Dave didn't want to hear what I had to say.
He struck up a conversation at the PhotoPlus Expo that ended with him asking me which camera he should buy.
"How much do you want to spend?" I asked.
"Maybe a few hundred dollars," he responded.
"You need to move a decimal point over. For what you just told me about yourself Dave, you should plan to spend at least $2,000."
His mouth almost hit the floor. That's not what he wanted to hear.
In many instances, I might tell you that you don't need the most expensive camera to create great photos. But not in all instances. There are times when you really should plan to buy the more expensive camera.
Here's why and when.
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Why you would need the more expensive camera
High ISO range — This feature allows you to create sharp, low-noise photos in dark or demanding lighting conditions.
Magnesium alloy body — Upgrading from a plastic to magnesium alloy body allows for shooting in harsh climates and extreme conditions.
Autofocus capability — Broader autofocus coverage across the frame helps with subject acquisition. Upgrading also helps you track fast and randomly moving subjects.
Continuous shooting — Maximum frames per second allows you to capture every decisive moment with fast moving subjects.
Sensor performance — Because the sensor captures and stores your images, this is the most important spec you'll want to consider.
Dual card slots — A second slot comes in handy for backup files or overflow jpegs.
Lens choice — Buy into a system where you have a wider variety of high-quality glass.
When you would need the more expensive camera
It's a business — When you are working demanding situations like weddings, photojournalism, events, or commercial, it is helpful to have a more advanced camera.
Demanding situations — If you plan to shoot frequently out in the elements and expose your camera to a lot of wear and tear, you should consider a higher quality camera.
Subject matter requires precision — When you are shooting sports or wildlife, you need a camera that will withstand that kind of abuse.
Resale value — When it's time to sell, it helps to have a camera with features coveted by most professionals or enthusiasts.