Camera Buying Tips
So you fancy yourself as a photographer. You might have been admiring those great photographs in those magazines, or you may have even played around with a camera before. So now that you have decided to take the plunge and get a camera of your own, you are faced with several decisions: what kind of camera do you need and how to buy one.
The answers vary and depend entirely on you. You have to consider what kind of subjects you are interested in photographing, how heavy is the equipment, whether you going to do a lot of traveling with it, and just how affordable is it. There is nothing that says to take great pictures you need a professional camera.
Here are some things to consider when buying a new camera.
The Basic Needs
When buying a camera, you have to ask yourself exactly what do you need it for. Are you going to be taking snapshots of the kids during their birthday party, or are you interested in setting up a studio and doing portrait shots? Each requires a different type of camera. When buying a camera, consider your needs. If all you want to do is take some snapshots of everything from children at the park to the family dog, then a small, compact camera would probably suit you the best. These types of cameras are small and easy to carry around. You just pull them out of your pocket of purse, take a quick shot, and put it back.
If you are interested in something more professional, then you should consider checking out a bigger (and more expensive) camera. This is recommended for anyone going into business as a photographer. If you are taking photos of weddings or you have a studio, you need something capable of doing a good job. When buying a camera, also check out tripods to balance the camera on.
Digital Versus Film
This is a big consideration when it comes to buying a camera. Digital cameras have almost taken over the market and where there were once entire store aisles full of film, now there might be a small section near the end of the aisle, next to the memory cards and lithium batteries. Let’s face it. Digital cameras are definitely more efficient, easier to use, and you don’t run the risk of accidentally exposing your film. Plus, if you have a quality photoprinter, you can print photos straight from your camera right in your own home. Now that is convenient.
But there are still many photographers out there who consider film to be an art. There are really only two main reasons to use a film camera in this day and age. One reason is if you do not have a computer that you can download photos to. The second reason is that you simply like the experience of working with film. Many professional like to use film because they can do all of the developing themselves.
Do You Really Need All of That?
This is a question that you should ask yourself before going out and making a big purchase. Do you really need all of that equipment? If you just want to take photos of family and friends and convenience is important to you, then you will not need to go and invest in a bunch of expensive lights, tripods, and other photography equipment. You really won’t need those three memory sticks that hold 500 photos each. One will be enough.
However, if you are going to go the professional route, then some extra equipment would be a wise investment. You will need a few stands, lights, a reflector or two, and a good sturdy tripod to steady things. Professionals do not take blurry pictures.
How Much is Too Much
So hopefully by now you have figured out what you want in a camera. Next thing is price. You should know that, like everything else, brand names are the most expensive. If you go with Canon or Nikon, you’d better be prepared to shell out some bucks for those brands. Sony follows a close third. There are some off brands you can buy at more affordable prices but they might not be the same quality. Canon, Nikon, and Sony are all respected brands. It again comes down to what you need out of a camera. An aspiring professional will need to go with one of the best and ultimately one of the more expensive brands of cameras. Amateur home photographers who are not trying to please any customers can always choose to go with one of the more affordable brands.
Where To Find the Best Deals
Finding a good deal on a quality camera can be like shopping for a new car. You want a good, reliable camera but you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for one. Of course, department stores will usually have a good selection of cameras available but you are going to pay top market price for one. If you are shopping in department stores, keep your eyes open for sales, especially around the holiday seasons.
A good place to find affordable cameras is online. There are online retailers who might have a camera for a slightly lesser price than what you would find in a store. Online auction sites, such as Ebay, are also good places to find affordable prices. Remember that if you buy online, check out their return policy in case you are not satisfied with the camera.
Photography clubs and groups are also good places to find affordable cameras. Photography enthusiasts are always upgrading their cameras and some of them sell their other cameras. Join a group and keep checking the site for information on sales. Also camera shops sometimes have deals on repaired cameras. These shops might buy broken or faulty cameras, fix them up, and then resell them at a fair price. Again, if you buy a camera secondhand like this, be sure to see if there is a warranty or return policy.