Is Upgrading Your Camera Worth It?

Look, I get it. Every Photographer gets GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). But realistically, getting a new camera, is it really worth it? A lot of amateurs and hobbyist have this idea that the camera, makes the photographer. They believe a better, newer camera will make them an IG God. “Let me buy a Canon EOS R and all the likes and followers will come flooding in”. This is an actual thought with people.

Let me break it down for you. A state of the art, top of the line camera, with bad glass (lenses), is a horrible choice. If you are upgrading because the cool kids have this camera, or because fstoppers said it’s the greatest camera since the camera obscura, then you are making a bad investment. Getting a new camera when it’s necessary is a great investment! But that means you know how your current camera works completely, You have great glass. You know the ins and outs of photography and you can take great photos with an iPhone 7 if necessary.

In the best way I can put it. GETTING A NEW CAMERA WILL NOT MAKE YOU BETTER THAN YOU WERE YESTERDAY. Learning the world of photography is what makes you better. Practicing daily, makes you better. A new camera will not land you clients. A new camera will not teach you what you don’t know. Educate yourself on what you currently have, and when you are ready, Invest in some lenses.

No one is the greatest photographer in the world, But there are some truly talented photographers. If you feel your pictures are lackluster, and are missing that pizzazz that you’re trying to find. You can hand your current set up to any professional, and they can take an amazing photo with what you’re using. The act of Photography forces us to learn daily. We must try new techniques and educate ourselves as best as we can.

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I have taken the liberty to show you two different examples. Below are 2 photos I have taken. One was with a Nikon D50 that I paid $30 for on Adorama, and the other is a Nikon Z6 that I paid $2,000 for on B&H. For both cameras I kept the settings exactly the same. I kept the flash power the same as well. I used my Sigma 105mm 1.4 Lens. That lens was dubbed the “Bokeh Master” and rightfully so. Currently that lens sells for $1,599. It was an investment that has paid off. The images below practically mirror each other. Remember one was taking on a camera that is 14 years old!, while 1 one taken on a camera that is not even a year old yet. The technology in the Z6 far surpasses the D50 yet the photos still look almost identical. Why is that? Because the right settings were dialed in. The right edits were put on, even with a subject that moves with every heartbeat that pumps, the photos came out similar.

On the left is the Nikon Z6 on the right is the Nikon D50. Beautiful images come from an educated photographer, Not from your camera. While it helps when needed, an upgrade “Just because” is unnecessary. If you want to invest, invest in good glass. Learn your camera if you are unable to invest. The better you know the ins and outs, the better you will be. Photography takes time. Take your time.

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365 Photography Project Day 17

I BOUGHT A NIKON D50! A 14 year old camera lol. Look at this thing, it for sure has seen much better days. I bought this bad boy for a whopping $39! $39 bucks, from Adorama. It came with the charger and battery. It’s a little dinky guy and I’m excited to actually take it out and shoot with it. I bought this camera to prove a point. It’s not the gear, it’s the user. A lot of people tend to tell me “Oh Chris you’re work looks so great, your camera takes amazing pictures”. It’s not the camera, it’s the user! Even some amateur photographers do it. They have the misconception of, if they spend more money on a better camera, they’ll be a better photographer. Since I’ve started I’ve always heard this from pros and it’s been the advice that stuck with me that I give out. Invest in glass if you’re going to spend money. Buy lenses or flash units. You don’t need to upgrade right now especially if you don’t fully know the capabilities of your current camera. Some people jump for no reason, and then barely shoot. Trust me with the camera you have, you can produce award winning work. You just need to know your camera, and hone your skills. Always invest in lenses and or flash units way before you invest in a new camera. You’ll see the work I’ll put out with a $39 camera.

