I really don’t need a new SLR. I just need to convince myself I don’t.

20141213_0037My current SLR is a Nikon D7000 that I’ve had for nearly three years. At 16MP, it’s been overtaken by the current generation – 24MP is even available in Nikon’s entry level D3200. So it begins – the nagging feeling that I want to upgrade.

The thing is, though, I don’t really need more megapixels. How often do I print to A3 or larger? Almost never, and my first DSLR, which only had a modest 10MP, was perfectly capable of decent prints to that size anyway.

So what else has improved? High ISO performance is, amazingly, better on the current generation of 24MP cameras. I say amazingly, because in general cramming more pixels onto a sensor of a given size ought to increase the risk of noise. Again, though, my current camera performs perfectly adequately. Most of my shots are taken in the ISO 100 – 400 range anyway, and the 7000 is good enough for the rare times I need to venture into the higher range.

There are a few other things that have improved, but the real boost in image quality would come from jumping to a full frame camera. I’d rule out the 36MP D800. Too expensive, and with RAW files taking about 76MB it needs a lot of storage, both on and off camera. The D750 is tempting. At 24MP it’s inline with the current DX generation, but the larger sensor should mean less noise.

20141213_0024Of course, going full frame means new lenses as well – all of my current lenses, with the exception of the 50mm 1.8, are designed for DX cameras and won’t cover full frame. Any change would require major investment. So why do it? Just for the remote possibility that I might want top notch prints at silly sizes? Just in case? It really doesn’t seem worth it.

I’m trying to convince myself… when the urge to splurge on a new toy gets hold of me it takes a lot of willpower to resist it, even when it’s a lot of money.

I’ve been putting my current camera through its paces to try and convince myself I don’t need a new one, and will be posting a more technical run through soon.

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