How often do you upgrade camera bodies?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by coachingguy, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. coachingguy macrumors 6502a


    Feb 7, 2003
    The Great White, Albeit Frozen North
    How often do most people replace/upgrade their camera bodies? I'm coming up on 9 years with my Canon 50D and over 140k pictures...

    I'm looking to upgrade, and I was thinking about how often people upgrade their camera bodies... Lenses, if then care of last forever, but bodies?

    I'm looking at the Canon 7D mark II, does anyone else have this body? I know some people who've upgraded to the 80D and are not particularly thrilled, especially with it's speed.

    Thanks again!

  2. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Upgrade every 2 or 3 years depending on good price or features camera has to offer. :)
  3. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    2yrs ago I upgraded my D300 (from 2007) to a D300s (from 2010) - does that count? ;-)
  4. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
  5. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    I think you upgrade when you
    1. Have the money.
    2. When your current body doesn't do something you need it to do.
    3. When you want to!

    I upgraded to the D750 to go full frame. I still use my D7100 when I want a bit of extra reach. Would I upgrade it to the D7200 or D500? No I don't think I would. The difference in specification isn't that much.
    When the camera manufacturers talk about higher ISO etc, it's not something that I really use in my shooting style all that much. I don't do concerts.
  6. Robotti macrumors regular


    Oct 16, 2014
    I have the same reasoning and the same config too. I upgraded my D7100 last year to the D750 (because of the full frame). I use the D7100 as a second camera in concerts and dance shows, to get a quick close-up shot when I need it. It also serves as a backup camera, and it's very hood to know that I have a capable body and I can continue shooting if something should happen to my D750. So I think that the next time I upgrade, I will keep my D750 as a backup and sell the D7100. This way I will upgrade the backup as well.

    Seems to happen once in two to three years. Of course it depends on the features that are coming.

    I also "upgraded" the video capabilities just now by getting the Sony RX100 V. I guess that will be upgraded in a couple of years, too.
  7. steveash macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2008
    I last upgraded 7 years ago but camera purchases are striktly a business decision for me and the ones I have do all I need. To me, most of the technical advances of the last decade are more hype than substance.

    If you look after a camera then it is usually the moving parts that fail first. The shutter mechanism can be replaced at a service centre but whether this is worth while or not depends on the camera and how much you like it. Lenses can also fail by the way, particularly the aperture and auto focus motor/mechanism. Again, they can usually be fixed if the parts are available.
  8. Mark0 macrumors 6502


    Sep 11, 2014
    SW Scotland
    When it breaks or becomes outrageously obsolete.

    Canon 350D - 2005 to 2016
    Canon 5D - 2007 to 2014 (repair wasn't economically sensible).

    Fuji X-T2 - 2016 and hopefully for a while yet because I love it!
  9. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    I upgrade for major improvements. I just upgraded from the Canon 40D to the 80D. I love it. The lower light sensitivity is great, wifi is very helpful. I haven't tried the video yet but I have plans for that. I don't know about the speed issue. Is that related to burst mode? I never use burst mode so I wouldn't know about that. Overall the camera seems responsive. I can see this lasting another 5 years.
  10. mollyc macrumors 68000

    Aug 18, 2016
    I went through a stage when I first started that I would upgrade every 18 months or so because my current camera lacked specific features that I needed or wanted. The last time I upgraded I kept my old body as a backup and I have used the same body (Nikon D800) as my primary camera for five years. While a new camera is always exciting, there really isn't any compelling reason for me to upgrade as the newer cameras are not substantially different that what I have.

    But on the other hand, I think one can update as frequently as they wish as long as funds are available. :)
  11. The Mad Kiwi macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2006
    In Hell
    I've got 3 bodies and typical update them on a rotation every 18 months or so.

    If I only had 1 body, I'd probably upgrade it every 3 years. If you keep them any longer the resale price goes down too much.
  12. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    I have no set time when updating. First update was about 2yrs. Then the last update was about 7yrs. With this move I really had to justify upgrading because with each upgrade it was pretty pricey. Like many have stated I had to see what I wanted in the upgrade that was lacking in my camera. My main concern was basic; shooting in low light and faster focusing. Before moving I made sure to check what my previous DSLR was lacking for me before the upgrade.

    I think if you want to go from Canon 50D to 70D go right ahead. I've seen some incredible images from buddies when moving to that camera. I' haven't heard too much on the 80D. It sounds like the 70D is sweeter, sorta like the D80 era.
  13. Varmann macrumors member

    Jan 3, 2010
    When I absolutely need to.
    Changing camera body is a big step to me, since it takes me a lot of time to get so acostumed to a system I forget it is there and just concentrate on the pictures. Therefore I prefer simple robust cameras with as few fancy features as possible (like skip autofocus :).

