Photography start from buy yourself a camera, regardless it is a phone camera, PAS, mirrorless or DSLR. Nowadays, camera had become more and more common and cheaper in the market, if you are new to the camera market then you may be buried in the sea of camera. There are Leica, Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, and many other brands in the market now. Each of them has its own good and bad. That’s the reason that people always confused themselves – which camera brand is better? Which camera performs better? So, will you get the answer from this post? No, I’m not going to tell you which camera is the best or which brand is the most preferable but I will give you some guides to assist you to list out your criteria yourself.
Photography isn’t a cheap entertainment. It isn’t something like, oh, it is just to buy a camera and that’s it. No, when you are serious in photography, you may want more than just a camera.
You will think that you need an extra battery, faster memory card, and maybe a tripod? If you bought a PAS in the beginning, you may start looking for an APS-C or even a full frame camera when you become a more advanced photographer. Once you get the better camera, you will look further for a better lens and it will be the beginning to cost you an arm and a leg (or even more than that).
So never spend you entire budget to a camera. Keep some spare money is always a wise action. Check the prices of the extra battery, external charger, memory card, tripod, camera bag, and so on, then deduct those costs from your budget, the leftover will be your “actual budget” for your camera.
What is your purpose to buy a new camera? First camera? Replacement? Backup?
If you want a camera to shot during your travelling or journey, then a lightweight camera like PAS or mirrorless may be your choice. It is because you have to enjoy your travel, a lightweight camera allows you to carry a whole day without much effort or tiredness.
If you are an enthusiast, choose the one with larger sensor like 4/3 or APS-C with interchangeable-lens capable. You have the joy to try and explore on different lenses especially the prime lens (you may love it or hate it) and have more user controls in the aperture, shutter speed, exposure, DOF (Depth of View) and etc. Full frame camera is not a must because it may cost too much to an enthusiast.
If you are going to run a business then it is definitely a must to use a DSLR (most likely will be full frame). Let’s imagine, if you go to a photography shop to take portrait or hiring one of them as an event photographer (wedding, sport, etc.), then what do you feel when you see the photographer use a PAS or mirrorless to do the job? Yea, you got the feel right? I didn’t say all the DSLR IQ are on top of the mirrorless or PAS because full frame also available in PAS and mirrorless, but I mean the feel. DSLR always give people a “wow”, this photographer is a professional!
So please be clear with yourself otherwise you might regret that why you get something doesn’t fit your purpose.
3. RAW Capable
RAW format is the very useful and recommended image format.Usually almost all the mirrorless and DSLR are RAW-capable. However, if you intend to buy a PAS (point and shoot) then it is better to choose the one which is RAW-capable. You may not know the advantages of using RAW yet but having a RAW-capable camera is always a bonus. You will appreciate that you bought a RAW-capable camera when you need it or just realized how powerful it is.
4. After-Sale Services
How convenience you are able to reach the service center? How long does the service maintenance take? You definitely won’t want to ship your camera/travel for few hours to send your camera for service and wait for a month or two to get it back (if you purchased from other country). So check with your local retailer about the warranty and service like how long does the maintenance take or is there any service charge. Know more about the after sale services before you buy the camera will keep your money safe in your wallet.
5. User Review
You can get a lot of user reviews from Amazon, BHPhoto and other websites. These user reviews are very helpful to assist you to understand more about the camera in a wider manner which you might never know before you own the camera long enough. Besides, reviews from some personal or professional camera sites are providing good technical analysis data and more accurate/real life sample shots or even had a comparison between your “wait list” camera. Read those reviews to narrow down the choices, keep in mind for those reviews about your “final choice” and then try it out at the retail shop.
Want to know more about which kind of camera suit you the best? A PAS? Mirrorless? Or a DSLR? Then stay tuned and you may find it out from my coming posts: 5 Reasons to Own a PAS, 5 Reasons to Own a Mirrorless, and 5 Reasons to Own a DSLR. Hopefully the points mentioned above will help you to list out the camera which fit your criteria.
Thanks for your reading and hope you like it. Winked =)