We all know this is daunting and possibly very stressful. As a beginner, or someone that is moving forward from the mobile platform of photography, the choices are endless. No matter who advises you, friend or sales person, or even the Google, the opinions differ and become confusing. Taking into consideration that you are paying for the camera with the goal and intention to excel and grow your knowledge and skill in photography, you need to be sure you are investing in the right gear to meet your needs and budget, as well as your expectations.

The cost involved and your budget

Unfortunately, in life, one realizes that quality comes with a price tag and often you find it is just short of your intended budget. The one suggestion I can make, is go for quality, not quantity, and do your homework to ensure a positive result. Going for the cheap option and acquiring more is not the answer, it is the recipe for disappointment and often the end of exploring the passion, as doors are quickly closed. If budget is a limiting factor here, consider the secondhand market. Rather buy a good intermediate camera body, than an entry level cheap new one. The fact is the build as well as the internal hardware and quality are vastly different. Know that there are many great preowned deals being advertised by people who have made poor decisions in their buying process, or they might be upgrading, or even needing the cash. Never doubt the second hand market, but that being said, make sure you do a security check on the buyer, as well as the gear being sold. My suggestion is to meet at an accredited camera shop where the sales team are educated and knowledgeable in cameras. It is safe, and provides peace of mind when making the purchase. It might even be negotiable, depending on the situation of the seller. What I am saying is just be careful, there are a lot of untrustworthy people out there, and you don’t want to be the one getting caught.

How to choose the correct camera gear

Firstly, you need to identify your interests as to what you want to photograph, and secondly, how serious are you about learning photography. These 2 questions are a great start. Depending on the nature and subject choice, you will be able to decide on the camera and features you will need that will meet requirements. As mentioned, choose wisely. In making this decision, decide if you are wanting to just “get the shot”, meaning using the auto settings that the camera offers, or, you are wanting to take your photography more seriously to another level, meaning that emphasis is on manual mode and the navigation of the camera, here the settings and the quality of the hardware and the processor as well as the sensor plays a big part in perfecting  the final outcome of the photograph.

Generally, I would suggest considering an intermediate level camera. This level is very different from the “intro models” in every way, but can be closely compared to the build and quality of the professional high-end models, bar the price. This way you are able to progress from auto to manual without having to purchase another camera body for better results.

Getting the most from your camera

Once you have taken the step and made the purchase, attend a short workshop or photography course and learn just how amazing the features work on your camera to achieve the desired images. Once you are comfortable with the settings and understand how to work with light, the fun starts. Remember it is then just making the effort to practice and shoot as much as possible. Remember that the same goes for the lens. Do the necessary research before committing to a lens to ensure that what you have chosen meet your needs in every way. The lens, or the glass, as it is referred to, will determine the range for composition for your genre and the quality of the image taken. As I have mentioned in many of my articles, it’s the glass that make the photo, not the body. Lenses are costly, but worth every cent. Note that your lenses will outlive the body and they last forever if you look after them.

I trust that this short article has been a basic guide to making the right choice for you.