Photography 101: Should You Upgrade Your Camera or Lens?
The age-old question of whether you should upgrade your camera or your lens for a better experience and get better results remains to be unresolved until now. Many photographers are still divided on what’s the better approach for taking breathtaking photos. While both sides seem to have their own merits, let’s deconstruct both points of view and try to come up with a definitive answer.
Upgrading Your Camera
The camera body is the main piece of technology that makes the equipment work. However, even the camera itself has its own limitations, such as its ability to perform in low light environments. That’s just one thing. There are actually about a dozen other features that your camera body can affect, such as:
- Speed when changing settings
- Image dynamic range
- Image resolution
- Continuous shoot speeds (burst mode)
- Setup durability
- Image noise levels
- Comfort when shooting
Of course, your lens also affects some of these elements as well, but the camera is still the major player here. Even if you upgrade your lens to compensate for some of the shortcomings of your camera, It could still not be enough unless you change your camera body as well.
One aspect, in particular, seems to be mostly overlooked by many photographers, even the professional ones. Comfort while shooting should be a major concern as well, not just the quality of the images. Instead of focusing only on autofocus speed and resolution, the comfort and ergonomics of your camera can also influence how you shoot, especially if you’ll be doing it for several hours straight. Comfort is actually one consideration that lens upgrades will never be able to improve.
Upgrading Your Lens
Upgrading your lens can open up a lot of creative opportunities that a new camera body won’t be able to do. Your camera lens can greatly improve several elements of your camera, such as:
- Focal length reach
- Image sharpness
- Low-light shooting
- Image bokeh
- Setup durability
- Autofocusing speed
For many photographers, lens sharpness is quite crucial in order to produce crisp and cinematic images. However, that’s not everything there is. There are also other technical aspects of a camera that can affect the quality of the image even if you have the sharpest lens in the world.
Also, another important reason why people also buy lenses instead of a camera body is because of their resale value. Even if you upgrade your lens and don’t use it that much, there’s always the option to resell it and get back some of the money you invested in it.
The Bottom Line — It’s All About Style
When we say style, it’s not how your camera looks or how you look when holding a camera. We’re talking about the style of photography you’re utilizing. Every photographer has their own interests and shooting capabilities, which should be the most critical consideration even more than your camera’s specifications. If you want to shoot stunning nightscapes or even bird photography, you need to consider that so you know exactly if you need a better lens or a more feature-packed camera body. At the end of the day, your style, strengths, and weaknesses will dictate what gear to upgrade or not.
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