All Fstoppers Tutorials on Sale!

Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Purchasing a Camera

Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Purchasing a Camera

Buying a new camera is exciting! Yes, it's often a work item for most of us, but it's a fun tech toy as well, and getting to play with all the latest features can be awesome. However, it's easy to make mistakes as a buyer, and this great video outlines pitfalls to watch for when you're getting ready to pull out your wallet.

Coming to you from John Greengo, this helpful video outlines ten things to keep in mind when you're excitedly perusing new cameras online to ensure you end up with the correct solution for you.

Personally, I would also add that it's important to make sure you're properly budgeting money for high-quality glass. I would take a better lens attached to a lesser camera than vice versa in the vast majority of situations, and unless you absolutely need a specific capability offered by a higher-end body, you'll get better images out of the former combination than the latter. In that vein, be really honest with yourself about what features you specifically need; it's easy to get caught up in the gee-whiz nature of photo and video equipment, but always be sure to distinguish novelty from genuine need. 

Lead image by Photo Mix, used under Creative Commons.

Log in or register to post comments


Kim Ginnerup's picture

I totally agree. Orne concern when I bought mine last time.
Weight and size. I stood there with a nice Nikon and I really liked it. But I new deep down, that the size of it would make a camera that would stay in the hotel room.
For me that was a very important point. For others it may not be.

chrisrdi's picture

Took me 10 years to figure that out because i'm an idiot. I got my feet wet in the mirror less market with the fuji xe-1 and i'm not looking back. The image quality on that thing for it's size is incredible. I have it with me every where i go now.

stir photos's picture

Absolutely agree with this. I'd go a little further and say that in some instances a better computer and/or monitor might even be a wiser choice than a new body... Maybe? And yes, yes, yes, better glass is so important and in most instances (or maybe just a lot) a much better investment than a new body.

Elan Govan's picture

There is something to be said about buying from the same camera manufacturer as a close friend and the benefit of sharing lenses, speedlites, remote etc. Trying to build a camera system all by oneself is always going to be costly. I share my Canon Speedlite with a friend and he borrows the lens from another. Of course, not everyone would prefer this idea.

Ralph Hightower's picture

I've been shooting film since 1980 with my Canon A-1. In December 2012, I talked my wife out of buying a DSLR when I found her budget was a Canon T3i since I thought that would probably be my last DSLR. But in July 2013, I talked her into me buying a used Canon New F-1.
I've been doing research on the Canon DSLR models and I created a spreadsheet with the features that I own and want to match. The A-1 and F-1 with their respective motor drives shoot 6 FPS, both are full frame; the closest match was the Canon 5D III.
December 2013, she asked "What do you think of this package" on Amazon; it was a 5D III with a cheapy tripod, 24-105 f4L, battery grip, SD card, and two extra batteries. I said "Let me check B&H". I didn't need the Amazon tripod since I bought a new one in 2012. I found a similar package at B&H for $500 less; it had a UV filter and polarizer (which I use), a camera bag (I think Amazon had one also), a wireless remote release (which I don't use that often), a battery grip with two extra batteries, and an SD card.
But reading the review sites and, one can get into "Analysis Paralysis" and do nothing but wait for the newer release. It took my wife to get me out of that paralysis mode.

Michael Yearout's picture

Good advice, Alex, that is often not heeded.