Time to Upgrade?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by swampduck, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 29, 2013
    Columbia, MD
    Out of curiousity, when do you upgrade? Over the years I have upgraded based on when a new sensor, major pixel upgradr or major improvement occured. I admit I am also guilty of updating once or twice just because something new came out.
    I don't think I have ever upgraded because I felt my skill level warranted a need to get a better camera.

    So when do you decide it's time to upgrade?
  2. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    Whenever it pleases you. Sometimes what you want next is not out yet. For example I am ready to pass along our E-PM1 to a family member but I waiting/hoping for a rangefinder style camera. If a new OMD comes out, the E-M5 will still have a home. To answer your question directly: every one or two product cycles.
  3. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    When the GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) builds up to the point that it's unbearable. :tongue:

    Kidding aside, I think you just have to assess the gear you have, what's available, your needs (or wants) and your financial situation. For me, this is a hobby and I'm a beginner so I try to stay a generation or two behind the cutting edge where I can pick up used equipment at prices that make sense to my budget. Any of these cameras is plenty capable enough to outstrip my abilities to wring performance from them.
  4. quatchi

    quatchi Mu-43 Veteran

    May 17, 2012
    Munich, Germany
    I upgraded from the G1 to E-M5 almost a year ago. The main reasons were better ISO, faster AF and two dials for aperture value and exposure time.

    I guess, the "new toy" effect also played a major role. :) I still use the G1 for timelapse, though. Camera wise I am currently very happy with what I've got. A lens renewal/upgrade is probably next whenever my perfect (imaginary) travel zoom comes out (faster than the 12-50, longer than the 12-35...). That, however, would mean, I would sell some of my current lenses in case I buy a new one.
  5. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    When a new camera has a feature that I feel I need . For example , I like taking pictures at concerts and my previous camera , a nice point and shoot Lx3, was pretty awful at high ISO necessary for such environment. M43 is much better. Gx1 I have is pretty good but I am glancing enviously at the new Olympus models that have even cleaner high Iso .
  6. rnagoda

    rnagoda Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    I don't upgrade too often, but when I do the primary basis is that my current tool just won't do something I need/want it to. I got the GH2 for it's outstanding video capabilities otherwise I'd likely still be shooting on my Oly 4/3 setup. To be fair though, I then subsequently got the 5D MkIII because it was awesome, not for any real "need" for all that camera ... not really an upgrade, though, since I still have and use the GH2. I also got the GX1 just for kicks.

    Damn ... I guess, in summation, I just spend too much money and there's little real rhyme or reason! Please ignore this post! :redface:
  7. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 29, 2013
    Columbia, MD
  8. slappy

    slappy Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 14, 2013
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    I loved my old mu1 camera which i bought around 1993 but lost it in Germany WC 2006.
    Then I got a really tiny Sony point and shoot which I dropped in a pint of beer after a week and it died.
    So I then got a mu720 I think. Was longing to replace it with a Pen when they came out, but then won a Sony point and shoot in a competition (plus a week ski holiday at Lake Louise in Canada) so I couldn't justify a Pen as well.
    Until this year when the zoom in/out rocker died and I splashed put on omd em5.
  9. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 29, 2013
    Columbia, MD
    Great reason to upgrade...nothing as frustrating as taking pictures with a broken camera
  10. AceAceBaby

    AceAceBaby Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    The first digital camera I bought, I actually forget what it was. It might have even been an Olympus. It was a P&S anyway. I upgraded to a Canon G9 because I wanted manual controls, and I still have it. I then bought a Canon 400D (Rebel XTi), which I partially up/side-graded to a 30D (better controls, but older/weaker sensor). I would still have that 30D except that almost all my Canon stuff was stolen last year.

    I got an E-PL5 to replace it, but then I bought an E-PL1 off the forum, and I've been using that a lot more, because I'm basically worried about dinging ~$700 of camera carrying it around out and about. The E-PL1 I don't worry about, so it's a "better" camera to me. :)

    So my upgrades have only been about system changes. I used to look longingly at 40D, 50D (I was relieved when Canon cheaped out on the 60D as it cured the potential GAS) but I never justified the expense to myself.

    Still, I've found plenty of opportunity to waste money on goofy lenses for my Pens (three c-mounts, a holga, a 500mm mirror, a pinhole), but that's the fun part. For proper lenses I just have the kit, and the 45-200 to cover all the usual focal lengths.

    I have no time (or money) for $500+ lenses these days. Part of that is because I could buy a used Canon (X00D or X0D, even a 5D) and get a "better" system with my remaining couple of EF lenses for about that much. That isn't everyone's situtation, but it is mine.

    I've realized that I need to work more on my photography, rather than spending the money on lenses. In that regard the cheap CCTV lenses have been great for me. Fully manual, need to manage DoF vs light, manage flare. I'd love something like the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 but I doubt I would take better photos with it. (I really miss my Sigma 30mm f/1.4 thought).
  11. poisson rouge

    poisson rouge Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 13, 2013
    My post has gotten a bit long, I have hence posted it as an introduction of myself in the other subforum ;) But I will post it here nevertheless

    I dont know, I guess I upgrade mostly out of emotional reasons. I often browse the used-camera offers and when I see something at a really good price I check if it's worth it.

