It is so exciting to shop for a new camera. There are so many options and possibilities.
But it can also be overwhelming and scary to think about making a big purchase. Cameras aren’t cheap these days.
So today, I want to give you some things to think about when you are considering buying a new camera. Hopefully these tips will help you get your thoughts straight and not get in over your head.
7 Questions to Consider When Buying A New Camera
1. What are you going to use it for?
Knowing how you are going to use your camera is the first step in figuring out what type of camera you need.
If you want something that is quick and easy, light weight and can fit in your pocket, you probably want a iPhone or point and shoot camera.
If you want a camera that you can learn how to shoot in manual mode on, you probably want an introductory DSLR.
If you are being paid to take pictures and need a professional camera, a high end DSLR will do the trick.
2. How much can you afford?
Cameras range from $100 to $10,000 (or more), and it is tempting to think that the more money you spend the better pictures you will have.
But as we all know, the camera doesn’t take the photos, the photographer does.
So consider your budget and what camera will do the most for the money you have.
Then learn how to use that camera to the best of your ability for excellent photos.
Don’t forget, you don’t have to buy new. Sites like Ebay and even Craigslist can offer you refurbished or used cameras that will help you get more for your money.
3. Do you have a favorite brand you are already used to and like?
I am partial to Nikon because that is what I have always used.
Many people swear by Canon or Sony, usually for the same reason.
If you are happy with your current camera, but are just ready to upgrade, sticking with the same brand will make the transition go more smoothly.
4. What are the limitations of your current camera?
Think about why you are wanting a new camera. Maybe you broke or lost your old camera, so you need a new one. In that case, don’t wait.
But if your current camera works fine, you need to ask yourself why you want to upgrade:
- do you want more prestige by owning a fancier camera?
- do you want to learn to shoot in manual mode?
- have you hit a wall with limitations to your current camera.
If you answered #3, what are the limitations?
I recently upgraded cameras because there were things my current camera couldn’t do that the newer one would. Here are a few examples:
- The new camera handles low light better because you can use a higher ISO without as much grain.
- My old camera didn’t have a kelvin temperature setting for white balance.
- My old camera didn’t have as many focus points as I wanted.
- The new camera shoots better video and has 2 memory card slots.
To identify the camera you should buy next, identify the limitations of your current camera and what you want to do better.
5. How much control do you want over your photos?
iPhone cameras have come a long way in just a few years, and their capabilities now are way better than the camera I used to shoot with as a teenager.
But iPhones don’t allow you to have total control over your photos like a DSLR would if you shoot in manual mode.
So how much control do you want to have when you are shooting? This will be the deciding factor between what type of camera you want to buy.
6. Have you read the reviews of possible cameras?
Now that you have narrowed down the type of camera you want, have you researched them online?
There are several great websites that give camera reviews. This can help you choose between models of cameras, even by the same manufacturer.
Here are a couple to get you started:
Digital Photography Review allows you to pick the make and model of the camera you are interested in to get all the details.
Fro Knows Photo with Jared Polin does video reviews of cameras. He also does videos on all the main camera types to show you how to use them once you buy.
7. Does size and/or weight matter?
Lastly, you need to take into consideration the size and weight of the camera you are thinking of buying. My new camera is bigger and heavier than my old camera, even though both are DSLRs.
If you are using the camera for travel or everyday carrying, size and weight may matter, so make sure you get the type you need.
Let me share with you my new camera I just got last week:
Spoiler alert: It isn’t the latest and greatest. It is a Nikon d750.
I have had my eye on this camera (that came out in 2014) for several years.
It is a midrange DSLR with much more capability than my previous camera (Nikon d3200).
It has gone down in price because it is an older model, but it has all of the capabilities I need at this time.
I am super excited to find out all it has to offer and put it to good use.
After all of this, let’s keep one thing in mind. The camera doesn’t take the pictures, you do.
So while it is good to have the best kind of camera you can afford, a good photographer can make beautiful images with any camera.
The camera is the tool, not the artist.
So, with that, I hope you can use these 7 questions to help you find the camera that is right for you in both budget and amenities. Now get out there and shop!
What camera are you dreaming of? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this post helpful, please share. Thanks!