When do you upgrade your equipment?

There’s a saying out there that goes, ” You are only be as good as your equipment is.” I highly disagree with this statement but it brings up a good topic, when as an artist do I upgrade my equipment? My answer is, the best time to upgrade is when either society demands you to upgrade or when you need to upgrade to make artistic change. I guess the only way I can explain this is by giving examples of when I actually upgraded my equipment.

I first made videos on my parents’ Sony Cybershot camera that recorded in like a 360×280 setting which I uploaded and edited everything on an old desktop computer on Windows movie maker. A majority of these crappy videos that I made are private now on Youtube but all the equipment was perfect for the time being. I was solely making videos for fun and didn’t need anything special. You first have to determine what you need as oppose to what works for you. If everything runs perfect why would you ever upgrade?

You begin to upgrade when you know modern technology is beyond you. The age of high definition cameras were coming out and I finally had some birthday money saved up for an HD camcorder. I had a desire to make my videos higher quality and to make them better and more enjoyable. I watched thousands of videos on YouTube studying what camcorder I wanted and finally purchased a Canon HF20 over a Canon HF10. I still use the HF20 today whenever I’m on the go and don’t feel like using a dslr. Switching from a camcorder to a dslr wasn’t really a hard upgrade thanks to many resources such as Dave Dugdale that help you understand dslrs. I knew the benefits that dslrs had over camcorders but the reason I got a Canon Rebel T3i was because my HF20 was acting up and I needed a camera for a job. A need.

The issue I’m finding now is when do I upgrade my lenses? I got a perfectly good Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens off ebay for $160, the kit 18-55mm lens and a 55-250mm lens. When I upgrade lenses will I go full frame and get a 5Dmark III? I probably will once the raw video gets figured out completely with magic lantern because that quality rivals the Black Magic Cinema Camera . I do think that will be my breaking point where I’ll upgrade again and start to buy L lenses. Once all my lenses from my wish list are purchased I’ll probably go for a red epic or scarlet with a Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95. Who knows…

I think that it’s important to realize that once you’ve maxed out your potential with your equipment then I think you’ll be ready to upgrade to make a better artistic change to better yourself. My T3i and I have a long way to go still but below is my wishlist for the future when I get more money.


-A Canon 5D Mark III for quality boost, low light performance boost, and full frame. I’ve played with one and they are nice.
-A White Canon EOS M w/ 22mm lens for convenience with EF Mount. I fell in love with the white version of this camera. It’s so cute for a nice date camera. A T3i or 5D Mark III would be crossing the line a little bit on a date.
-GoPro Hero 3, I’ve played around with a GoPro Hero 1 and now with the Hero 3, I’m excited for the boost in quality and everything.
-A Tamrom SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD Lens for walk around. All purpose travel lens. The image stabilization/ vibration control makes it worthy.
-A Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens. For sports, nature, and animal photography. One of the best on the market.
-A Canon EF 50mm  f/1.2 L USM Lens to replace my f/1.4 lens.
-A Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens. Known as one as Canon’s sharpest lenses. Could get into portraits or just about anything.
-A Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens. For Macro Photography.
-A Canon EF 8-15mm f/4 Fisheye USM Lens. Fisheye, a toy lens for fun.
-A Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L Lens for landscapes and nature.

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