    1982 Olympus OM-1 (broke during a climbing trip)
    1987 Canon F1n
    2000 lost dark room access, complemented with digital compact camera.
    2010 Leica M9 (finally found a digital camera I felt was simple enough for me)
  14. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Well said.
  15. someoldguy, Mar 28, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017

    someoldguy macrumors 68000

    Aug 2, 2009
    Lets see.. EOS 1 ( film ) to 5D in 2005 , to 5D2 in early 2009 . Pretty happy with it , couldn't see the Mk3 , maybe I'll rent a Mk 4 over the summer and see what the improvements are and if they'll work for me .

    Leica M6 (got around 1988) to M8 in around 2008 , M8 to M9 in 2011/12 , gonna keep the M9 for a while .

    A lot of the 'improvements' over the last few years seem to be in video , which I have no interest in , or things that just seem to crap up my experience of using a camera i.e. touch screens ,and increasingly and unnecessarily complex menus.
  16. ocabj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2009
    My 5D Mark III is 5 years old today, actually. I have not upgraded it because I really don't need anything more out of FF dSLR right now. But I did buy a couple of MFT cameras in the past 16 months (Olympus E-M10 Mark II and E-M1 Mark II).

    As far as body upgrades, unless you have every single lens you want, I don't see the point in a short cycle on body upgrades.
  17. lizardofwoz macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2012
    I realise that this thread is mainly about DSRs, but I wanted to mention the long life and durability of Nikon's film cameras.

    Beginning with the F Photomic, I moved on to the F3 when it was released in 1980. That camera is still in use and has handled thousands of rolls of 35mm/36. Thousands. During that period it was serviced once. Grease and oil change. Other - lesser - Nikons were kept as backup cameras. Less work for them, of course, but they are still in working condition.

    With digital cameras I began with the D90 and moved on to the 7000 - mainly because of improved resolution. The 90 is still being used by a young friend, and I plan to keep the 7000 as a backup camera, along with three lenses designed for it.

    My next move will be to the D750, not so much because of the ever-improving resolutions but because I still have some excellent prime Nikon lenses lying idle. They will keep me going as I begin to build a collection of full-frame lenses.

    Just a footnote: During those years through the eighties and beyond, I was also using Mamiya RBs. Another robust workhorse still in use. Film cameras, with mostly mechanical actions, were made to last.
  18. DevNull0 macrumors 68020

    Jan 6, 2015
    Sitting on 9 years for my D90. I've been kicking myself for not buying a D610+24-85mm kit for $1700 CDN 2 years ago before the liberals murdered our dollar. It's currently $2400 and my upgrade plans are on hold until we get competent government and our dollar gets a little value back.

    I did get a 70-200 2.8 VR2 around that time for $2000 though. It's now $2500 and the new version is $3600.
  19. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    If you have the D90, the Nikon D750 is a nice upgrade. When I was shooting with my D90 I loved it. Using fast glass with the D90 gave me some really nice prints. I knew that the D750 would be just as good and I was right. I'm glad I didn't get the D600 or D610 or D7000/D7100. Looking back, those DSLR close to the D90 was a minor bump.

    Sometimes waiting has it's advantage. Get what feel right for you.
  20. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    I have to disagree. In the last seven years we've seen a dramatic improvement in low light sensitivity and overall speed. Video is a good addition for those who need it.
  21. Photoshopper macrumors regular


    Mar 24, 2010
    Agreed, and you can add auto-focus. I think a lot of folks will do an "every-other model". Skip the next version of your current body, which usually is an incremental improvement, and spring for the version after that. Unless, of course, you're loaded!
  22. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Or have a really bad case of GAS!
    (You know who I'm talking about!)
  23. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    i don't upgrade that often. However i did ditch Nikon for a Sony a7r and i must say, that was the best decision i have made in such a long time. The files are like nothing i have ever seen. I almost picked up a Sony 7rII - but dropping that kind of coin on a hobby is a bit much, plus my wife would not be super happy :)
  24. steveash macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2008
    That is my personal circumstance. Low light ability is not important to me as I shoot in studios or on location with lighting and camera stands. I'm sure there are features that have been introduced that are vital to some people - particularly indoor sports shooters, just not me. More importantly, we often lose sight of the fact that it is the photographer who takes the image and no camera feature yet has managed to make any improvement on our abilities, they've only made our lives easier.
  25. kenoh, Apr 2, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017

    kenoh macrumors demi-god


    Jul 18, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    He he he.... OK, as usual... I know nada... ignore this if you wish. Just my personal journey.

