I have been teaching photography for nine years, and the most common question I receive from my students is, “What kind of camera should I buy?”
That is a loaded question, so I’ve decided to break up a blog into five different posts to address this question. This is Part 5 in the series on purchasing a new camera. To read or review Parts I, 2, 3, and 4 please view the blog.
Below are the five questions you should ask yourself:
- What is my budget?
- Should I buy a DSLR or a mirrorless camera?
- Should I buy a full-frame camera or one with a cropped sensor?
- Should I buy a new or used camera?
- How can I pair the right camera with my specific interests in photography?
This blog post will cover the 5th and final question.
This should be the easiest question to answer out of the five. By now you have read the four previous blog posts, and have a clear idea of what type of cameras are available based on your budget.
Next, you should narrow down what type of photography you are interested in. I have divided up photography interests into several categories:
- Commercial (products)
- Other (macro, forensic, food etc)
It is common for many of us to have more than one interest.
That doesn’t mean that you need more than one camera. One camera will suffice, but your lens choice could differ for each category. However, if you can narrow down to one category, your decision will be much easier.
I recommend that you test a camera out before you purchase one. Consider how a camera feels in your hands, and carry it around with you for several hours. I once recommended a certain camera to a student where money was not an object. She tried it out and then went with a less expensive camera because it was smaller and fit in her small hand frame much better.
Beginners who want to learn the basics photography can learn with any DSLR camera.
A used camera or an entry-level type camera will do the trick and help save money. A cropped sensor camera made by any of the main camera manufacturers will work just fine.
More serious hobbyists who would like to pursue photography past the amateur level should consider a higher end full frame camera. Those who are starting a photography business or upgrading their business will find a full frame camera will provide more satisfying results in low light. On the other hand, if one is pursuing landscapes only, a good tripod will enable one to capture images using a low ISO, where noise will not be an issue.
Mirrorless cameras keep getting better and better. As of this last blog post, Sony has released their newest full frame camera, the a7iii, for under $2000. (body only). It is definitely worth taking a look at it. At only 22 ounces, it can be a great choice for travel.
There are so many choices now for camera models, but the choice is yours.
Read the five blog posts, test cameras, and read reviews and you are on your way to owning a new camera.
Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you have enjoyed this series. If you would like more information about private lessons or one of my destination workshops, please contact me.