What made you decide to upgrade to a better DSLR body?


TPF Noob!
Nov 26, 2007
Reaction score
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
At what point did you reach your potential with your beginner DSLR and made the upgrade to a better body? Was it the Lenses? Features?

Basically how do you know when your ready to graduate to the next DSLR body?
The film cost me way too much :p

I doubt anyone can outgrow a decent SLR though. There's always improvements to be made. My beginner SLR was a Nikon FE, a camera where the centre weighted metre was the most advanced feature. 15 years later I think I can still get better using it.

Unless you own a D40x the limiting factor is probably the obsolescence that older digital cameras suffer after a few years. I can't think of anything the 350D or D80 has not got that is limiting and can't be somehow worked around.
My first DSLR was the ol'Canon D30 (purchased used when the 10D was the released)... It met all my basic needs at a good price and reliable. At the time, my interest was still with film (still is to an extent) but work and family were increasingly cutting into time spent with my camera. I wanted something that provided a bit more convenience without resorting to a P&S cheapo... the D30 filled that need wonderfully.

The combination of wanting more pixels to work with (cropping) and my friend's interest in the camera (She still uses the same camera to this day) convinced me to graduate to the 10D. The 10D was once again purchased used around 6 months after the release of the 20D. Again, I took advantage of rock bottom prices pushed by the general public's want for the latest and greatest. I was in heaven! To be honest... I could still be happy with this camera today.. There is absolutely nothing this camera was "preventing" me from being creative and enjoying my love for photography.

A year later, I discovered a photographer who was interested in moving to the 5D which was released 4 months earlier. After bargaining for a few minutes, I purchased both of his 1d-markII for a really low price. One was subsequently sold on ebay which equated to the 1d-markII costing me $1500 (still an unbeatable price even now). At this time, I was still in the business of flipping camera equipment for some pocket change and intended to sell both for a good profit. I ended up keeping it for my self and selling my 10D to my cousin for $400 (I was being a nice relative).

BTW.. that photographer is a journalist and needed something reliable with a good build that was just not there in Canon's "prosumer" line (10D, 20D, 30D). He had the 1d-markII as the next best choice but hated the bulk and weight. When the 5D was released, it was right up his alley and his eagerness to fund the 2 5Ds for work gave me a lot of negotiating leverage. IMO, the 5D is one of Canon's best decisions and products to date.

I've been shooting the 1D-markII ever since.... I see absolutely no reason to upgrade at this time as it is more than I need. I will probably stay with the camera for years to come (unless I jump the Canon ship).

I think most consumers buy cameras like cars... they want the latest and greatest or just something new. MOST cameras out there are more than any of us really need or leverage. This is the main reason why one of the most common questions asked by shoppers "Is Canon releasing any new cameras soon?" They are concerned with having the latest and greatest for only a few months.... rather internalizing their purchase to their needs. This is all fine... whatever makes people happy... I"m sure just as guilty.

So how do I know I"m ready for an upgrade? In the case of ElanIIe film to D30, I needed a quicker workflow to enjoy what little time I had for photography. In the case of the 10D, I needed the ability to crop and produce 8x12 or 11x14 prints. In the case of the journalist, he needed a professional Canon without the bulk of the 1DMII.

Except for me acquiring the 1dMII simply because I got a hard to pass deal, I first won't upgrade until my current body prevents me from doing something. I also found that there is no good reason not to take advantage of used equipment.... especially when the next best body is released.

Sorry for rambling... just felt like typing this morning...
The big decision for me was the move to my first DSLR. The decision to upgrade was, for me, fairly easy since my lenses would all migrate with me.
Image stabilization
Higher resolution
Faster operation

My original DSLR had 4+ years and was working fine but showing it's wear.
The noise on higher ISO's made me upgrade from 10D to 5D - I still have the 10D, but love the 5D. Need to get more memory for it though - RAW eats memory cards :(
my only big step was to get my first digital SLR after using film SLRs for ages. that was not a "beginner" DSLR though. have not upgraded since.

so i am still with my first dSLR ;) ... and my film SLR is still with me as well.
I will be upgrading to my next DSLR in about 2-3 years due to three main reasons: Higher resolution sensors, lower noise, and I want a full-frame sensor (so I'll be going for the 5D's successor). Better build, weather-sealing and various features that will be standard by 2010 that aren't now are secondary reasons, but assuming it still works, I'll be keeping my 350D as a backup.

I would also jump on a feature of being able to access the battery while on a tripod/mount because I do a lot of long exposures and I'd like to be able to put an AC adaptor on it while on the tripod.
Well, I haven't upgraded yet (I have a 350D now), but when I eventually do it will be for high ISO performance and a bigger badder sensor.
For me, it was faster speed, higher resolution and mainly on camera controls (without going through the menu screens). I was shooting a D70 and at the time, shooting a bunch of little league sports. I just needed a faster camera.

But in the end, it was the features of the D200 and in particular the ability to mount a battery pack to it (ala the MD-200). When I shot film, which like eons ago, I had (still have) a Minolta Maxxum 9000 with a motor winder/battery pack on it. The thing I missed the most was the ability to turn the camera to a portrait position without having to turn my wrist over to the top of the camera. My Nikon (with this attachment) has the second shutter button on the side like my 9000. Plus the external (outside of the menu) controls (like ISO, WB, Focal Points, Image Size and Quality and the list goes on are all switches and buttons on the body. I had to do most of these changes by scrolling around on my D70. I have a tendency to change focus areas often (from closest subject spot subject, blah, blah, blah) as well as the ISO and WB.

That's a David thing. and I'm looking forward to starting this all over with a D3 someday (which by the time I can afford one, it'll be a D8 or 9).
for me, it was more frames per second and higher resolution. but lots of images that i still like are from my first camera. :)
I'll be upgrading my D50 to a D80 shortly for 3 main reasons.

1. The option of ISO 100 (minimum 200 on the D50).
2. 10MP instead of 6MP.
3. More AF points. ;)
i'm upgrading from the sony a100 to the a700 for these reasons (some of which are the same as posters before me)-
-more af points
-going from 3.5-5 frames per second
-faster focusing
-better in body image stabilization
-more sensitive autofocus sensors
- comes with a free wireless remote
- better build quality
-more weatherproof
-a LOT better high ISO noise handling
- option for vertical grip
- better view prism
-just sort of sick of being on the same level as the canon rebel xti...
i went from the rebel to the 20D.

more megapixels
far less noise
custom funtions
more durable
more AF points
more advanced controls
more fps
larger in camera buffer

need i go on?
It was when I reached my D50s' limitations.Now I see my D80 as being limited to me so, Im saving for a D3.
People mention more AF points as a reason to upgrade.

I only use one. I know LOTS of people that only use one. Don't any of you find it frustrating trying to get your AF points to cooperate?

Most reactions

New Topics