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365 Photography Project Day 16

I can promise you, in a MAJORITY of Hispanic households they have a theme with an animal. I have 2 aunts who love cows. 1 especially all over the kitchen with anything you can think of. In our house, we have turtles. There’s 4 in the living room then there’s like 2 in our bedroom. They’re hidden sometimes lol. It just seems to be a theme that most Hispanics naturally pick up. They don’t intend on having themes but next thing you know, you have 6 items with a chicken on it, or like my best friend instead of an animal he had this fat Italian chef on several items lol. Angie loves turtles so it makes sense that they’re all around the house. I tend to just forget they’re there. I’m more surprised we don’t have pet turtles.

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365 Photography Project Day 15

So today isn’t revolved around Dozer, he just happened to be my subject as I test out this new method. It’s not a new method, and I’ve actually used it before but in landscape panorama shots. I’ve never thought of using it in portraits! It’s called the Brenizer Method, and I was reminded about it by my friend Nilo. Once he brought it up I started watching youtube videos and then realized I’ve done this before, but never with people. So I tried it out. It’s amazing to me. It makes your subject pop so much more while giving some detail to the background. I’m definitely going to be using this method A LOT more in my portraits and weddings. I love learning new methods and techniques. It fuels me!

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365 Photography Project Day 14

Looking at this picture I know die hard fans can hear the theme song from when it was on Cartoon Network. I grew up watching Dragon Ball Z. I loved the show, the art, the fighting, the dialogue. Yeah there were definite times it DRAGGED out unnecessarily, but when they finally got to the fight scenes they were always worth it. The show grew up with us. We were able to see all the Z fighters “grow up” alongside us, and that’s why some of us have such a connection with the show. It definitely has a special place in my heart and even today 29 year old Chris, I will watch the old DBZ episodes and the new super episodes. The new movie comes out this week and I’m excited for that lol. One of these days I will have a lot of these collectible toys and allow Elijah to open them up if he wants to play with them.

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365 Photography Project Day 13

Let me tell you about these macaroons. You think you’ve enjoyed a good treat, but you haven’t. You think “these cookies are the best”, don’t lie to yourself like that. These biscuit/cookie combo, flakey, tasty, sweet, lightly crunchy, delicatessens are amazing. Low key/ High Key best little treats I’ve had. It’s even better that it’s made from an old friend in a shop that Melanie Lino co owns, LIT. She’s been baking for years, and I can attest that she puts her all into everything she bakes. Every treat I’ve ever purchased from her hits the nail on the head and blows me away. If you ever want to get me a gift, or treat me to something special, buy me macaroons from her. I’ll love you forever. Seriously do yourself a favor, and go down to LIT and place an order. You’ll thank me. I don’t steer people wrong with suggestions.

365 Photography Project Day 12

Me and a friend woke up at 6am, and took a trip to NY Saturday morning. We had found out they were destroying the old Tappanzee bridge, and we wanted to go photograph it. I mean how cool is it to see an old bridge explode and capture dope images of it. Only problem? We found out WHILE we were there, they had decided to postpone the demolishing for another day lol. So we drove out almost 2 hours and didn’t get to see what we went for. But while we were on a pier we decided “Let’s make the best of what we have here”. So we shot things in the area. I took this close up of this small rock measuring no bigger than 8”. But I took it at an angle to resemble a mountain side. That’s the fun part of photography. You can create what you see and it’s our job to show you the art in the simplest things. So though we didn’t get to see a bridge explode. I still got some cool shots!

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365 Photography Project Day 11

Today is a self portrait. This scar has been with me for 2 decades. This scar, is me. This scar has been one of the biggest reasons I have never gotten behind the wheel of a car while I was drunk. I was hit by a car when I was roughly 9 years old. Honestly I don’t remember the exact age and I have to ask my mother to give me the date. It was the summer of 98 I believe. I remember vaguely riding my bike around a corner that I had ridden around over 100 times. Literally right around the corner from my house in Lawrence, MA. I had hit a patch of dirt on the sidewalk of this interesting intersection that had a hill. I rolled into the street and from there what I can piece together is that I tried to get up, and this car driven by a guy with his 2 nephews and was not paying attention came up the hill. He was looking in the back seat as he came to the top of the hill and turned, heading directly towards me. His side mirror made contact with my face. It was curtains. I had a fractured skull, and this huge gash above my eyebrow. I was out for a while. Couple days. When I woke up my eye was swollen shut and I stayed in the hospital I think for 2 weeks total. It’s grown on me and has become a part of my identity. It serves as a reminder daily, to pay attention to the road.

