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If you're a photographer, chances are, you get asked camera-related questions by your not-so-tech-savy friends all the time. And while it typically isn't worth upgrading every year, cameras do have a life expectancy and sometimes it's just time to retire the poor thing. If you're a pro or even enthusiast, you can probably tell when your equipment is starting to show its age, but your non-photographer friends, not so much. So, in the (humorous) spirit of late night television, here are the top ten signs it's time to upgrade a digital camera.
10. The megapixels are in the single digits. Yes, three megapixels is bad. Aim for something that's at least in the double digits.
9. The manufacturer no longer makes cameras. While Konica Minolta and Kodak made some good film cameras, they couldn't keep up with the digital trends and a newer model will get you much better image quality.
8. You own a point-and-shoot larger than most DSLRs. Maybe you haven't heard, but cameras, just like cell phones, don't have to weigh five pounds anymore.
7. The camera doesn't understand the meaning of the phrase “burst mode.” Cameras get slow in their old age. Well, actually, if they're really old they were probably slow brand new too, compared to today's standard.
6. You can no longer purchase compatible memory cards. Seriously, the camera industry has settled on just a few memory card types for a while now.
5. You remember listening to Backstreet Boys on the way to camera store. I know, we have memories with our cameras. I'm not saying you should pitch it, but give it a nice home in the closet (with all your old boy band CDs) and pick up something else to capture your new memories with.
4. The manufacturer no longer offers support for your camera. If you call tech support and they hang up when you tell them what camera you own, it's probably a good sign you're due for an upgrade.
3. Your camera looks like it came from a sci-fi movie. It used to be cool for cameras to look futuristic, but any cameras that have come out in the past few years look either like they belong in this decade or like they were inspired by old film cameras.
2. The ISO range tops out at 400. Noise reduction has come a long way, be merciful to your low light shots and upgrade.
1. Phone calls and text messages keep interrupting your photography. Sure, cell phones are great for taking quick snaps of moments you might miss otherwise, but never underestimate the power (and convenience) of having a dedicated camera.