So, you have decided to upgrade your camera. This is a big decision, but is it really necessary? I know you want a new camera, but do you really need it? In this video, Maarten Heilbron will give you some fantastic tips to help you decide whether you really need a new piece of gear. Ad if you do – how you should choose it.
Once you have decided to buy a new camera, the choice before you can be overwhelming. Especially if you’re jumping from a compact camera or a smartphone to a DSLR or mirrorless. But before you spend a few hundred bucks, here’s a pretty simple question to ask yourself:
Do you already have a camera?
This can be, as I sad, a smartphone or a compact camera. If you have it, do you use it regularly? And what’s wrong with it that makes you want to change it? I’ll give you my own example from when I bought my first DSLR. I used a crappy compact camera, and I didn’t even have a smartphone back then. I wanted to take photos with blurred background, control the settings myself and play with long exposures. I wasn’t able to do any of that with the compact camera I used at the time, so I bought my first DSLR and it opened up a whole new world for me.
If you’re not exactly sure what’s wrong with your current camera, use it more. Carry it with you, shoot with it all the time. This way you’ll figure out what it lacks that makes you buy a new one. And now ask yourself: what will the new camera do that the old one won’t?
Gear does matter when it comes to technical aspects. But otherwise, remember that you should rather think about light, composition, and ideas, not about owning a fancy camera and lenses. Still, if you’re a professional, a higher-quality camera can have some features that can be a deal-breaker for your job. In this case, ask yourself exactly what features your new camera needs to have. If you have a specific photographic goal in mind (sport, timelapse, weddings, etc.), make sure that the camera has a set of features that can support it.
At the end of the video, Maarten gives a few tips to help you choose the best camera for you. If you’ve narrowed down the choice, it’s always good to rent the camera you have in mind for a few days and try it out. But if this is not possible, for whichever reason, download the manual and read the fine print, as Maarten suggests.
When you are buying a camera, make sure that it fits in your hand comfortably. You’ll spend a lot of time holding it, so you want it to be comfortable and easy to use. Therefore, also make sure that controls you’re going to use regularly are positioned so that you can access them quickly and easily. Personally, I find Nikon most intuitive in this regard, but it’s totally a matter of personal preference and logic. Many photographers I know don’t find Nikon intuitive at all.
Finally, listen to your heart. A brand or design can make you fall in love with your camera, and this is not something to be disregarded. Take all technical aspects into consideration and narrow your choice down. But then, choose the camera that your guts tell you to buy, I believe it won’t be a mistake.