Making The Right Choice – The Right Decision And Not A Choice You Will Regret A Month Later
It is not unusual to have people asking me questions about what camera they should buy. I am usually glad they take the time to ask because a wrong decision could be not only expensive but a disaster as well.
I always have a bunch of questions for those who ask me about what to buy and those questions can help me help them make a possible choice or decision.
First I want to know what kind of camera they use now. Phone, point and shoot, Dslr, etc.
Second is what their real budget is.
Third is the need to know what kind of photography they are going to concentrate on. Of course the answer is usually “everything”. I know that eventually everything will become several favorites kinds of photography. It is not unusual for people starting out and even some experienced photographers not having a real handle on what they like most as types of photography. My two favorite types of photography are macro and street photography. And as I always tell students, it’s okay to have favorites but it is smart to also work out of their comfort zones in order to expand their personal knowledge base.
Fourth is how important electronic flash will be or is to their overall needs. I know that might sound like a strange question because all systems use flash. But in reality Nikon and Canon have the best TTL systems in the market place as of this writing. Personally I prefer to use my flashes manually and that comes with experimenting, learning until you master the lights you are using. That may sound like a forever project, but it is not. But for those who want to do a lot of flash work with a lot of multiple flash units pretty much automated then the two systems noted above are the ones.
If I am able to make the right decisions based on the answers I get that still does not mean what I have recommended would be correct. The only way to determine that after all is said and done is go to your favorite local camera store and try the camera or cameras on to make sure they have the right fit. Is it comfortable in your hand. Is it comfortable look through the viewfinder or the LCD on the back. Do all of the controls seem simple enough for you work them or are there too many buttons in a confusing layout? If there are a lot of buttons how easy is it to use them when the camera is up to your eye. Is the shutter button, in the right place so your finger falls comfortably on it to fire the camera? You should not have to grope for any of the controls to make the camera work. Try the autofocus. Does it lock on the subject fast enough. Try manual focus. Are their viewfinder/lcd aids to make the focus easier?
Of course this is a lot of stuff to check on and in reality even though your dealer is more than willing to work with you or should be, only some actual hands on field time are going to make the real difference in determining if this camera is for you.
Many years ago there were a lot fewer cameras on the market and those that were in the market had very few features. Today there are way too many models to choose from and a lot more options on and in the cameras to deal with.
In this day and age we are all very fortunate to be able to rent cameras and lenses and have them delivered to your favorite camera store for pick up. In our area which is northern Virginia we have a great speciality store, PhotoCraft in Burke Va. where your rental can be sent by a very good company called borrowlens.com and by renting you can really make a very educated decision.
Good luck with your next purchases whether it be a brand new camera in your first system camera, an upgrade within your system, or with switching your system from a heavy Dslr to a lightweight mirrorless system.