Buying a new camera is exciting, no matter if you’re a newbie or a professional. Still, people often end up with a camera that doesn’t suit their needs. In this great video, John Greengo shares ten most common mistakes people make when choosing the camera. It will help you get well prepared for your next purchase and choose the ideal piece of gear for you. I suggest you also share it with your friends who are buying a camera for the first time and asking you for recommendations.
1. Bad advice
People often ask for an advice from those they trust. A lot of my friends turn to me when they want to buy their first DSLR, and it’s difficult for me to be objective since I’ve only owned Nikon cameras. The truth is that most people will recommend what they own or have owned before because it’s something familiar to them and they find it ideal for their needs. But, it may be different from your needs, so always take these recommendations with a grain of salt.
2. Underestimating money needed for certain genre
You need to be realistic about your budget and what you can get for it. For example, if your budget is $1,000, don’t think you can work, for example, as a professional sports photographer.
3. Reality doesn’t match ambitions
Before buying a camera, you many people don’t really think about what they really want to do. This can lead to wrong decisions when it comes to buying the camera and lenses. So, figure out what you really want to do, and then buy the gear accordingly.
4. Getting distracted by “special deals”
You’ll often see a lot of “special deals” where a camera is packed with a bunch of other items. Don’t get distracted by these, as they may often be the items you don’t actually need.
5. Overthinking unimportant items
When buying a camera, people often focus on the items that are completely unimportant for their work. Greengo points out that every camera has a weakness. But, as long as it has the features you need for your work, it’s going to be fine and your work won’t suffer.
6. Thinking more money will solve the problem
Even if you have a lot of money, it doesn’t mean you should start from the most expensive gear there is, especially if you’re a beginner. As Greengo puts it, it’s like having a 16-year-old kid buying a Lamborghini. Start with something more basic, learn, and upgrade the gear as you upgrade your skills. Buying gear gradually as your skills grow is a good way of learning.
7. Not counting in all the accessories
When people determine the budget, they often only include the camera, and maybe a lens too if they buy a bundle. This especially happens with those who are just stepping into the world of photography. I remember this was my mistake when I was buying my first DSLR. Basically, buying a camera doesn’t only include the body. You need a lens, an extra battery, memory cards, and a tripod to begin with. No matter how much money you’re willing to give, keep in mind that camera is 40-60% of your overall budget, as Greengo says in the video.
8. Being overly concerned about online reviews
Other than asking friends for recommendations, people also read online reviews of the gear. Just like your friend’s opinion, keep in mind that the reviews often aren’t entirely subjective. Some people like (or don’t like) certain cameras for whichever reason, so make sure to at least read several of different reviews before making the decision.
9. Not doing the research
This is a very common mistake among the buyers of all kinds. Even after hearing a lot of different options, you need to research yourself. Greengo says people often just buy the highest-rated camera or the one someone recommended. As I mentioned before, this isn’t necessarily a good solution, so make sure to do the research yourself.
10. Believing that good camera takes good photos
Photographers know how many times people say their photos are beautiful and then immediately ask “What camera are you using?” We can argue about how much the gear really matters, but the fact is that many newbies believe it’s a good camera that makes a good photo. Greengo says people in the store often ask him “What’s the best camera?” or “What’s the most expensive camera?” and make a decision based on that. Then, they get disappointed when their photos don’t turn out like those wonderful images they saw online.
Thorough as I am, I defined my needs, did the research and read tons of reviews before buying all of my gear. Still, I managed to mess up when it came to estimating the budget for accessories. Have you made any of these mistakes when you were buying a camera, especially your first one?