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Buying a Camera

Hints & Tips

Before purchasing a new camera some consideration should be given to your own needs and requirements as a photographer and the type of images you wish to take. Before going to any retail outlet it would be beneficial to do some research around the subject of cameras and what is available on the market. Developing a basic understanding about cameras and the terminology used will help you identify what you are looking for and enable you to recognise the features that are important to you.

Researching into what cameras and features are available will help you identify what is available on the market based on your budget and requirements. To save time when you visit a retail outlet, draw up a short list of cameras that match your requirements and contain the features that you require so that you can look at these in further detail.

When you visit the shop ask the assistant if you can handle each of the different models you wish to look at, from this you will be able to get a feel for each of the cameras and assess whether it is right for you. When handling the cameras think about your main requirements as a photographer, think about the weight and size of the camera, will it be suitable for your needs? The camera should feel comfortable to handle and all buttons or controls should be easily reachable.

Ask the assistant if it would be acceptable to take some pictures with the camera, from this you can assess how responsive the camera is and how well it takes a picture. With a digital camera you will be able to see an instant result on the LCD screen; from this you will be able to see the quality of the image on the LCD screen. Again if purchasing a digital camera ask the assistant if they can print a sample picture for you from the camera, you can assess from this the quality and brightness of the image.

When purchasing a SLR you will normally buy into a system. Most of the major brands design their SLR cameras to be used with a number of different types of lenses and accessories that fit only their models and makes of camera. This allows the photographer the opportunity to develop and adapt their camera to enable them to try different techniques and achieve differing images. As an SLR system can be adapted with different accessories, such as lenses or flashes, then you should consider which system, for example Nikon or Canon, you wish to buy into as changing at a later date can prove costly.

After you have made your final decision regarding which camera you wish to purchase it may prove beneficial to shop around for the best deal. There are many camera stores, retail outlets and online retailers that sell cameras and many have discounts or offers on throughout the year and spending some time searching for the best deal could save you some money.