Is it Time to Replace Your Camera?

I've had advice on when to upgrade your Nikon DSLR (and to what model) for some time now. I'm going to have to start revisiting that again soon with more advice on whether an upgrade should be a DSLR or a mirrorless camera. But I came across an article in another field the other day that had me having an Aha! moment of simplification. 

This is the straw man proposal resulting from my Aha! moment:

  • If your current camera is 12mp or less: You should upgrade your camera. Period. Many things changed dramatically since you bought your camera. Images from new gear will look better than yours. But here's the awkward caveat for the camera companies: if you don't need more than 12mp and aren't a lens junkie, then you should probably upgrade your camera to something like the iPhone 11 Pro. Yeah, I just wrote that. I'll have more to say about the iPhone 11 Pro soon, but basically for sharing images electronically, you don't need more than 12mp and the new Apple smartphone is a pretty phenomenal 13-50mm camera, even in low light. It's only going to be the crowd that needs more than 50mm or shoots action in low light that will find the iPhone 11 Pro wanting (true for the equivalent smartphone competitors, too). 
  • If your current camera is 16-24mp: Maybe you should upgrade your camera, maybe not. This is where my Nikon DSLR upgrade advice comes most into play. Some of those 16-24mp cameras would have better choices available today. I think, for example, about the Nikon D7000. That was a camera that just doesn't hold up against the current model (D7500), and for a lot of reasons, including focus performance. Meanwhile perhaps the Nikon Df was exactly what you wanted, plus there's no real upgrade available in Nikon's lineup, anyway, so you don't upgrade. This category of cameras can go either way. If you're in it, this is where you need to pay some attention. And yes, there's one other aspect that comes into play here: 16mp on a m4/3 sensor is a lot different than 24mp on today's full frame sensors. 
  • If your camera is 26mp or more: Nope, you don't need to upgrade. I'm pretty sure of that. All the Nikon DSLRs that fit this bill shoot pretty fine images if you've taken the time to learn your camera. That includes the D800, D810, D850, and the mirrorless Z7. So do virtually all of the other 26mp+ cameras I can think of from other camera makers. And if you haven't taken time to learn your camera, why the heck would you want to buy a new one that you'll need to take the time to learn? ;~) 

That's it. Anything outside what I just wrote means that you're upgrading solely because you want to. Nothing wrong with that. However, once something becomes purely "want", then rational choice flies out the window. It's like love: you either want it (them) or you don't, and only you can figure that out. 

Looking for gear-specific information? Check out our other Web sites:
mirrorless: | general:| Z System: | film SLR:

dslrbodies: all text and original images © 2024 Thom Hogan
portions Copyright 1999-2023 Thom Hogan
All Rights Reserved — the contents of this site, including but not limited to its text, illustrations, and concepts, 
may not be utilized, directly or indirectly, to inform, train, or improve any artificial intelligence program or system.