Is It Time For An Upgrade?

How do you know when it’s time for a new camera, versus simply having a case of Nikon Acquisition Syndrome?

After 4 years with the D40, I think it might really be time for an upgrade. More and more I find myself getting frustrated with the D40 and even reaching for my Lumix when I want to shoot something.

I can still get shots like this:

First cherry blosoms of the season

But I’m finding myself fighting with the camera more to make it do what I want. It seems to me that I shouldn’t have to struggle so hard with a camera I’ve had for 4 years; if the equipment is getting in the way, that’s a problem.

So all in all, I think it’s time for an upgrade. The D5100 is looking pretty good to me.

Or do I just have a case of NAS? When do you know it’s time for an upgrade?

4 thoughts on “Is It Time For An Upgrade?”

  1. That’s one of my most expensive feelings, though I’ve managed to stay put with the D300 (not the “S” version) for some time. These days it mostly applies to lenses.

    I guess the question I’d ask is “what about the camera is preventing you from getting the shots you want? I ask that because if it’s really the camera, I’m not sure the 5100 is going to change that much. The controls on Nikons have been quite familiar and consistent over the years. If you’re having trouble with those, it may be best to admit that they just don’t work for you and (gasp!) consider Canon or another brand. I know lots of people who prefer Brand C, and while we can go back and forth all the time, the truth is it mostly comes down to which one has controls that feel more natural to the person using them. I’ve been on Nikon since somewhere around 13 years old, so they just feel normal to me.

    If, on the other hand, it’s something else, then what is it? Lenses are a common culprit, and there are plenty of options both from Nikon and quality third parties.

    Sometimes though, it is just the specifics of the body. I have always like the more “professional” Nikons, not so much because I use many of their features, but just because the bigger body feels better in my hands. Give me my brother’s D60, with mostly identical controls to mine and an identical lens and it just doesn’t work as well in my hands.

    Note that the newer cameras with the newer sensors will do some things better, particularly in challenging light.

    So what is it?

  2. I’m on my second D40 (first was stolen.) It was the best deal on the market of the last five years. Are there better cameras? Yes. Am I budgeting for them? No way.

  3. I tend to upgrade cameras only when faced with a limitation based on the hardware. For example if you need sharp photos and need to use mirror lockup then upgrading to a camera that has that feature would make for good justification to make the jump. By and large there is always an ability to be creative with a camera no matter what the feature set, but if the hardware is holding you back to do something different based on the hardware limitation then do the upgrade.

    One hidden cost with camera upgrades is the need for a more powerful computer or more computer RAM. If you’re computer set up is great for storing and manipulating 10MP images and you jump to 20MP images then you might encounter some hiccups (slower processing time for larger files, greater storage needs, etc.)

    So my recommendation… factor it all in. Using a camera for 4 years is a good run. If you do the upgrade keep the old camera if you can afford it as a backup for future trips.

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