Let me guess, you found your way here, because you’re not happy with your camera. It might be too big or too old or super complicated or you just don’t fall in love (again). But it still works, maybe it’s even a DSLR and the image quality is great, too. And although you own that camera, it’s just not yours anymore. Yet, buying a new one is no cheap wish, and when you have a camera that is working perfectly fine, makes that wish seem really wrong. Know that feeling?
I know that I have felt like that since YEARS.
I got my DSLR – a Canon EOS 450d – for my 18th birthday, that was 2009. I really wanted a camera and as I always tried using my mom’s SLR my parents decided to get me my very own. I was so happy! But that was when my troubles with it started. As it was my most expensive owning and not really robust, I was really afraid to take it with me. Like, always. The first time I really used it was during my last week of school, where we had mottos for every day and I wanted to capture this. Yeah, well, the images turned out so bad that I never even looked at them again – I had absolutely no practical experiences with this camera even though I went to a photography course with it!
There were cameras to follow, a smaller (and a lot less pricey) bridge camera because I wanted to take my camera out with me. Never did. I swapped it with my mom against a subvention for a compact lens by Sony (DSC-QX10 SmartShot) where you use your smartphone as the display. I still am really satisfied with it, but it photographs only in automatic mode, and I wanted more.
Last year I decided, that I want to be a better photographer. Not as a professional but just taking better photographs of my dog or on my vacations, images I would look through again. So when I went to London in October, I tried to fall in love again with my Canon – but it gave me neck pain instead.
I was fed up with it. So I started to save up money to buy a new camera, one I already researched for a friend, the Sony Alpha 6000. At the end of April, I could finally make it happen. I got me a new camera (and a whole lot of stuff)!
But how do I justify this buy? And most important, what might be reasons for you to justify you buying a new one, too?
Weight & handiness
This was always my best excuse not to bring my DSLR with me. It is huge, it is heavy, it never fit any smaller handbag I own. And I like to go with the least stuff possible. There is this saying, the best camera you have is the one you have with you. If that‘s not the case with yours, well, it might not be the best camera for you! It should go on adventures with you, and not stay home. So, definitely a reason!
Learning to take better photography
Your new year‘s resolution was becoming a better photographer? Well, I never have those at the beginning of the year but in the middle of it, that was at least what happened last year with the „better photographer“ thing. Maybe you‘re just like me, you look through your camera roll and think, well, yes, that could have become a really nice photo – when I knew just more about composition/light/manual mode/…experienced that too often. But to learn, you have to take photos. A lot of photos. Hard, when you don‘t carry your camera around, isn‘t it? And yes, you could use your phone to practice some of the things, but playing around with manual mode, with shutter speed, aperture, ISO, depth of field…that‘s not possible. But I wanted that! One more reason for me.
(I also started a course on Udemy on Photography which is pretty good, it‘s this one.)
You‘re a tech-lover
You love playing around with tech? Trying out new phones, tablets, laptops, smart watches, whatever comes your way? And setting them up for your liking is kind of the best part of getting new tech-toys? Welcome to my world! I am just fascinated by technology and it‘s abilities and their change over the years (just look at the smartphones…!). So after 9 years with my DSLR, I had the urge to have something new (although the Sony Alpha 6000 is not really new anymore…🤷🏼♀️). Is this my weakest reason? Yes. Does it still work? Yesss!
The camera brand you own is just not working for you
You have that camera, it‘s quality is really great. Maybe your best friend has it, too, or you got it from your parents or anything like that and you think, this has to work out. They chose it for a reason. And yes, maybe they did. But because somebody else loves it, doesn‘t mean you will love it, too. I know I don‘t love Canon. Their menus and modes and display settings are just not made for me. I am not a professional and am far from wanting to become one, but Canon‘s system seems to me like it‘s built for those ambitious photographers.
I like it easy. And quick. Turning it on, knowing which wheel to turn, maybe the display even showing which effects you‘ll get. My Sony does that. My Canon doesn‘t. Easy choice here for me. But maybe you‘re just the other way round, maybe you want it to be more professional, or you hate your Sony and would love a Canon. Or a Nikon. Or whatever brand there is that you like better and see more potential for your photography. Because that‘s what it‘s all about: your photography. Your camera has to work for you, not making it harder.
Before I got my mirrorless camera I tried it with a Bridge (Panasonic) and then a kind of compact camera by Sony (DSC-QX10 SmartShot). I liked it when I could just transfer a picture from the camera to my phone. Not possible with my EOS 450d, it is just too old for stuff like that. So I always had to connect it with my Mac (or PC back then) and then transfer it to my phone – for example when I wanted to share one on Instagram or via WhatsApp.
Since my iPhone has now NFC it is really easy to transfer a picture from the camera to my phone. Or look at it on the iPad and maybe even try and edit it in Lightroom CC. Maybe you want that, too, maybe your camera is a little too old for that as my Canon is. I think way easier handling counts as a reason 😏
It could come in handy in your job, too
I am self-employed, and as I am working in Marketing, sometimes I need to take pictures of products for Social Media. It’s not that easy to create a great flat lay when you are not used to composing or all the camera settings. So maybe you could use your new camera for work, too! Maybe it’s not product photography but you’re working in the HR department of your company and could do the pictures for the employee’s IDs. Or you’re organizing your company’s vehicle fleet. There are a lot of ways for bringing in your new camera!
When I chose to buy a new one, there were some good reasons to buy a new camera. And a lot of reasons why it was SO unnecessary. I bought it for around 540€ plus all the stuff I bought for it, like filters, the bag, a Gorillapod, spare batteries, and so on. A lot of money. And I have to admit, my best reason: I wanted it. I worked hard for the money, and I wanted to make something out of it that would bring me joy. The camera does just that, so I think I invested in the right thing 💁🏼♀️
And maybe you feel like that, too. Just know: sometimes you have to reward yourself for doing a great job or working hard or to cheer you up or just because you deserve it. Maybe you have to save up that you can afford it (it took me a year!), maybe you don’t. But we only have this one life, you should not cut on things you would enjoy. Money comes back, but missed opportunities won’t.
So let the adventure begin!