I am a “Skipper”. No, not the boat kind, I skip software versions, and hardware upgrades on a regular basis (but not every time 😉.) Coming up in the analog photography days, it was easy to see the camera as just a “film holder” with a lens. Choosing a camera system was more about choosing the best glass for the best image quality, and that’s why Nikon, Hasselblad and Leica became the top choices of professional photographers. They simply had the best lenses on the market. Now in our digital times we have much more to consider in our photography tools. From camera bodies with incredible bells & whistles, to lenses with certain features (and of course the quality of glass is still important), to our computers with ever improving Operating Systems, and the choice(s) of programs to process those images. Some even choose their smartphones based on the camera capabilities.
And all of it needs upgrading at some point, but do they need upgrading as soon as a new iteration comes out? I don’t believe so. I’ve written in an earlier post here about the question of upgrading software. I imagine it must be hard to be a software company and create compelling enough features and tools to get your customers to pay for upgrades. It’s a big reason many have gone to a subscription model to skirt the “skippers”.
Adobe used to have a policy where you could skip up to three versions and pay the same upgrade price. I used that policy for my personal use of Photoshop, and for a company with multiple Adobe licenses I was directing. If the tools and features weren’t compelling enough, especially for the price of upgrading, it was skipped. Then Adobe changed policy to say only versions ONE version back were eligible for the discount price. This was a big crackdown on skippers. That’s when I stopped upgrading Photoshop, with version CS6 from version CS4. I had skipped vCS5 and 5.5 before the policy was implemented. Not long after that they went with a full subscription only system. “No Skippers Allowed” they seemed to be saying.
Now computers and software (Operating Systems) are another banana to peel. Often they limit each other, and you reach a point where your OS can’t be upgraded because your older hardware won’t allow it. By the same token, you reach a point that some older versions of software will not work on a newer computer or OS. When you need to upgrade your computer in order to run certain software, even though your current computer is perfectly able to use the software you have, that’s where significant considerations of money comes in. At this point, skipping upgrades, both hardware and software, and keeping what you already have will depend on how skillful you are at wringing the best out of your current tools.
My iPhone gallery ::FIVE:: images were photographed with an iPhone 3Gs, 6, and 6s, long after those devices were superseded by newer models. These little amazing computers in our pockets are capable of incredible images, and with creative imagination and thinking of the tools you have in inventive ways, you can achieve truly stunning images.
iPhone 6 image processed on iPhone
At the end of the day, upgrading hardware and software is your choice, and so is skipping upgrades. You don’t need to worry about FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Weigh your cost of upgrading (and I don’t mean just financial) and decide if you are a skipper too. And it’s OK if you are!