Friday, March 31, 2017

Finding the Perfect Type of Camera for You

Congratulations on your upcoming camera purchase! You've made it through the Is it Time for a New Camera? post and are ready to get serious about finding the perfect camera for you. Below are some questions that will help guide your decision.

Questions When Considering a New Camera

Biggest Question: what are your current photography needs? Where is your current camera lacking?

  • If you tried the exercises in the Time for a New Camera? post, you should have a good sense of where your current camera is letting you down. Is it too slow? Poor quality? Too heavy? Lacking options for customization and control? Etc.
  • I am a list person, so I found it very helpful to actually sit down and make list of some of my likes and dislikes about my current gear. The more specific you can get, the better you can determine the right camera for you, rather than just "a good camera." 

Price Point: how much are you looking to pay for your new camera?
  • You can spend a LOT of money on any category of cameras, but broadly, prices break down in the following ways:
  • Keep in mind the "hidden" costs of buying a new camera or new camera system: lenses, backup batteries, extra memory cards, a case, and any additional accessories like a tripod, filters, etc. (Read up on all Must-Have Camera Accessories here.)

Once you have a reasonable understanding of your price point and your needs, you are ready to start shopping and comparing options, so that you can make the best choice for you.

Camera Category Comparisons

The following chart gives you a visual guide to some of the big differences between the broad categories of types of cameras. This is a good starting place for narrowing down your search, based on your personal camera criteria.

Think back on your answers to the flowchart of questions from Time for a New Camera?

  • Looking to upgrade from your phone or basic point-and-shoot for something with higher quality and more creative control? Consider a mirrorless or entry-level DSLR camera.
  • Is your current camera reaching the end of its functional life? Consider whether you want to make a sideways move (i.e. buy a similar camera to what you had before) or an upgrade. 
  • Looking to upgrade based on the limitations of your current camera? Consider moving up to an intermediate or professional-level DSLR, based on which specific limitations you want to overcome. Or consider investing in a high-quality lens for your current DSLR camera, if you are struggling with issues of zoom, sharpness, or other quality issues.

Narrowed down which type of camera you want? Stay tuned for the next post(s) in this series, which will help you figure out which specific camera is best for you!

Upcoming posts:

  • Mirrorless vs. DSLR. Which choice fits you better?
  • Mirrorless Camera Comparison Shopping
  • DSLR Camera Comparison Shopping
  • and more ... 

What additional questions do YOU have about camera buying?

Boost Your Photography: Learn Your DSLR is available from Amazon. Get the most out of your camera with practical advice about the technical and creative aspects of DSLR photography that will have you taking beautiful pictures right away.

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