Photography Cheat Sheet: Do You Really Need a New Camera?

We’re honestly answering the timeless question of whether or not you need a new camera.

The classic question of the hobbyist vs. the professional photographer is one that we’re tackling in today’s photography cheat sheet. They’re similar in some ways and different in many. The idea of the uncle Bob has significantly changed in the past few years with everyone going on the second-hand market and buying older cameras. They’re competent. And today’s modern cameras are even more capable. They’re also fun. In fact, photography, in general, is a fun hobby. So today, we’re exploring whether or not you really need to buy a new camera. And hopefully, it will help you out with your next purchasing decision.

There Are Two Types of People Who Buy Cameras

Overall, photography is divided these days into hobbyists and professionals. And this cheat sheet will get you into one of those two. Either way, when you buy a camera, you probably have no reason to go buy another for a while. And that goes for both professionals and hobbyists. Cameras these days are so good that they’ll be able to do much more than you probably really need. Each of them has lots of crazy features packed in. There are cameras meant for more professional photographers and those intended for hobbyists. But the truth is that the hobbyists often try to act like professionals, or at least want the features that professionals have.

With enough time, I sincerely believe that the camera industry will be one that’s similar to watches. They’re going to become high-end pieces for an audience that cares more about craftsmanship than anything else. They’re going to be mostly luxury items. Can your phone do everything? Sure. But a camera will be more about aesthetics, ergonomics, etc.

The Hobbyist

The hobbyist photographer route goes one of two ways. You can have more money than sense, and go for buying another camera and accessories galore. But if you don’t have the money, then it’s worth saving up. And at that point, it may even be better for you to save for the next generation. Otherwise, go for something used or refurbished. Perhaps you don’t need the latest generation of cameras. However, most of the time, with the hobbyist, the purchasing decision is more about wanting than needing.

The Professional

The professional photographer is a much different one. Professional photographers don’t always upgrade to the latest products unless they really need to. That means that they sometimes wait for a generation or two to improve. But it also depends on features and what they’re doing in their work. For a professional photographer or a semi-professional photographer making taxable income from their work, this is a tax write off because it’s a necessary investment. And that’s a tough decision to make at times. Typically for most professional photographers, they go with the philosophy of, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” But if you work for a larger company, then sometimes you have more money to spend. So you typically don’t care as much. Though if you care more about people getting paid, then you probably won’t be too irrational in your requests.

This was an original photography cheat sheet created with Visme.