Most first-time camera buyers ask around a lot and do a lot of research before making their first (or second) camera purchase. They’re justified in their concern. They should not end up buying something that is a bad choice.
I’m here to bring good news to all first-time camera buyers…
There Aren’t Any More ‘BAD’ Cameras
That’s because digital photography has matured and is the dominant way of capturing images.
Digital cameras are no longer in the experimental phase. They’re now solidly established in terms of technology, and as a result, you’d be hard-pressed to find any DSLR camera made in the last 5 years that is a ‘bad’ buy.
There are good imaging sensors everywhere! On phones, on Micro 4/3 cameras, on APS-C & Full-Frame DSLR, and Mirrorless cameras.
In short, you would have to work very hard to find a camera that is demonstrably bad.
So, instead, let’s look at how to find a camera that is the best fit for you:
How Should A Beginner Photographer Choose A Camera?
- Decide how much money you want to spend on your camera gear at this point in time.
- Pick a brand that you like: Nikon, Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus – they’re all good technically, and mechanically with only small differences between them. They’re all supported by major software players like Adobe, Capture One, etc.
- Don’t worry about the number of Megapixels the camera offers. Anything over 12 Megapixels has long been sufficient. Today, most cameras, including your cell phone’s front-facing camera, offer image files over 16 megapixels and often go as high as 108 Megapixels.
- Look at the range of lenses that the brand (or third-party lens-makers) offers. This is probably the most important part of the purchase because you’re going to want to expand your collection of lenses … possibly even before you outgrow your camera body. Believe me on this. Canon, Nikon, and Sony probably have the best lens collections available, but 3rd party manufacturers like Sigma, Tokina, Samyang, and others have collections of cheap, yet good-quality lenses too.
- Try out the ergonomics of the body you’re about to buy: Once you decide on a camera body based on the principles outlined above, try it out at a local camera store. They’ll most likely have a demo camera on display for customers to try out. If you like how it feels in your hand, then it’s all good… Go buy it!
- Don’t think about it anymore: Just buy it. Every possible choice is a ‘Good’ choice. Like I said before … there are no bad choices anymore. The more time you spend contemplating the good and bad aspects of each of the 15 cameras that you’ve picked out, the less time you have to take photographs, and that’s what you should be doing anyway!
Where to buy your Camera
Choose a retailer that you’re comfortable with. Go to their shop, and try out the camera if they have one on display… Once you’re happy with it, make the purchase.
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Published: April 12, 2017 | Last Updated: September 28, 2022