5 THINGS I WISH I HAD KNOWN WHEN I STARTED PHOTOGRAPHY

Before you buy the new camera, check out these tips first:

 

CAMERA STORE
Camera store

So, the first time I walked into a camera store, and decided I wanted to buy a camera, I wish I had done 5 things before I had purchased my first camera.   I want to share with you those things now, and even maybe help those who have even been taking pictures for a while with decisions that will help them as well:

 

1- DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH FIRST ON THE DIFFERENT BRANDS

I will admit there are a lot of brands out there.  Why doesn’t it come down to one or two?  I guess it comes down to the same reason as why are there so many car manufactures.  Right?  Ask the same question about cars, and you will get the same answer about cameras.  The reason some people like Ford over a Toyota, or Chrysler over a Kia, is they try it out, they like it, or they have had a friend try it and they said it is the car to buy, and they trust them, and so on and so forth.  So, it is with the camera industry.  Someone tried Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, Leica, etc, and they were amazed at the pictures, and the way it felt, and they were sold on it.  So, if you don’t take any body’s opinion on it, then you must study it out for yourself.  Go to unbiased magazines (where do you find them?) and get the reports of how these cameras stack up against each other.  Learn about the different lenses  and who makes the variety of lenses for your camera, and how easily it is to get the lenses for the camera you seem to be narrowing your decision to.  It also seems to me that the different brands that didn’t sell so well a few years ago have really stepped up their game and if you want to really confuse yourself, check out the cameras that are not the ones you would normally expect.  They have come up to meet and run with the pack now, and could out-rival some of the big names now.

2- DON’T MAKE A DECISION UNTIL YOU HOLD ONE AND TRY IT.

Try holding the different cameras you have narrowed your list down to, and pick them up, feel how it is in your hands.  Do the dials feel comfortable in your hands.  How are the placement of the dials or buttons?  Can you move the dials or buttons easily?  Do they make sense compared to other cameras? It’s kind of like doing a test drive.  Which one feels the best and you are most comfortable with.  The one the salesman is trying to sell you may not be the one that feels the best.  Resist the salesman and try to test drive the few that you have picked.
3- IF I BUY THIS CAMERA, HOW EASILY IS IT TO GET ACCESSORIES?
I have seen a few cameras where the accessories for the cameras were limited to the manufacture only.  3rd party accessories were very scarce.  That just opens up the prices to be very expensive.  That is like having a Rolls Royce car, and not being able to buy a part for it in your local auto parts store, but only from the Rolls Royce dealer.  The price is outrageous, but, really, really good.  If that is what you want, then there is no problem, but, you may also have to wait for parts too.  In some cases, 3rd party accessories are not so bad.   Take a look at lenses for example.  Tamron, Sigma, and Rokinon lenses to just name a few, are really great lenses and some professionals you will see use these lenses.  Can  you get them for your camera?
4- TRY TO DECIDE AHEAD OF TIME WHAT TYPE OF PHOTOGRAPHY YOU WANT TO DO, OR THAT INTERESTS YOU.
Decide ahead of time what type of photographer you want to be.  A scenery or landscape photographer, a wedding photographer, a portrait photographer,
Photo courtesy of:  Oleg-ti.com

There are many different types of photography to get into that you might enjoy.  Decide what type of photography you want to do, and that will direct you to the type of lenses, the type of accessories and other equipment you will need to be looking at.  Buying a serious camera will never stop with just a basic camera body and lens.  If you are planning on getting serious, the extra equipment will need to be added sooner than later.

 

5- FIND A SOURCE TO LEARN FROM, TO HAVE A MENTOR, WHERE YOU CAN CONSTANTLY LEARN YOUR TRADE. 

 

I had a doctor who I thought was really good.  I also noticed that he was always studying and kept up to the new technologies that were coming out in the medicine field.  And it is the same in the camera industry.  Where can you go to learn all the new things out there.  Well, I will be right up front with you:  I am trying hard to provide good instruction for all types of photographers  on this blog, and on my website.  In fact, my website will expand into different subjects and even provide an email list soon in which you can subscribe to different topics.  I am looking to really expand this website to help all my fellow photographers, and I am looking to have photographers who want to add their expertise to help on this site as well.

Good magazines are always a good source as well.  They are constantly updating tools of the trade, as well as tips on how to do certain types of photography.  You should never fail in photography with all the helpful things there are out there for you.

I can honestly say that this website is trying hard to provide a good learning experience for all new photographers as well as entertain you with great photos.  This would be one source of a good learning tool, for sure.

 

Photo by Lanny Cottrell

 

So, hopefully this will help you as you decide on your camera or equipment in the future.  Don’t make your camera and equipment purchases without doing some research, and I hope you don’t take your friend or relative’s opinion in the decision process.  I have seen where people ask their friend or relative for advice and their advice is too old.  They may like their camera, but it is old information by the time you get it.  Cameras and equipment change too often.  One camera brand can be good one year, and you may find that one will be better next year.  I just got through reading about a professional who just sold all his equipment to buy an Olympus Camera.  And I read this kind of stuff all the time.  Another photographer changed from his Nikon to buy all new Sony camera equipment.  So, check them all out.  They are all good.  See which one feels best to you.  You will feel better if you follow the above steps.

 

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Article written by Lanny Cottrell for 123Photogo.  Most photos were acquired from Bing Photo images, unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

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