Useful Photography Tip #47: 7 Reasons Not to Be an Early Camera Adopter

Sometimes, it is better to be late than early. When it comes to cameras, being an early adopter can have its disadvantages. Early adopters run the risk of glitches, recalls, or a lack of software compatibility. New cameras are always attractive. Nevertheless they can also lead to new problems. If it’s a part of your work life, buying a camera just as it is released can slow down your workflow. Here are some reasons why it may be wise to hold back on buying new gear.


Lack of Support

Just because a new camera is released, it does not mean the software you use like Aperture or Lightroom will be ready to support it. If you cannot read raw files, your workflow may have to completely change or you’ll use your old camera while waiting for updates to become available. Waiting to buy your camera makes it easier to work the camera into your shooting schedule. If you do have an issue, the support site for the camera may not have all the answers. They are still finding out all the issues themselves.

Compatibility Concerns

With new cameras, you may have to update more than your software. Connectors, memory cards and other connectors may change. You may have to buy extra batteries. Some of this stuff may be missed until you get the camera in your hands. This will add additional cost to the camera, and if you are not prepared, you may again have to change your work flow. This can happen when going from cropped sensor to full frame cameras or if you have not upgraded your camera in a few generations.

Possible Flaws Missed in Beta Testing

Some cases included: the Fujifilm X Pro 1 and its focusing issues, Nikon D800 and its left focusing issue, as well as the Canon 5D MKIII light leak issues. There can be issue with a cameras first production run. If you let a camera come out, breathe a little, all its issues, which were probably missed in beta testing, will appear and be fixed. Waiting will let you get a camera you do not have to send back.

 Being Prepared for New File Sizes

New cameras generally come with sensors that have more megapixels. The files that come off these cameras, even the entry-level ones, are much larger. Again, this makes things more expensive than just buying the camera. If you are not prepared, you can run out of space more quickly than anticipated. You will have to update you memory cards and eventually your hard drive on your computer. It is good to prepare for this ahead of time.

Lack of Information

When the camera comes out, there is not always a lot of practical information available. There are very few books and detailed instructions. If you wait a little, the pros who have more income and time get a chance to test things out and discover the problems will produce a lot of information. If you are the type that needs more than just a manual or you just like to compare and contrast, letting the camera exist in the wild will eventually provide a wealth information about it.

Lens Therapy

Sometimes a new camera is the wrong investment. We have said it many times, your lenses will outlast your camera. If you have not taken the time to learn and invest in good lenses, you should maybe rethink things. A brand new camera may not improve your photography. The truth is a good lens can. So look at a prime lens first, especially if you do not have one. A good 50mm 1.8 or 85mm 1.8 is far cheaper than any new camera. Those two lenses did more for my photography than a new camera ever did. This will also allow you to wait, just a bit more and see if the camera is what you really need. There may also be another camera coming out that you want more and cost less.

Lighting Therapy

New cameras with new sensors are great. However, as we have said before, lights can matter more than your camera sensors. You can do a lot with lighting. Great photos can be taken with old cameras and good lighting. It is also much cheaper than a new camera. A good speed light with modifiers like the Yongnuo 560 EX II Flash  or an AlienBees B800 Flash Unit, can take your photography to whole new levels.

 When All is Said and Done

Before you but a new camera you have to weigh all the variables. A new camera can be a great thing, but can also waste a lot of your time, especially if you are buying it for business reasons. Be patient, don’t fall to gear lust. New cameras are always nice, just not always needed right away.

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Gevon Servo

Gevon Servo aka @GServo is an eclectic, NJ/NY Photographer. He’s a Nikon shooter, by choice nevertheless, will always test any piece of photography equipment. He believes that like ‘Photography’, ‘Coffee’,’Beer’ and ‘Comics Books’ and other things ‘Geek’ “You must try everything once to discover what you want to try again.