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5 questions you should ask when choosing a camera to avoid disappointment

You're in lockdown, you're probably a bit bored and extremely fed up! You have maybe considered taking up a new hobby, or learning something new, you might have considered photography...

We all have a camera in the palm of our hands these days (phones really are incredible!) but if you wish to delve a little deeper into the glorious ocean that is the art of photography, we would like to help!

Choosing a camera can be daunting, especially if you are new to photography. We often have messages about what's a 'good' camera to get, so just for you here's 5 questions to ask when you are thinking about purchasing a camera for the first (or second or tenth!) time:

1. When are you most likely to use your camera?

Knowing when you will use your camera can help you choose the best camera for you or help a photo sales assistant to best help you. If you want to travel a lot, the weight of your camera may be something you need to consider, or if you want to take photographs of wildlife, the sound of the camera’s shutter may be something you look at (you don’t want to scare away animals!). At the beginning you may not know where your photography journey will take you, so just try to think about what you will use your camera for most to start off with.

2. What is your price range?

Camera prices can vary drastically! The top of the range cameras will be the highest price, but don’t forget you may also want to spend some of your budget on other things such as lenses or tripods. This is where you need to think again about what you are most likely to use your camera for. Do you want to become a top end commercial photographer? And if so, do you have the funds currently to purchase the latest high-spec model? Camera brands often do a range within their DSLR selection that range from beginner to pro, so if your budget is lower you can always start on a beginner DSLR, which for everyday shooting you will not be able to see any difference between that and the pro range! Or, if it’s not a DSLR you are after, you can look at Bridge cameras, which are more compact and lighter than DSLR cameras.

3. How will you use your photos?

What do you want to do with your photos once they are taken? Are they to print out for personal use to display in the home? Or do you want to move into advertising and have your photos on billboards? You will have seen things like megapixels and sensor size I’m sure if you have previously done some research, so here’s a simple guide to what that means for your camera choice:

4. What can you carry?

It’s no good having the biggest camera and heaviest gear if you can’t carry these around! When looking for your camera, try to hold them if possible, or ask to see a friend’s camera. I started off with a heavy camera and a couple of years later switched to a lighter one, as it was easier for me to travel around with. If you’re unable to hold a larger camera it is not only your comfort you are risking, but also reduced quality from camera shake due to not being able to support your equipment.

5. Will this camera grow with you?

Unless you have the funds to purchase new cameras when you want to try something new, you will want to find a camera than is versatile enough to help you learn, and also to help you progress your photography practice. Your camera can support your growing practice in the following ways:

  • By having manual mode – allowing you to practice adjusting your settings

  • By having interchangeable lenses – allowing you to purchase specialist lenses going forward

  • By having video capability – allowing you to move into videography if you choose to

If in doubt, ask a professional at a camera shop to assist with your choice.

Follow us on Instagram for more tips, inspiration and follow us on our journey as photographers.

Rachel & Jim

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