Time to Upgrade?

3 Reasons to Buy a Better Camera

Mary Harper and Jens Nielsen Jul 1, 2019


It is a poor workman who blames his tools.  We’ve all heard the cliché, but when it comes to cameras, it’s not always the case. You could be a great photographer, but your phone or point-and-shoot camera may be the cause of some disappointing results. It may be time to upgrade to a digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) or interchangeable lens camera (ILC).

Here are three common reasons why people choose to upgrade.

1. Image Quality

This may seem obvious, but there is a distinct difference in the picture quality between a real camera and a camera phone. Phone technology improves every year, and new features continue to imitate technical aspects of genuine camera settings like depth of field and high dynamic range. However, DSLR and ILC cameras are also improving dramatically.

Larger, more sensitive sensors collect exponentially more image data making it possible to print your photos much larger. Images are clearer and crisper, and colors more vibrant. Dedicated settings for shutter speed capture either star trails or your soccer star in motion without any blur. Aperture settings provide exact control over the depth of field, so your bokeh (the aesthetic quality of the blur) is both realistic and intentional — by giving you exact control over the light on your subjects.

2. Hero Worship

Often the frustration that leads to an equipment upgrade comes from trying to emulate a style of photography by an admired artist or on Instagram. Clark Little inspired many a photog to seek perfectly crisp wave curls and vibrant sunsets. And Suzy Mead’s unspoiled captures of childhood have broadened our expectations of candid snapshots of our kids. Neither artist could capture those images using a phone.

Companionship and mentorship are also instigators to upgrade. Shooting with another photographer, even in very informal settings, highlights the limitations of inferior equipment. Her sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park is frame worthy, while your snap requires serious filtering to be worthy of your feed.

3. Building Your Brand

Hundreds of small business are created every year that need to create a visual and inviting brand story via websites, social media feeds and office spaces. High-quality images are a must. Bootstrapping entrepreneurs quickly realize that the cost of hiring out photography and art direction is out of reach. Owning their own equipment can be a cost-saver and write-off.

Investing in better equipment can be both exciting and intimidating, but the upgrade process doesn’t need to be difficult. Identify as specifically as possible what you want to accomplish with your new gear; then walk into any photography store and ask an expert. Talk about expectations for price and quality openly and know where you are willing to compromise. Once you have chosen your new gear, ask about classes on learning how to use it. 

Beginning Photography Classes

305 W 700 S
Salt Lake City, Utah

Get to Know Your Camera: Part 1
Four-part class, two hours a week $149
Get to Know Your Camera: Part 2
Two-part class, two hours a week $49
Register online, or in-store

Miller Campus
9750 S 300 W
Sandy, Utah

CEEI 0100 SLR Digital Photography: Basics
Offered by semester, $75
CEEI 0110 SLR Digital Photography: Beyond the Basics
Offered by semester, $75

626 N State St
Orem, Utah
Phone: 801-224-0006

Beginner DSLR
Held monthly at Orem location, $30 for advance registration, $40 week of

310 N Orchard St
Boise, Idaho

Saturdays, dates and topics as listed on the website. Free.

2169 E 17th St
Idaho Falls, Idaho

Beginner/Intermediate DSLR with Christopher Balmer
Monthly, two-day workshops, $75
Intermediate/Advanced DSLR with Christopher Balmer
Monthly, six-hour course, $89

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