All of the improved features of the Nikon D850 have prompted many photographers to sell their entire kit in order to completely switch camera brands. Do such modest advances in technology really merit a complete overhaul of your gear?
I couldn’t help but stumble across several blog posts from photographers who were so enthralled about the Nikon D850 features that they sold thousands and thousands of dollars worth of camera bodies, lenses, and other accessories in order to be able to shoot with the D850. After reading about the various ways one can rationalize the decision, I have to say, I don’t really get it. Sure, photographers are known for having bad G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) from time to time, but switching brands or selling all of your top-level glass in order to acquire the newest camera body seems a little extreme to me. This has nothing to do with Nikon versus Canon versus Sony versus Brand X, but everything to do with making smart decisions about investing in the tools we use to create our images.
New camera bodies may have improved features such as a more functional LCD screen, silent shutter capabilities, and focus stacking. Granted, they probably are marginally more fun to use. But the question we need to ask ourselves is will these features allow us to create significantly better images? Chances are, 99 percent of the images that we take with the next newest camera body won’t be that much different than those taken with its predecessor. We are highly skilled at justifying why we suddenly “need” a feature that we never really missed before. Sure, some features make cameras easier to use, and a small subset of photographers may really benefit from being able to shoot at an extra two frames per second. Personally, if the upgrade isn’t going to bring in more profits, I’d rather spend my hard-earned money elsewhere. Investing in the “boring” things like business education, studio management software, or a portable strobe might make a lot more sense than completely renewing your kit, and will likely leave a good chunk of change in your bank account when it’s all over.
New technology is always exciting, and we are in the business of selling our product based on the emotions our images invoke. But after wiping the drool off our keyboards while reading the specs on the next best piece of camera gear, it’s time to take a less emotional and more rational look at what we really need to do to become better photographers and better business owners.