My advise for when looking to buy a new camera

Due to the rapid pace of technology you can now get great images from many cameras that will not break the bank or on a simple budget.

The first thing before you start your search is to ask yourself what do you want to shoot specifically? If you are unsure or can’t make up your mind go and take a look at what you have shot most of the time in the past. This will help you determine the camera that you should purchase.

Also ask yourself some truthful questions: Are you buying that 5DIII to impress yourself or others? Do you really need the functionality the 5DIII offers over a different camera? Now days the argument between crop and full frame sensor is negligible. The difference starts when you jump to medium format and larger. If you need more proof of this statement I suggest you watch the following Clip from Zack Arias: http://youtu.be/PHYidejT3KY

Also the days of being a generalist are over. To make it now and make any money to help pay for gear you will need to pick something to specialize in and be the best you can at it. Once you have that down and make money then worry about other types of photography. This means spend your money where you will make the most money with your skills.

Here are some suggestions based on specialty:

  • If you want to do wildlife and/or sports then go with Canon. The 7D and L lenses will be the best you can get until you afford a 1D body.
  • If you are going to do landscapes and portraiture work then Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, and Fuji will do all that very well.
  • If you are going to do any street photography or photojournalism then go with Fuji or Olympus.

Make sure you go into your local camera store and pick up the gear and feel it in your hands too. You need to be comfortable with the  camera too. For example, if you are traveling a lot and buy a large DLSR and you have back problems (like me) then you are going to hate carrying the weight of the body or two plus several large and heavy lenses around with you. It will take away from the enjoyment of shooting.

In the end though it’s not about gear. As Ansel Adams has said, “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it!”. This means Photography is 90% Human and 10% Camera. If you don’t have the knowledge and skills down then no camera will make your images better in the end.

Thanks for reading

Jason