    Short Version: @Apple fanboy nailed it...

    Long version:

    I am a camera fashion idiot when it comes to cameras. I am constantly tempted by shiny new things containing the secret to life as we know it - I control it better now but not a week goes by where I am not hovering over the buy button on some website so hopefully I have some experience to help here.

    I went from a Canon EOS 100d to a 650d to 70d to 5D mkiii all within the space of three years. Spent a fortune on glass. One every eight to ten months or so because I thought the camera was the issue with my pictures. In parallel I got the Sony RX100 for portability. Then the Sony A7 was released and I got one of those on impulse because I never took my Canon gear more than 200yds from the house because 1. I had a young family and at the time the last thing I needed was ANOTHER bag to carry when we went out and 2. It was new and shiny and garnering oos and ahs.

    I then dumped all my Canon gear taking a massive thump financially - EPIC FAIL! should have kept it and sold it smarter - someone made out like a bandit.

    I then started my quest for ever more lovely lenses on the A7 as the native selection was pants and low and behold I gravitated eventually to Leica lenses where I think it coincided with me actually learning how to use a camera so it all gelled together - So I thought it was the camera of course.

    However, I noticed a tremor in my hands and so when the A7Rii came along with in body stabilisation I took it. I know, I could have got that from any number of cheaper alternatives but I am cursed with liking shiny well advertised cool new things.

    So, kitted out with an A7Rii and an upgraded RX100 mk iii at this point, and a lens kit out with native FE lenses and a couple of select Leica gems - not many of the newer FE offerings, I am undecided whether I want to commit to FE mount long term. I have had a few other cameras from most manufacturers in the meantime but compared to the sensor on the A7rii, no contest (for me). So M43, APS-C nah, thanks but I am happy for now...

    Then, and this is my point coming sorry... Then I got the joy of an M9 in late 2015 (already 6 years old tech by then). So on paper, technically a downgrade but actually, for me, I found what I was looking for. A body that delivers in the way I want it to and then I have the A7Rii for low light and shooting fast moving 5&7 year olds.

    What I have noticed through all of this is that the only really useful improvements through all of this is image stabilisation in body and this so called ISO performance boost is quite frankly on the whole, a disappointment.

    The thing is, the Leica has actually taught me better shooting technique and the Sony has taught me that ultimate cutting edge technology is all well and fine but 1. it takes cold sterile images and 2. High ISO is still noisy as hell despite being better. I actually prefer to think of it more as less crappy. When someone says "usable" on ISO level, I ignore them. Usable is subjective and for me, my tolerance is a lot lower than most peoples seems to be. I want a "clean" image up to ISO 12,800 before I consider changing. Not "usable". that term ofr me has words missed off the end making it "usable as a last resort". There are a lot of cameras out there now that do give very good high iso images but they are still grainy.

    Also, most people who are competent can shoot at relatively lower ISOs anyway (outside of specialist scenarios of course) and when one stop of extra capability is what you are looking at for putting £1,000+ of your hard earned cash down for (and getting harder every day), I would find a GAS remedy and save the money.

    So I would say upgrade like the others say when:

    1. When your current body really doesn't do something you need it to do or it breaks.
    2. Funds are plentiful and it doesn't cause hardship to have a splurge.
    3. When you want to.

    To me as I have found my emotionally preferred camera, it is like buying a new PC or Mac. We all have been there right? you buy the latest generation of hardware, you buy the latest sexy model, boot it up and have that simultaneous feeling of "Cool! it is exactly the same" and "Oh! it is exactly the same", because you know it still works the exact same way, it just does it in a subtly better way.

    Way waffly sorry... but learn from an idiot with a loose grip on his wallet... buy when you have a compelling reason to, not when you feel pressure to. If your gear is still rocking, dont go knocking on the camera store door...

    I have learned that it is better to change less often but be more familiar with your gear's capabilities than to constantly change and never master your tool.

    --- Post Merged, Apr 2, 2017 ---
    Are you talking to sports or wildlife photographers and you are a landscape guy? point is it is what you need that matters man 9 years, you know this better than I do sorry.

    Are they saying the 80d is slow compared to what? a 1DXMKii..? :) yeah it is... :)

    I think the bump in performance you will see from a 50d to a 80d or 7dMKii will be sufficient either way to satisfy you as it is a big enough jump in generations.

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26 March 26, 2017