After several years of escalating pixel counts many photographers have become accustomed to expecting a big jump with each camera introduction.
Obviously, this sometimes leads to disappointment when there isn’t an increase in pixel count, or it’s only modest, but there are often far greater benefits to upgrading to a new camera than a larger image.
Naturally the significance of any benefit to upgrading depends upon how recent the camera is that you are moving up from.
For this reason few photographers upgrade to their camera’s immediate successor and many wait for at least one for generation to come to market.
In their latest guest blog post, the team at Photoventure take a look at some of the key benefits that new cameras can bring other than a change in pixel count.
Reasons to upgrade to a new camera: 1. Faster processing
Newer image processors are more powerful and faster than earlier models and this can enable a huge range of improvements to be made both to the shooting experience and image quality.
One of the key things that your likely to notice is that the camera takes less time to start-up, images write more quickly to the memory card and the camera feels more responsive.
Reasons to upgrade to a new camera: 2. Faster continuous shooting (raw and JPEG)
Having a faster more powerful processing engine usually enables a faster maximum continuous shooting speed, which makes the camera more versatile and better able to photograph moving subjects.
In many cases the burst depth, the number of images that can be shot in one continuous sequence, will also increase giving you a greater chance of catching the action.
Also, you’re likely to find that burst speed and depth doesn’t just improve for JPEG files, you can shoot more raw files as well.
This means that you’ll have more data to work with if your need to edit your sport and action images.
Reasons to upgrade to a new camera: 3. Better noise control
While a new camera might have the same pixel count as your existing model, developments in sensor technology mean that it is likely to have larger photosites and/or micro lenses for more efficient light capture.
The ability to capture more light means that the image signal is stronger and this allows better detail resolution and lower noise levels.
Furthermore, the new sensor design may have improved noise suppression so images will be cleaner.
In-camera noise reduction requires the use of complex algorithms.
Having a more powerful processing engine means that these can be made more effective and applied quicker.
All things considered, you can expect to see more detail and/or less noise in images from a newer camera.
Reasons to upgrade to a new camera: 4. Better screen
The standard size for an SLR or CSC screen has been 3-inches for a while now. If your camera’s is smaller you will notice a big difference.
Screen dot-counts have also gone up with 920,000 being commonplace and 1,040,000 becoming popular.
More dots means a sharper, clearer image — which is better for reviewing images as well as when composing images on-screen in live view mode.
Live view mode is especially useful when you’re focusing manually because you can see a magnified image of the most important part of the scene and focus on it.
The more detail this is shown with, the better as it will make it easier to see when the subject is sharp.
Some manufacturers are now putting tilting or vari-angle screens on their cameras.
These are especially useful for composing shots (stills or video) from awkward angles.
Anyone who has a smartphone will know how helpful a touchscreen can be and these are starting to appear on more SLRs and CSCs.
They can really speed up setting AF point, changing settings, navigating menus and scrolling through images.
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