Yes, it is confusing making the right camera choice because there is such a large range of options, opinions and write ups from the advertisers. Take my advice and read this article and your judgement and final choice will not be impaired or difficult.

What you need to ask yourself when buying a camera

Most importantly, decide what you plan on taking photographs of as well as if you intending to pursue photography as a hobby or a career. This will either cost you more than you think, or shave a great deal off your initial projected budget. Many photographers entering the world of photography are driven to believe that what the salesman says is gospel, and alike with the adverts on the various models and brands. Remember they are there for the money and to push their brand whatever it takes. Once you make a decision there is no turning back, so be warned.

Do your research

There are many great sites on google to do your research and help you in this decision-making process that do not push brands, but rather good honest advice. Take a look at a site called Sites where like-minded photographers at all levels share their knowledge as well as ask and answer questions and do comparisons are the b=most favorable to follow. Become a part of this community, where everyone is there to share positive ideas and opinions based on trial, error and experience. Make sure that if you decide to ask a friend or colleague their suggestion or opinion, take note that they have experience and photograph a similar genre to you. Remember different cameras are for different purposes, and the same applies to the lens choice.

Entry level to Professional Camera Choice

Do not for a minute believe that you need a professional camera body for taking a great picture. It is the lens and the glass that provides the quality of the image, not the body. The body is just a tool to take a picture. Personally, try avoid entry level camera kits, you are certainly not going to get far, even as a beginner to photography, you will become despondent, I promise you. Not only is the camera body inferior and poorly constructed, from the hardware to the outer shell, but the lenses are really bad, so avoid, and consider second hand options if budget is an issue. Intermediate level camera bodies are worth purchasing as they are not so expensive, but provide great navigational operating options within a solid well-built body with decent hardware. Your pro camera bodies are normally used by professionals that require a certain feature, like high speed functionality for sports photographers. Alike are those wanting a larger sensor for greater detail for print and billboard purposes. Bottom line, is buy what you need, it’s about quality, not quantity.

How to choose a Camera Brand

Yes, there are so many models and brands on the market. Should you be living in a first world country, I would say consider one of the more well-known brands, either a shutter or mirrorless option, both are good. Remember that mirrorless is still a new concept that is improving as we speak, so if you expecting the best, buy top end and benefit from the rewards, otherwise stick to the shutter option. Most “shutter cameras” today can shoot in excess of 300 000 shots without any issues, so don’t stress or be told the shutter option is technology of the past. If you living in South Africa, consider a brand with great service and back up. Avoid the more brands like Fujifilm, and consider Canon which are well priced and reliable. Did you know that Nikon no longer has a factory or Cape Town office, who would have thought that? So, without knocking any brands, do your homework first.

Where to buy your camera

This is simple, besides price comparisons, avoid visiting a general “electronics retailer” as the sales is based on selling fridge’s, televisions, etc.… etc. and cameras. Visit a shop where the sales team sell camera’s and only cameras. Somewhere that’s speaks cameras when you walk in, where the sales team are educated on their products. Asking questions in a “general electronic outlet” is pointless, you might as well just google the answers yourself.

Anyway, it’s Christmas time, so should you be in the market to spoil yourself, I hope this little bit of advice is helpful to you. Then learn how to use your camera in manual, that’s the fun part about taking amazing pictures.