    But yeah, the general direction is fixed. As for my case personally, I came from the Point and Shoot cameras to MFT. My first camera was the phenomenal E-PL1 which I bought in summer 2011 after extensive reading about which way to go for an upgrade as my old PS had died (some cheap Olympus P&S, it lasted only one vacation to Belarus then the lens was stuck...).

    So I read a lot about MFT and it seemed to me the perfect solution. A huge upgrade in image quality as compared to the P&S I used to use but still handy and almost pocketable, to travel light. The E-PL1 was a revelation to me because it was what I learned manual controlling my photography with. I guess I am from the generation of the Auto Focus kids, I only knew auto focus, for me photography before MFT was just about pressing the shutter, hoping for the best and let the camera do all the work. With my E-PL1 I began to learn about all the basics and I became addicted quickly.

    At first new MFT lenses were out of reach for me because the (even then already very cheap) EPL1 had cost all my budget. I bought it for 300€ in the kit with the 14-42 II and that was the most I had ever spent for photography purposes (it was all gonna change soon I guess). If only I had known what kind of money-demanding drug photography was.

    So I experimented with legacy lenses. I had some Minolta MD mount lenses because I had inherited those old Minolta SLRs from my parents. I bought an adapter and had most of my fun with the Rokkor 50mm 1.7.

    It became more and more clear at this stage that photography was really to be a new kind of hobby of mine. Then I bought an old soviet Zenit SLR to experiment with film and get another great legacy lens, I had seen examples of before online, the Helios 44-2, which produces great bokeh and costs little to nothing.

    That was my kit for about a year and a half, maybe more. Then I bought my first real proper MFT lens which was the Panny 14mm 2.5. Because I liked the wide-angle FOV and I had always yearned for a faster prime. The 20mm 1.7 was always in my head but it was too expensive so I bought the 14mm 2.5 which I could get for a houndred € less. I thought at that time that this decision did made sense, I know now, that it did not. You cannot make yourself love a lens only because of money and if you really wanted to have one lens you should buy it and only it and not some cheaper substitute.

    I ended up keeping the panny 14mm 2.5 only for some months (4 or 5). The FOV was too wide for most of my liking. I used it and loved the size and little weight which made my E-PM1, to which I had upgraded at that time because I could get it for 50€ of actual cost after selling my E-PL1, really pocketable.

    But I still wanted the 20mm 1.7, so now, finally, I sold the 14mm 2.5 and bought the lens I had wanted from the beginning the 20mm 1.7.

    Now I am really happy with my selection of lenses in MFT. Perhaps regretting a little that I have given back the 45mm 1.8 Olympus, that was once again for money reasons. I only tried it out but realized I couldn't afford it. It will probably be the lens that I get again when I have the money.

    Other than that I am happy in MFT, perhaps only looking for a better sensor when time comes, but this will be in some years time I think. When a used E-PL5, E-PM2 or perhaps even the OM-D approach prices of the current E-PM1. I dont know when that will be, when that time will come I will think about upgrading the body. So far I will be very happy with my current MFT kit I think.

    For some weird reason though, now that I am an amateur photographer I also started taking pictures with a real DSLR, an "old" Nikon D40 which I could get used rather cheap.

    The Nikon DX system for which I have since also purchased the 35mm 1.8 additionally to the kit lens. I really like taking pictures with it too, but it is something different to MFT. I think it has pros but also cons, so my intension is to stay in both systems.

    Sometimes I really enjoy bringing something more "professional" and I also must say that somehow the image quality just seems a bit sharper with the d40. But I am very aware of the fact that there are many photos I would have never taken without my E-PM1. Because of its size it is so unconspicuous and I enjoy freely experimenting with it much more without thinking much. So it is really worth a bunch.

    Also for holidays or short trips I think it is amazing what a small kit like E-PM1 & P 20 1.7 can get you, I would never sell my E-PM1. I love it so much, I have enhanced it with a nice red leather skin from aki asahi now it is so beautiful!

    I think both systems complement eachother. I am very at home with the MFTs and I often think the community is better because it is so refreshingly unpretentious. I think with the new MFT system the true essence of photography comes to life again. People, amateurs, unpretentiously enjoying their cameras and capturing easily the soul of life in all its beauty.

    I know that DSLR users are also like that and I don't even want to say something bad about it. It's just, that DSLRs always have this certain "Pro" aura around them. For some people this is great for others this is a bit limiting.

    That's why I love MFT, that's why I have bought Olympus Pen. Because I love the whole tradition of the PEN cameras. Photography for everyone. I like it it is so simple and beautiful.


    But even having said all that, how much I love the MFT system. At the moment, I think my next purchase will be a new Nikon DX body. Looking at the D5100 atm, but still saving money. But I'm only thinking about this because I have a great MFT kit, I would never sell my MFT kit for a pure DSLR kit.
    I think MFT is more where my heart is at :drinks: :43:
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