Help choose a camera is the most frequent request from beginner photoamateurs. Moreover, any professional admits that it is a very complex task. Indeed, a photographer should consider plenty of factors – budget, style preferences, immediate environment and further prospects of the photographic hobby.
Photo equipment is not cheap and in case of an ignorant choice there is a high chance to overpay. There is a common approach – choose a model you like within the amount of money that you feel comfartable to spare. This is the easiest option, but doesn’t guarantee that you will get what you really need, even having an unlimited budget.
Many people neglect the fact that optics is the key factor determining your range of possibilties and the quality of photograps. And it’s best to start the process with choosing lenses. Portrait, reportage, macro, landscape/architectural – these are only the most common lenses. At our “Basic photo course” we examine in detail all their features and characteristics. Even lenses within the same category and by one manufacturer can vary greatly in price. First of all, the сost is affected by the lens speed, which determines the amount of light that a lens is able to pass to the sensor without reduction. Also, lens speed indirectly affects all other characteristics of an image. My recommendation is the following – choose a specialized lens for your preferred genre. Get a faster and more expensive version only if you understand what do you need it for and if you can visually tell the difference between photos from two lenses in comparison. If the difference is not obvious, then at this stage the advantage in the lens class will not do you any good. In the future, a lens can always be updated: you can sell an old lens for a large percentage of the original cost, unlike cameras.
Overcome a temptation to buy many lenses at once if you want to stay within a budget. Take the lens for the most common purposes and get other lenses at a rental. There is a frequent miscalculation even among professional photographers who are eager to get a new tool for special shots, but then it turns out that equipment is so rarely used that it was unworthy to acquire it. Sometimes it is cheaper to rent.
If you don’t have any particular preferences yet, set aside some part of the sum for later, and for now choose a camera with a universal kit lens. It doesn’t have outstanding optical characteristics, but it is able to work in most genres.
Having decided on lenses, you may be able to cross some manufacturers off the list if they do not produce some specific lenses.
As for the cameras. If you are interested in photography and you want to take high-quality pictures, but do not plan to either become a professional photographer or shoot regularly, you can buy almost any camera with manual settings and the ability to change lenses.
If you plan to take a lot of photos, carry the camera around with you, be able to take pictures in a wide variety of situations, then you should consider the nuances and study in more detail the differences between the types of sensors, for example, by reading an article on choosing between a full frame or a crop. In various genres and conditions, cameras can offer a different set of advantages.
The size and weight of a camera can also be very important. A heavy camera can discourage from filming and can help achieve greater stability. If this question is relevant to you, study all the distinctions between DSLR cameras and their mirrorless counterparts.
If you have decided on the lenses, the type of camera and the size of the sensor, proceed to the choice of a specific model. And here again, proven advice will come in handy – do not overpay if you do not understand what you receive in return.
Another article “Canon or Nikon” can help you choose among different brands.
Moreover, before buying, try to test a camera, hold it in your hands. Sign up for a test drive, rent or borrow it for a day to see if it suits you.
Unfortunately, I have to admit that there is no simple and uniform advice on choosing a camera, but we listed all the factors that could affect the enjoyment of the purchase and operation as honestly as possible.
In addition, do not forget about accessories!