It’s time I made a confession……
I’m not very interested in cameras. Or lenses. Or flashes and other lighting gear.
Actually I tell I a little lie, I am interested in certain lenses. I love my Lensbaby and all its different optics and you’ve probably noticed how much I’ve been raving over my lovely vintage lens. But I love those because they allow me to express myself creatively in way that other lenses don’t.
But the rest, I’m just not that interested.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a great camera as well as all the equipment I need to do my job. I’d be desperately upset if something happened to my camera. But its a tool, it serves me well but could be replaced if necessary.
So why am I telling you this?
Because the one question I get asked more than anything else in emails, Facebook messages and face to face is “What camera should I buy?”. And it leaves me stumped. Every single time.
There are so many photography related questions I could answer easily but that’s not one of them. And that’s because I don’t really care about the camera. I care about the final image and the creative process but I’m not so interested in the tools that get me there. That’s not to say my camera wasn’t a carefully considered decision because it was, or at least my first DSLR was.
I don’t keep up to date with all the new photographic developments or the latest camera models so I wouldn’t dream of telling anyone what camera they should buy. I can however share five tips that might be useful if you are choosing a camera:
- Decide on your budget, there are cameras out there to suit every budget. Spending more money may well buy you a better camera but depending on where you are in your own photographic journey you may not benefit from the extra capabilities.
- Do a little research online so that you have some idea of what is available in your budget.
- Keep to one of the better known brands, chances are they will be more reliable and in the unlikely event that you have any problems the after sales service should be good.
- Think about buying a model that’s just been replaced. These are usually quite heavily discounted and offer great value money. Its highly likely that you wouldn’t make use of the additional features on the newer model so you won’t be missing out.
- Go to a camera shop, talk to a real person who can give you some advice. Make sure you hold the camera, try out the controls if you can. It may sound strange but some cameras will feel better in your hands than others.
For anyone that is really interested I use the Sony A99 with a variety of lenses. My choice of lens depends on what I’m shooting but for much of the food and still life photography that you see here and on Instagram I use a Sigma 50mm f2.8 macro lens.
And I use Sony because I followed the advice I’ve shared above when choosing my first DSLR. I narrowed my choice down within my budget, went to a camera shop and bought a Sony A350 because it felt right.
Do feel free to get in touch with questions, I do like to hear from people and at least now you won’t be surprised if I don’t give an in depth answer to a gear related question!