Ideas #3
Beginner Grade vs. Professional Grade
I have been using a Canon EOS Rebel XS for over a decade now and have loved every minute of it. Recently though, my lens, a Sigma 17-55 f/2.8, has begun majorly malfunctioning. I am sending it to Sigma in hopes it can be fixed, but in my searching for a new lens, I've begun wondering if I should consider a new body. I have always had the mindset that if a good photo can be taken with a pinhole camera then you don't need a super expensive "professional camera", but I'm wondering what others think? Is a professional grade DSLR camera really better than one that is considered beginners grade? What are the perks? The advantages? I would love to hear any feedback from professional camera users.
(p.s. I have included a few of my photos just for experience level sake and will gladly accept any thoughts on them; exposure quality, interest quality, etc.)
Thank you!

The one thing you have to your advantage is you know your camera inside out if you have used it for 10years.

There are pros and cons to a more advanced camera. When I moved from my Nikon D7100 to my current Nikon d750 (using the same lenses) I noticed a big difference straight away in image quality, despite them both being 24mp sensors. But it depends on what you shoot and what your camera can't do that you need it to.

 I should add that the main cause in the image quality difference is down to how each camera resolves the lens attached to it. So you could upgrade your camera body, pick the wrong lens and not notice a difference. They is a bit of science involved

The general advice is when your camera can't do what you ask of it then the time has come to upgrade it. For me I think there is more than this as an upgrade point. I had a Nikon 3 series and through circumstances I upgraded earlier than necessary to a 7 series. Wow, I wish I had done it sooner, in fact I wish I had passed on the entry level altogether. The 7 is easier to operate, its a better built body, higher specification and in all an all round better camera, oh and yes it takes darn good pictures. It may be the camera or it might be as a result of being easier to operate that my skills have improved. I soon added a D500 and now I'm a happy chap. Conclusion is that sometimes we upgrade because we really need to but more often than not we do so because we WANT to. So I think if you want to treat yourself then why not.

I've always heard people say that a great photographer can take a great photo with any camera. The art is in the eye of the photographer, not the camera. And as long as you have the right lenses, you can get photos that are just as good as a pro level camera. There are some advantages to a pro level camera though. Like usually on the function dial, there are spots for 2-3 custom settings, which I haven't seen on a beginner level DSLR. And most beginner level cameras are crop sensor cameras, whereas I think most pro level cameras are full frame cameras. But what it really comes down to is YOUR preference. Are you totally satisfied with what you have, or do you think you could get more out of a pro level DSLR! Only you truly know the answer to that, because it is your work.

This is just great feedback!! I’m so glad I asked the question! There have definitely been times when I am taking pictures and I get frustrated with the focusing ability… Though I’m not sure if that would be my lens or my camera. I’ve never quite answered that. Also, any limitations I feel, I usually notch up to my own inability and think that I just need to keep working harder. So I’ll have to think about that also...

Can I be so bold as to ask if the few pictures I have provided are even close to professional quality/ability and therefore would warrant, in my own mind, the need for pro grade?

 It is generally accepted that a good photographer can capture a good image with a lower model camera while a poorly skilled photographer won't capture a good image with a high end camera.

However, cameras are like musical instruments, same concepts. Unskilled person playing a Stradivarius will sound terrible while a maestro on a student violin will sound amazing. But... put that Stradivarius in the hands of a maestro and the results will be mind boggling.

The same holds true with cameras. If you as a skilled photographer get a high quality camera (Nikon 850D, Canon 5DMkIV, Leica or even a medium format like a Mamiya or Hassleblad) what you'll be able to capture will be that much better. The depth, color, clarity, etc. you can achieve with a high quality camera just cannot be compared with an entry level camera.

At the end it really boils down to what you're trying to accomplish, but there really is a very good return on getting something capable in your hands. Don't need it for good pictures but you can reap the benefits of a higher performing camera system.

For your style of photography, if you have a budget that can support it, I would even suggest you look into a medium format system.

Good luck!

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