This is one of the most commonly asked questions I get as a photographer from both clients and friends “Hey Deepa! I am planning to buy a camera ! Can you suggest which camera should I buy.” And I always have a series of questions for them in return instead of a direct answer.
Truthfully there is not one right
answer camera for everyone. I feel that your decision to purchase a camera depends on various factors and one single camera will not be a fit for all. One camera cannot serve the purpose of capturing portraits, landscape and wildlife photography.
So here are my top 5 tips to consider before you decide to invest in a camera.
Please keep in mind that these tips are for amateur and entry level photography enthusiasts and is not for professional photographers.
1. What is the purpose of the new camera?Does any of the below points match your requirement?
a. To document some beautiful pictures of my kids growing up
b. Small and easy to carry around and document my family vacations
c. Take some amazing pictures for my business page or Instagram
d. Aspiring to venture into professional photography in future
2. What is your budget?
There is a camera in your budget for almost all points mentioned above. The key is knowing what you want and how much money are you planning to invest in a camera. Unlike professional photographers who upgrade their gear frequently, you want to invest in a camera which can serve you well fora couple of years. Consider the fact that you may or may not be inclined to buy additional accessories with the camera now or in the near future.
3. Dont be a pixel junkie!
Just like the fashion industry keeps changing every season, there is a new camera everyday in the market with a bigger megapixel number. Many people have this misconception that buying a camera with large megapixels should serve all their purpose. Let me tell you this is a lie. Megapixels are only game changers if you are considering printing your photos as big a billboard or cropping your pictures. I have taken pictures with my 10 megapixel camera which has been on the cover of books and a couple of billboards. Trust me when I say that you might not need anything more than 8 to 10 megapixel. There are other factors such as low light performance, lenses, ability to capture motion you need to consider for a camera to be termed as good.
4. The war of the DSLR versus point and shoot and now mirrorless camera
Now a days there are a lot of affordable DSLR cameras available in the market and point and shoot cameras has got a bad reputation of being their ugly cousins. Which is not true at all. There are some bad ass point and shoot cameras available in the market which are as good if not better than most of the entry level DSLRs. Point and shoot cameras are compact, easy to carry around and are cost effective compared to DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.
Mirrorless cameras are the new addition to the competition. If you are someone who wants some room to play around with the art of photography and need some flexibility with interchangeable lenses at the same time want something compact and small you should consider a mirrorless camera. However they can cut a bigger hole in your wallet compared to the point and shoot cameras.
Lastly the DSLRs are for people who are looking to venture into some sort of serious photography. Interchangeable lenses, ability to shoot in raw (which now most point and shoot and mirrorless cameras do have), full manual control flexibility are some of the pros of a DSLR camera. People who like to dip their toes in different photography techniques such as long exposure, multiple exposure, low light photography, product photography will definitely find DLSRs cameras a better fit.
5. Canon versus Nikon aka Brand Wagon
The brand of your camera does not matter! There I said it. Yes I know that there is this famous feud between Canon and Nikon. I admit that I am a through Canon girl, but I have enjoy using a Nikon camera as well (Don’t kill me for saying it please…) This is the last point you need to look at when you plan to buy your next new camera, unless you already own a particular brand and want to add on to the existing camera kit. Both Canon and Nikon are the big players in the camera market and have various camera models with similar quality and output. Please keep in mind that there are some good affordable camera under other brands as well.
Its a matter of exploring the market based on your requirement , your research and reading reviews. I hope these tips will guide you to buy a camera which can capture not just pictures but moments, places and things which you and your family and friends will cherish forever. At the end of the day it does not matter what camera you used, what matters is what have you captured with your camera.