies (and they will in some time). But right now, there is no business advantage to invest in a new DSLR for this new feature. So, this is an argument I’ll have to look at again in a few months (or weeks).
  • “better resolution (more pixels)” – Maybe, but it will not be an advantage for me. I will have more work to process my photos. I will need more powerful computers, more storages and more backups. Furthermore, my print quality is excellent for my needs and my customer’s needs. So, this is another bad argument.

Looking at these four arguments, none passes the test question. So, my decision is easy to take: I keep my D2X. But I’ll have to ask myself the same questions in a moment when my customers will ask me to shoot videos.

Conclusion

Wether you are an amateur or professional photographer, ask always to yourself good questions before buying a new camera. Unless this is just a “impulse” that you can afford, it will let you focus on your photos and not think that with a new camera you will magically… (fill the blank with your favorite excuse, “make better photos”, “have more customers”,…)