Upgrading your camera? 5 essential to-dos!

5 essential actions that can save you money


I have a great deal of experience with new camera shopping under my belt. But all experience comes with the accumulation of mistakes and lessons learned.

Although I have already made a video and a blog post on 5 things you need to consider when buying a new camera, I thought that it be important to include these 5 to-dos or actions you need to do before going out and making the decision on which model to buy.

This is a video from a while back that attacks a new camera purchase head-on. 

So let’s get into the 5 actions everyone must do before going and shopping for a new camera.


  1. Read your existing user manual
  2. Read the new camera manual
  3. Remember why you shoot
  4. Ignore the promo page of the cameras you are considering
  5. Ask around
Top diagonal view of the Fujifilm XT3 and the Fujinon 16mm
My trusty Fujifilm X-T3 is showing signs of wear and tear but it still keeps on taking amazing photographs

1) Read the user manual of your existing camera


Before giving up the camera that you already own, re-visit your user manual. This small exercise will allow you to see whether an upgrade or a change in gear is even necessary.


I have always found that a small reread of the manual lets you know the limitations or the unknown features of what you already own.

woamn in a park gazing far away with sun shining in her back
My trusty X-T3 was the result of me testing a ton of Fuji cameras. It's features fit my workflow perfectly

I once was about to give up my Fujifilm X-T30 because I thought it did not have enough features. When I chose to re-read the manual, I discovered that it was as feature-rich as an X-T3. 


Once you have read the manual and feel  that an upgrade is warranted, move on to step 2

aerial cicus artist in the splits in theair
Although, the Fujifilm X-T20 is seen as the smaller brother of the X-T2; A quick read of the user manual makes you realize that it is the same camera as the X-T2, just smaller. Photo of angie, taken with the X-T20 and an 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 kit lens

2) Read the user manual of the new camera you are considering


Picking up the user manual of the camera you are considering is the best way to learn about its features and limitations. remember that when considering new equipment, you need to know the truth. You will only get a fluffed-up version of what a camera can do on a marketing site or landing page.

Manufacturers have no choice but to tell where the camera’s limitations are because your ability to use the camera depends on knowing everything about it.  


In this day in age, getting a manual is as easy as a website click. Download that PDF, pour yourself a coffee, and get to reading.

3) Stay away from the camera’s corporate site while you shop


Although most marketing sites are required by law to tell the “truth,” they are not restricted from embellishing it. The camera company’s website has one purpose only-SELL CAMERAS!

Camera companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars making sure that you get impressed. When shopping for your new camera, your goal is to be informed. Therefore, stay away from anything that might skew the truth

welcome page of the Sony Alpha 1
Remember that photos like these have a team of 20 behind the camera making sure that the product is appealing to you.

4) Ask yourself: Why do I shoot?


It might sound stupid, but asking yourself this simple philosophical question can eliminate a lot of over featured or under featured cameras out there. So, knowing why you shoot makes you aware of camera features that can be beneficial to you.  By asking this simple question it also steers you away from superfluous and overrated camera features that you might not even want.

For instance; If you shoot macro photos, you know that you will always shoot with a tripod. Therefore, in-body image stabilization (IBIS) becomes a feature that you are not willing to pay more to get. IBIS, all of a sudden, weighs in the balance in your next camera model choice.

close up photo of a fly on a leaf
Macro photography has very specific specification demands. This includes very specific lenses, high pixel count. But it does not always include In body image stabilization, fast shutter burst rates, or the need for a battery pack.

5) Ask around!


Asking current camera model users questions is the best thing you can do when buying a new camera. That is why my resource of choice is the Facebook group on the camera I am looking to buy. Sometimes I try to talk to a friend or even talk to someone I know who owns a camera I am considering. the question for me is simple – ”So, what do you think?” A whole world of answers opens up.

People are always keen on the idea of educating others. They also can let you know the “experienced” pros and cons of the camera. 


The easiest and best way to get this information is by joining a Facebook group or any sort of forum that is specifically pointed to the use of the camera model you are considering.

XT user group facebook page
The X-T user group not only helped me to maximize my purchase of my X-T3. It also helped me decide whether I should buy the X-T4.
Sony A7C user group page
I recently got the local college I work for to buy the A7C, By joining the Facebook group I am able to ask a question about specific camera use and a whole bunch of people answer me.



The goal here is to get photography gear that can make you happy in your photographic journey. There is nothing worse than passing the refund date on a camera that does not make sense for your workflow. Stick to these tips and tricks and maybe even read a couple of my other blog posts on buying a new camera and you should be in good shape.

Other blog posts related to tips and tricks to buying a new camera


5 things to look for in buying your new camera: Click here

7 Photography projects to inspire you: Click here

20 Tips and tricks to better photography: Click here

Jacques Gaines looking in a camera pointing upward

I am a photographer, videographer, and copywriter living in Quebec City, Canada. I also have a YouTube channel and an Instagram account dedicated to creation and creativity via my main loves of photography, music, and writing.

To get in touch with me and discuss your collaboration, service needed, or advice, either go to the contact page and write to me via the contact form at the foot of this page.

To see the latest photography, check out the Instagram page. Live feed below

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