I Want a New Camera. What Should I Buy?
Because I'm a photographer my friends and family often approach me with the classic camera question. I want to buy a new camera. What should I buy? Here's the thing...I love talking about photography and I could go on and on about camera gear but I probably don't give them the answer they're looking for. I'm not keeping secrets there just isn't a simple answer.
There are so many cameras on the market today. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus etc etc etc. All the manufacturers make great cameras. They're like cars. They have basic models, luxury models and then they have several models in between. DSLR, mirrorless, point-and-shoot, full frame, cropped sensor... there as so many options and features that it can be overwhelming. It only makes sense to ask an experienced photographer for advice. After all a professionals camera takes great pictures...right?
If you ask me for advice I will tell you what I use and why I like it but I won't give you a simple answer on what you should buy. Instead I will ask you questions that you should be asking yourself.
Why Do You Want to Buy a New Camera?
Most people today have some sort of digital camera whether it be in their smartphone, tablet or a compact point-and-shoot. So the first question I will ask you, assuming you already own a digital camera, is why do you want to buy a new one. If you say you want to take better pictures I will suggest you read one of my other blog posts such as Rule of Thirds or Fill the Frame. There is more to taking better pictures than having a new camera. A new camera will not guarantee better pictures. If you don't understand the fundamentals of photography you will probably spend a lot of money to use the automatic features. And that just doesn't make sense. Learn about the basics of photography here.
What Do You Plan to Use the Camera For?
If you are interested in starting a photography business, doing wedding photos or portraits I would suggest you get something entry level with room for growth. As you learn more you can invest in better lenses and continue to use the same camera body.
If you only plan to take vacation pictures, pet pictures and basic snapshots you will probably be fine with an advanced compact camera. Figure out what you want to use your camera for and that will tell you what types of cameras have the features that will help you get your desired results.
What is Your Budget?
Only you know what fits your budget so once you understand the fundamentals and have decided what features are important to you I suggest you check out Amazon for some online reviews for cameras in your price range. Digital cameras are introduced all the time with new features and the latest and greatest technologies. Figure out your budget and then go to a store and test a few. Pick a camera that feels good to you, fits comfortably in your hands, has easy menus, and fits your budget.
So if you think you're in the market for a new camera you should ask yourself a few questions before you go out and buy the first thing your friend recommends. Understand that an expensive camera will not guarantee great photographs. Having some basic camera and photography knowledge should help you decide what camera to choose. The best photographers can take beautiful photos with a cheap camera.
Remember... it's hard to go wrong when buying a digital camera. Companies are constantly improving their products and the prices keep getting more and more reasonable. Take some time to really think about how you will be using your camera and what you want to get out of it. Do your research and if you still think you want to buy a new camera choose one that suits your needs and doesn't break your budget.
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