Downgrade your Camera Gear

Yes, he finaly lost it, most of you will think 🙂
I admit, downgrading your camera gear doesn’t seem like the wisest choice,
however, in some cases it may just be the best choice.

What caused writing this article, was the decision to sell my Olympus TG-6, and the purchase of the 5 years older TG-3.

The Olympus TG-6 vs TG-3

Why would you replace a device that is not only younger, but also has much higher specs, with a less and much older camera ? Well, maybe precisely because it has less – here some examples:

  • the TG-6 has a max. iso of 12800 – the TG-3 goes up to 6400
  • the TG-6 has 12mp – the TG-3 has 16mp
  • the TG-6 can go up to 20fps – the TG-3 up to 5fps
  • the TG-6 can handle 4K video – the TG-3 has full HD
  • Manual focus vs No
  • Focus Peaking vs No
  • RAW shooting vs No

and those are about the biggest differences, because otherwise both devices have :

  • same 25-100mm F2.0-4.9 zoom lens
  • Sensor-shift Image Stabilization
  • 3.00″ Fixed Type Screen
  • Built-in Wireless
  • Built-in GPS
  • and a Weather Sealed Body

I don’t use the higher ISO, the images don’t get better. Then the megapixels – the TG-3 has 16mp, which is more than the TG-6, and I found that to be a lesser point of the TG-6 when I bought it, so another plus! The faster continuous shooting from 20fps to 5fps, well, frankly, the time I had the TG-6 I didn’t use it once – so redundant. There is also the 4K video, I myself aim more for simple movies in HD format – and even then the camera is sufficiently equipped. Manual focus, focus peaking, RAW shooting – I do all that with my other cameras – it is very inconvenient on such a small screen anyway.

But if I just don’t use the higher specs of the TG-6 now, then there’s really no reason to get rid of it, right ?

Well, the same higher specs give the camera a lot more setting options and a pretty extensive and complicated menu – which at the same time makes it a lot harder to use, and you make mistakes more easily. Mainly because I wear glasses for close sight, and I don’t put those glasses on to take pictures – just point-shoot, and then the TG-3 is a much easier camera with less risk of a wrong setting.

Can everyone follow the train of thought? the “better” camera in this case is just a bit overkill and at a higher purchase price – the other camera just has what I need.

Apply in an other existing situation – or for gear purchases on a budget.

Downgrade does not always mean that you have to get rid of your existing expensive camera for an older version, it may also be that you would like to have a backup camera, or a camera that you want to use under more extreme circumstances to save your expensive camera. Or you’re just starting out and have a certain budget, so you can’t afford the camera your heart desires. In those and many other cases you may have to opt for an older or lower version, and that is not always a disadvantage.

Why do you think there are so many videos on Youtube about “should you still buy camera X in 2022” or “is camera X still good in 2022”? And those videos return every year !
Well, the newest camera just isn’t always the best camera.

What is important is that you know what you want and what functions/possibilities your camera should have, and that you also know what you don’t need. With that knowledge you can create a profile of your future camera, and compare that profile with the many specifications of potential camera candidates. A very good tool for that is Camera Decision, Here you can compare any camera with another, it is also a great tool for lenses. In the comparison tool, the cameras are awarded points for: overall, imaging, features, video and size – don’t let that discourage you right away, for example the TG-6 gets a higher score for imaging than the TG-3, but that higher score comes in this case because the TG-6 can shoot RAW and also has a higher iso value, if that is of less importance to you then the score of this item is less important for you in this case. It is therefore important to compare the entire profile.

Published by Marc R.

Belgium Based and Retired Photographer, IT specialist, Technician and Bushcrafter - not necessarily in that order. A few years back I got a message on my PC : "The box said 'Required Windows 11 or better'. So, I installed Linux Kubuntu" :-) My Photography software : Linux Kubuntu 22.04 LTS, RawTherapee, Darktable, Digikam, Luminance HDR, Hugin, Gimp and many other. My camera Gear in 2022: Olympus E-M1 Mark II & Mark III for bird, wildlife, architecture and landscape photography. Olympus E-M5 MKII for lightweight and travel photography. Olympus E-M1 silver edition for Vintage lenses . Olympus E-M10 MKIII and an E-PL Seven for fun. For realy rough adventures an Olympus TG-3 ! Development on an old 17" Dell Studio 1749, Core i5 - 8Ram - and 3TB Well, I guess it's all about rough and tough !

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