Camera technology has evolved tremendously in the last two decades. Features that used to be reserved exclusively for professional models are now available on point-and-shoot cameras that are accessible to photographers of all skill levels. New digital cameras can be extraordinarily tempting and it doesn't help that manufacturers bombard consumers with the promise of superior image quality and fancy packaging. Yet the question nags: Do I really need a new camera?
Top 5 Signs That You Need a New Camera
If the sight of shiny new digital cameras makes you salivate, it may be hard to resist an upgrade. However, before making a purchase you might later regret, it's important to do some self-evaluation. Prior to emptying your wallet on an upgrade, take a look at the top 5 signs that you need a new camera:
Megapixels matter more if you regularly print larger shots. The average point-and-shoot digital camera features six to ten megapixels, which produces solid 4x6 and 5x7 prints. However, if you are in need of a camera that prints decent 8x10 or 10x15 size images, then you might consider upgrading to a model with more megapixels to insure high quality resolution. The average family shutterbug using his camera primarily to shoot junior's football games may not need the same amount of megapixels as a burgeoning wedding photographer whose clients routinely request photo enlargements.
2. Shutter Lag
Sports photographers need to spend a lot of money on fancy cameras because it's nearly impossible to shoot action photography with standard digital cameras that feature an annoyingly long shutter lag. If you find yourself in situations where you absolutely must get the shot, no matter what, you might consider spending extra to purchase a fast camera with limited shutter lag.
3. LCD Screen
If your vision is limited and your camera's LCD screen is the size of a postage stamp, you might consider upgrading. Most newer model digital cameras come with standard 3-inch LCD screen. Larger LCD screens are great for defining and sharing images. In addition, bigger, advanced screens provide exceptional resolution and eliminate distracting reflections when shooting outdoors in direct sunlight.
For some photographers, the look of a camera is more important than its technical features. If you are the type who wants your camera to make a fashion statement, as well as taking great photos, you might consider purchasing newer models that come in a rainbow of colors. No longer are you limited to classic black or silver cameras. These days, you can tote around stylish aqua blue, pearl white or ruby red digital cameras.
5. Weight and Size
A camera's size and weight are major factors for photographers who never leave home without their photo equipment. Most modern compact digital cameras weigh well under half a pound. However, ultra-compact digital models, which can easily slide into your back pocket or purse weigh significantly less. If your shooting needs necessitate carrying a small, lightweight camera, you might consider upgrading to a sleeker model.
A new high-tech camera on its own will not make anyone a better photographer. Compelling images are the result of superior skills and knowledge. A new camera is nice to have, but if you spend thousands of dollars on a professional grade camera only to park in automatic mode the entire time, you might not be getting your money's worth. The camera is just a tool to provide the means to an end product--the image that you, the photographer, create.