13 Feb What camera should you buy: Questions to ask yourself before you spend a dime
What camera should you buy? This is a question I am sure every young or new aspiring photographer has asked at one time or another. I know for sure I see it in forums and Facebook groups weekly and sometimes daily. The same answers always follow, and everyone starts naming their favorite camera brand.
Consider a few things before buying a camera
Before asking what camera you should buy, maybe you should consider a few other questions first. Many people invest in equipment, only to fail at pursuing photography seriously, and then let the equipment collect dust or sell it for a major loss. I want to help you avoid this scenario by asking you the questions below.
1. Have you done your research?
Research is the key to starting your journey into photography. Before you jump into making a purchase or investment in a camera and equipment, do your research online for ideas and recommendations from camera manufacturers.
You can also check out blog posts from 2 of my favorite Photography blogs: fstoppers.com and petapixel.com. There is so much more than just taking photos when it comes to photography. Learn more about all aspects and see if you are ready to learn.
2. What type of photography are you interested in?
If you had a huge budget at your fingertips, what type of photography would you shoot? Would you consider doing landscapes, portraits, or weddings? All these photography types are a lot of fun but require cameras and lenses that are unique to all.
Yes, you can find many that overlap when it comes to the camera body, but you will want to do your research on lenses and how they can affect your work. I wanted to do more portraits and on a tight budget, I started with the Sony a7.
3. What’s your budget?
Once you have decided on what type of photography you would like to shoot, you will need to sit down and figure out a budget. I personally believe that photography can be an expensive hobby, but don’t let that distract you from jumping into the industry.
My biggest recommendation would be to visit a local camera shop with some ideas in mind on how much you would like to spend. Ask questions and get recommendations from the professionals and see what they have to say.
4. Is this a hobby or a business venture?
This question can mean the difference between a few hundred dollars, and a few thousand dollars. If you are looking to keep this a hobby, in the long run, you can actually find some great starter camera kits at local electronic stores.
If you leaning towards making photography more of a business or side job, I highly recommend investing in good professional equipment. Either way, just keep that in mind when making your first purchase.
5. Have you tried renting first?
Yes, it is possible to rent cameras and lenses online before you buy. Renting allows you to try different camera kits and see what works best for you. The equipment is delivered to your door, and you simply return on the designated date in a prepaid package.
You can rent from companies like Lensrentals.com, Borrowlenses.com and more.
6. What other equipment will you need?
Cameras and lenses are usually the first major purchases when diving into photography. Sometimes people are gifted cameras and you start your hobby from there.
Think about camera protection with camera straps and camera covers. Also, you are going to need memory cards, extra batteries and maybe even off-camera flash units with triggers.
Stock image via Pexels.com
7. How will you edit your photos?
Shooting photos are fun, especially when you are in a cool location and you’re having a great time. What many new photographers do not think about is post-production work. Taking your photos from your camera and loading them on your computer for post-processing and editing.
Many new computers can handle the job of working with RAW or JPG files, but you will need to consider pricing for photography software.
Inspire not discourage
Photography can be rather expensive. Shooting film can also be costly. Even with that fact, I still want you to find a way to fall in love with photography. It is a beautiful art form that is loved and cherished by amateurs and professionals all over the world.
I hope you find this article helpful and wish you the best on your journey.
Sony Cameras for Portrait Photography:
Sony a7iii Mirrorless Camera – 3rd Generation Sony Mirrorless Camera
Sony a7ii Mirrorless Camera w/IBIS – 2nd Generation Sony Mirrorless Camera
The Sony A7 Mirrorless Camera – Great full-frame starter camera for beginners
Sony Lenses for Portraits:
Sony 85mm f1.4 G-Master – Best 85mm portrait lens
Batis 85mm f1.8 – Lightweight 85mm portrait lens
Sony 85mm f1.8 – Smallest 85mm portrait lens
Sony Zeiss 55mm f1.8 – Small, sharp, lightweight portrait lens (my favorite lens)
The Sony 50mm f1.8 – Cheap starter nifty fifty
The Sony Zeiss 35mm f1.4 – Great wide option for portraits and lifestyle images
Sony 24-70 G-Master f2.8 – Sharp and versatile zoom lens
Sony 24-105 G Lens f4.0 – One of the best zooms for Sony
The Sony 70-200 G-Master Lens f2.8 – Long range telephoto zoom
More Photography Learning Articles
- No plans, no excuses: Just go shoot
- Trade for Photos or TFP shoots and why you should do them as a beginner
- Best advice for new photographers
- Invest in photography skills before investing in more equipment
- Portraits of her: 7 tips for working with Models on TFP shoots
- Building a Photography Portfolio: What I wish people knew from the start
- My Camera Bag: I do love my Sony camera gear