What to Look for Before Buying a New Camera

Hey everyone! I thought I would share the steps I go through when thinking about picking out a new camera or new camera gear. It’s something I have been going through myself this week. Let me be upfront and say that I am not being sponsored for any of this, in fact, I won’t even be naming any brands. If you do have specific questions, feel free to leave me a comment and I will try and help you out if I can!

1.    What do you need it for

      First, ask yourself what are your needs are for this camera. Do you want more zoom, better quality photos, maybe something you can grow and learn with, or is your phone good enough? This is something you should be asking yourself. If you do decide you want to get a new, shiny camera, ask yourself what you will be using it for. Do you photograph landscapes, people, food or any of the seemingly countless other subjects? Do you want something small like a quality ‘point and shoot’ camera or maybe something bigger and higher quality like a DSLR?

2.    Budget

      The all-important question: budget! As I’m sure you already know camera gear, like all other electronics, can get expensive quickly. So, try and set a number you feel comfortable spending. If you’re getting a DSLR, you have other things to factor in. Most importantly is lenses. For example, if you’re wanting to photograph your son or daughters sporting events, you’re going to need to get a zoom lens along with the camera. Or maybe you want a tripod for photographing landscapes. All of these are things you should factor into your budget. 

3.    Things too look for

      I’m going to avoid getting too technical with you. To be perfectly honest, if you’re just starting out, any beginner DSLR should work just fine. However, speaking from experience, usually the brand you start with is what you will be shooting with for a little while. If you are looking to upgrade from a smaller camera, things like sensor size, megapixels, read and write speeds are some of the first things (usually in that order) which I personally look at.  Really, technical conversations these days seem to be leaning more towards the video capabilities of camera. If you are or want to get into video then some things to look into are resolution, frame rates and other things that I am sadly less knowledgeable on.

4.    Will it be replaced soon

      Nothing is worse than going through the trouble and expense of buying a nice new piece of equipment and then finding out that it was just replaced with something better. With today’s technology, this is a common occurrence and cameras are no different. Usually cameras companies go several years before replacing cameras. Look into when the camera came out and maybe do some research to see if there are rumors that a new one might be announced soon.

5.    Reviews and a test run

      After things are narrowed down to a couple of options, I always look at reviews. First, I look at the long reviews of people from websites who have spent time with the camera, lens or whatever it is and give me detailed information. Then, I also read customer reviews, but put a little less stock in them. What I’m looking for is consistent positives and negatives, any kind of pattern to see if it will work for me. If I’m still on the fence or if it’s a lot of money, I will try to go into a store so I can see and maybe test it. Sometime I will rent it and take it out in the field with me. I rent from two places online (links below if you’re interested).

- Borrow Lenses -

- Lens Rentals -

 

That’s pretty much my process when it comes it to working the what, when and why of getting a new camera, lens or accessory. Let me know if you liked this and if I should do more of these kinds of posts. Also, feel free to comment with any questions!