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365 Photography Project Day 10

Strawberries, natures fruit with all of it’s seeds on the shell vs inside like every other fruit. Rough exterior, sweet on the inside, with a bright red hue. It’s funny putting this shot together I solely shot it thinking of a gallery in mind. I can see this printed and showcased, but maybe because I think that of all of my work. I’m a fan of strawberries from the strawberry flavored candies, to the overly juicy jumbo strawberries. An ode to the bright red fruit.

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365 Photography Project Day 9

Today I woke up sick. Not just a normal sickness, not a cough here, a sneeze there sickness. I woke up body aching, hot, sweating, throat swelling up and feeling like I tried to swallow sand paper. I don’t know what going around here in Pennsylvania, but I caught it. I caught it bad and it kicked my ass today. I slept and drank Theraflu for a majority of the day, and I swear it saved me. While I type this out now I feel so much more better now than I did at 5:45 am today. I credit this magic elixir to making me feel so much better in less than 24 hours. So while I have my 4th cup since when I woke up, I leave you guys with. Try and avoid whatever is going around. Cause it felt like strep on steroids for most of my morning.

365 Photography Project Day 8

Hilltop Candle Co. Is ran by my best friend and his wife. They started the company in 2015 and have been running strong since. I only saw a small process of how the candles are made, but I know Deb puts her heart into each jar she fills. This isn’t an ad, he didn’t ask me to write this or post this. This is just love for my bro and his company. Plus the candles do smell really good. They’re better than run of the mill store bought candles, last long, and smell fantastic. I suggest buying one, trust me you’ll thank me later when you have these in your home. Watching them grow the company from a small apartment on the kitchen stove to the professional setup they have today has been really cool. Definitely been a good learning experience in business as well.

If you’re interested in buying one of their candles you can do so here www.hilltopcandle.com

Source: Not an ad, Just love these candles.

365 Photography Project Day 7

True Life, I’m a Sneakerhead. Real deal though, right before the baby was born I was buying a lot of sneakers. From when I got my first job at 16 until today. I’ve been buying sneakers, wearing and collecting from then. My favorites are Nike Foamposites, the classic Air max 95s and of course Jordans. My all time favorite Jay’s have to be the 11s. Most Jordans are not as comfortable as you think they would be after spending $190+ on them. But the XI’s just fit around your feet and ankle perfectly and they feel natural. There’s no tightness around your toes or scraping on the heels. I love kicks, I love matching kicks, I love rocking kicks. It’s one of the things I’ll be handing down to my son. Sneakers are just a big part of my life.

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365 Photography Project Day 6

I guess we can combine this photo with gaming. I’ve had other systems before, I can remember as early as 4 years old getting a Sega for Christmas. But Xbox has been in my life for over a decade. I bought a ps3 for a little but sold it and stuck with my Xbox. Since the original Xbox playing Halo, to what we have today spending lots of time on Destiny 2. More of my friends have an Xbox and honestly I’m so used to the controller now it’s second nature and muscle memory lol. Gaming is big for me, it helps me ease my mind and release my stress. I don’t play as much as I used to now and days since becoming a husband and father. But when I do get my opportunities I do play! It’s unexplainable sometimes, you either get it, or you don’t. Gaming is just so fun, even if you hear me cursing at the screen because I can’t believe something just happened, it’s still so much entertainment to me. I can’t wait to one day introduce my son to gaming. I’m sure he’ll feel the same way I do.

365 Photography Project Day 4

Today is a little different. 4th day of the New year and already a black cloud is over the city I call home. A young man lost his life for no reason earlier today. He was a good man with great ambitions. He was a father and loved his children, He wanted a youth center for kids. He was a boxer, He was positive in every way you can think of, he was a beacon of hope to the youth. Today is more of a dedication than a normal blog. Today is for Johnathan Williams.

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