Updated: Dec 8, 2020
Trade that camera-buying stress for confidence now! I've felt that stress, I totally have, but let me tell you, tip #5 was a literal life saver for me!
I was so overwhelmed
The first time I did an entire gear revamp took me over 10 months to research, plan, and finance (10 MONTHS!!!). So because I love you, I've narrowed the process down into 5 simple steps that'll help you feeling more confident when you hit "purchase" on that hunk of pixels.
Preface: Know your why
Before you go to buy a new camera, consider what your current camera's problem is. I find that sometimes we feel the ned to buy a new camera simply because that's what we think the next step is in your business.
Is there an issue you need solved? Let that be your main guide in researching what camera is best for you.
For me, I shot on a crop frame Nikon D3200 for 4 years as I started out my professional photography business. It's worth is around $80 now, but I took some of my absolute FAVORITE pictures to this day on that camera!
I always live by the rule that the best camera is the one you have. If it fits your needs, stick with it! Learn the in's and out's of it, and use it to your best advantage, but once the camera starts to hinder your work, that's when an upgrade is needed. My Nikon was great for the first years of my business, but I wanted something with more focusing points, a quicker shutter as mine was starting to glitch, and I wanted a full frame body.
01. Do your research
So, once you've concluded that you are in fact in need of a camera, my first source of research is always with other photographers that I trust. I value a personal testimonial more than an online one, because let's be real, there will always be haters. I like to ask questions about why they chose their camera, issues they've encountered with it, or features that they can't live without!
Ask multiple people, and then go to the internet to binge watch videos and check out prices. It's totally normal to have a budget; there's a camera out there for every price range!
02. Stay objective when reading reviews
Many people will have particularities when reviewing a camera. I was so shocked when I read a review that rated 1 star because the shutter dial didn't rotate! People can be picky, but as you read, make note to what is really important to you.
When you buy from a big name brand, you're guaranteed functionality. But when it comes down to preference on size, weight, speed, and aesthetic, you'll get every spectrum of opinion.
If price is the biggest limiting factor for you, you can always go used or refurbished if you buy from a trusted source. ALWAYS make sure that your camera has been tested and doesn't have any big issues that would be a hassle to fix.
03. Test out cameras in person
This step saved me the MOST. Get that camera in your hands!! I repeat, get it in your hands and work it.
Check out the local camera store or rent the model you're looking at, but don't buy based off of reviews alone. Pay attention to how the camera feels in your hand. Look through the menu, is it intuitive and organized in a way that you like? How about the way the image looks after you've taken a picture? Did you notice the different look each lens gives you when used with that camera body?
04. Choose a brand you want to invest in
You'll be purchasing batteries, lenses, specialty equipment... so make sure you like where that brand is headed. I always live by the rule of buying less for a higher quality of service rather than buying as much as I can for cheap.
You can always switch brands but there are more costs involved when buying completely new gear. I learned that the hard way! I started out with Nikon and made the switch to Canon, mainly because I liked where Canon was going with their mirrorless line of cameras!
05. Protect that bad boy
If you've skimmed and read nothing else, just give me this one- time to tune back in! I promise you won't regret it. So, you've done all your research, you've tested the camera out, and now you think you've got the camera you want... don't head out the store just yet!
I bought my camera Feb 2020, and beginning of March 2020 I was in a serious car crash involving a SEMI TRUCK. Crazy right? Protect your camera. It does no good to invest in a new body without legit protection when so many things can go wrong.
I have a killer camera bag that cushioned my camera against the crash, and a 3 year warranty on the camera body. Do yourself a huge huge favor now, invest a little more into your camera, and keep it safe!
You've done it!!
These 5 tips are must-haves
You just worked through another blog post! Pat on the BACK! These tips and tricks are things that I've learned over years of work.
My goal? Simple: gift to you what I wish someone had gifted to me.
It's hard to pave the way, and it's even harder to learn from mistakes, but I'm here, rose lemonade in hand, ready to give!
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