How Much Money Are You Spending on Photography Gear?

Camera equipment is quite expensive, and investing in a new body or lens is no small decision. If that is something you are currently considering, this fantastic video will give you a lot of perspective on both the purchasing process and what we really need as photographers.

Coming to you from Maarten Heilbron, this great video discusses his perspective on the cost of camera equipment and where we should put our money. Most of us would love to have all the latest and greatest gear, of course; after all, new cameras and lenses are fun things to nerd out over. But they are not cheap at all, so most of us can't just drop the money down whenever we want some new gear. For the hobbyist, this is merely a question of personal budget, but for the professional, it is a bit trickier when you are balancing the cost of the investment versus the potential revenue it will bring you or improvements in your workflow. It is also important to consider where you put your money; we often think of a new camera first, but often, a better lens or another piece of gear will do more good. Check out the video above for Heilbron's full thoughts. 

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27 Comments

David Love's picture

At least the cameras and lens will last you a long time. Modifiers and lighting are the real killers.

Ben Harris's picture

Came here to say the same thing

"How Much Money Are You Spending on Photography Gear?
"

This year, not a dime till everything settles. If there is a 2nd wave there will be another lockdown and no work. So im preparing to save and prepare (eill start saving canned foods toilet paper water etc) whatever I can to pass autumn. better this 2nd time then the way I (and most others) I was able to in this first wavr. If it doesn't come then I can use the items.
Not 1 cent on photography equipment

In fb forums people are posting. No likes no questions about the gear. No ones buying. People are not certain they'll even have a job to go back to as companies may go bankrupt

Jon Kellett's picture

I was spending big late last year and early this... Then the pandemic hit.

I spent $11,000NZ in the six months to Feb.

No regrets at all, but then again photography isn't where I make my money.

if you spent 11000 in 6 months, im not worried about you. youll be ok in this finance crisis ;)

Jon Kellett's picture

TBH, it kinda got away from me.... The camera (Sony A7r III) was on special (save $500), the 24-105 then went on special a week later (save $500), then I decided on where my next trip was and discovered that I'd need more reach than 400mm on the Panasonic G9 so purchased a Sony 200-600 (only ~$3300). Add in a flash (~$450) and various accessories, then memory cards went on special...

Yeah... I've got a problem! And a very understanding fiance!

Ben Harris's picture

None. All my money is going into murder hornet repellent.

Michael Kormos's picture

And I thought I was the only one doing that.

The inevitable Murder Hornet photography trend will flood the market with used equipment.

True the gear is expensive, but for the time being I have all that I need.

It's as expensive as you want it to be. Bought my E-M5II for just €500 a few years ago second hand. Last week bought the 75mm F/1.8 second hand as new for just €350. But you don't need expensive stuff to be creative and make awesome photo's. Just a lot of time and talent.

true, at one point I was attempting to adapt older Canon lens to the new M6 but found it very difficult to manipulate the lens settings having bad hands.

Lee Christiansen's picture

The more time I have on my hands, the more time I have to try out trial softwares, and the more I try - the more I want... Will the madness never end... :)

Time to fly the Jolly Rodger?

I'm a pro photographer, so as little so i can eat something from time to time, as much as my GAS needs me to. I highly envy amateurs that they don't need to calculate everything as much, grab leicas to make pics of pets and kids, or shoots bricks with random cameras and debates about corner sharpness

Robert Teague's picture

Sigh, never ending cycle ... I'm waiting on 2 Nikon lenses to be released or in stock - 70-200 2.8 S and 20 1.8 S .... then next year, the Z8. ............................

As much as possible, as little as necessary (c)

David Cannon's picture

I’m not spending anything right now as my monthly revenue over the past two months has been down some 80%. If I have even somewhat consistent work over the next few months, I’ll likely buy 1-2 Canon R5 bodies. If it’s 45 megapixels it will be 50-100% more resolution than I normally need, and with the 12-20fps shooting, it would be a camera body that I wouldn’t need to replace for likely 6-8 years.

David Pavlich's picture

Only ink, paper, and wood.

Alex: As always, kind thanks for your interest and support, greatly appreciated.

Troy Straub's picture

Congrats on the 100,000 subscribers Maarten! I love your videos, your review of the GX-85 was a big part of my decision to get it. Thanks Two years later and I still love it!

As far as how much I spend I'm just a hobbiest so I look for values and sometime buy used. I also figure with the amount I save on film and not developing bad shots I can afford a new piece of hardware now and then, especially when I find a deal.

Not enough, wish i could spend more.... :)

In the current economic climate the Japanese camera industry may need to "brush-up their image" by supporting their customers. Each camera company with an Achilles heel. For example Fujifilm X series with no affordable telephoto prime lenses. Higher camera prices with US tariffs on Chinese assembled cameras? The perfect storm.

giorgos karampotakis's picture

Trips are even more expensive hahahha ,this cost is really subject for all of us .For my case i spend the money when i feel the need to renew my aspect . Every 2-3 years i spend around 1000 dollars for my needs to lenses or camera body .Τhe next big change will be the Sigma F1,8 14mm and i will have everything i need from lenses with my 24-120 nikkor and my 50mm f1,8g and d610 it will suit perfect .

CIPA stats for march was very bad but for april and may will be much worse. jan/feb people were buying because no one realized how bad it was going to be or some thought it was similar to a flu or whatever. part of march people went into lockdown mode and that when you see the dip. but april hasnt come and that will be a massive drop.

they arent lowering prices. its not enticing to buy and people are in hunkered down survival mode. people panic bought and spent on things they thought theyd need while being locked up.no one is buying at all.

in our fb photography groups. people post tons of equipment for good (starting) prices and no comments no question no likes nothing. no one knows what will be.

many people will not even be going back to work because till they start seeing business pick up, they dont need the whole staff. some will be required to hire back everyone if they took the govt aid. but there will be a lot of bankruptcies and a lot of lay offs.

its not going to be "yay business are open lets go back" many lay offs

Barry Fontaine's picture

$40,000 in the last year. Camera, tripod, lenses, monitors, wireless audio. Changed video systems from Canon Cinema to Sony FS5/7. Nothing getting spent this year. Nothing!

Ben Harris's picture

I still love Canon for photography, but the Sony FS line is just a better system to use in my experience.