I’m Interested in a New Camera – Where Do I Start?

You’re considering purchasing a new camera but have no idea where to start. Believe me, you’re not alone! We’re asked all the time for a recommendation on what camera to purchase. Before getting to answers, it’s critical to start with some questions. You might not have all the answers right now, but these will get you thinking in the right direction.

  • Do you want a camera with exchangeable lenses? If you’re thinking about becoming a serious photographer, the answer to this must be yes. Your lens can make all the difference. If you’re looking to take better pictures of your children, you might still want interchangeable lenses, but you don’t absolutely need it.
  • How much do you want to spend? Your budget will definitely help to define the camera you choose. There are certainly lots of great cameras at all price points.
  • How big do you want the camera to be (do you need it to fit into your purse/pocket?). Your intention on how you’re going to use your camera will have great impact on the camera you choose. If you need it to be highly portable, you’re not going to be looking at DSLRs.
  • Do you have a preference between Canon and Nikon? While both of these companies make exceptional cameras, some people have strong preferences on brand. (There are lots of other great camera brands out there. These two are just the best known for their experience and quality.)
    • Please note: if you’re interested in a camera with interchangeable lenses, please recognize that you’re making a longer-term decision by selecting a brand. Lenses are not interchangeable across brands, so once you choose one and start investing in lenses, you’re probably going to want to stay with that brand, even if you upgrade your camera in a few years.
  • Anything other things I should know? There are certainly many other factors that you’re considering! Be sure to think about anything else that’s important to you.

Answering these questions should get you closer to a decision. As a disclaimer, we use Canon cameras, so we’re much more familiar with the Canon cameras and lenses. We would recommend cameras at three levels of investment:

  • Canon’s Rebel Series. The Rebel cameras are outstanding introductory DSLRs. They are not too big and their price point is also on the lower end of the DLSR scale.
  • Canon’s 60D or 7D. These cameras are a step up from the Rebel series, both in capability and price. They have terrific ISO capabilities and lots of lens options. Their video capability is also terrific.
  • Canon’s 5D Mark II or Mark III. We love these cameras. They are quite an investment and probably only worth it if you’re considering serious photography. But if you are, we would highly recommend considering these. Stay tuned… there are rumors of a Mark IV out there.

Again, Nikon has an amazing collection of cameras. These are just our Canon recommendations.

Three other thoughts before closing.

  • First, do your homework. This is just a small step in your journey to finding the right camera for you. There are very comprehensive sites online like dpreview.com that will give you very extensive information about all of the options out there.
  • Second, go to a camera store to purchase your camera. The people working there will be a terrific resource to you in your purchasing decision as well as providing other support. We really like Calumet (http://www.calumetphoto.com) here in Chicago. B&H Photo in New York is also terrific (they are online at http://www.bhphotovideo.com).
  • And third, camera prices typically rise in November and December due to the popularity of purchasing them for holiday presents. If you can, you might want to wait until January to purchase one. If you can’t, go for it!!!

As always, we at Pollack Photography are Focused on You.

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