“Although, the EOS 6D DSLR with 24-105mm f/4L IS Lens sounds pretty good, too.
“But wait, didn’t Brad just buy the Nikon – D3300 DSLR with 18-55mm and 55-200mm VR Lenses?”
If you understood all of that camera jargon, I salute you. If you’re like me and need a little help navigating the digital camera aisle at Best Buy, you can find what to look for and what to ignore when making your big purchase. With dozens of brands and even more models available, buying a camera can be a costly expense. So you want to make sure it’s worth it.
Determine what you need
There are a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself; important questions. It can be surprisingly easy to let a sales associate talk you into buying the most expensive camera used on movie sets or the camera Annie Leibovitz used to shoot that one celebrity; and everything they are saying makes you believe that is exactly the camera you are looking for. It’s not.
- What do you need the camera for?
- Will you be shooting mostly portraits? Landscapes? A combination of both?
- Mostly indoor lighting? Or outdoor? A combination?
- Will you stick to auto mode, or do you want to step outside the box and truly learn the art of photography?
- What is your experience level with digital cameras?
- Are you on the move and need an easily portable and accessible camera?
- What is your budget?
Read product reviews
Most salespeople have your best interest at hand. But what if you come across the one who doesn’t? (Remember: sales incentives.) That’s why it is important to read reviews online from firsthand users who leave helpful tips like, “I had no experience and wanted to get started with learning the basics. This camera has completely lived up to my expectations. I would not hesitate to get this if you’re looking to get started in photography!” Hopefully these reviews will help you narrow down your choices to a handful.
Take it for a test drive
Make sure it fits comfortably in your hand and that it’s not so big or heavy that you’ll prefer to leave it at home. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a handful of cameras head to a local camera shop and ask to see and play with them. There’s nothing like having the camera in your hands to work out whether it suits your needs.
And remember …
No single camera wins in every category – from photo quality to performance to features and design. Don’t get caught up in the category comparisons. It’s a slippery slope and likely won’t lead you to what you’re looking for.
So get out there and find the camera that suits your needs.