Monday, May 25, 2009

More thoughts on buying a camera

New "Camera"! , originally uploaded by Shermeee.

One of my coworkers, Rosanna is buying a new camera. Her current camera is many years old and the battery won't last more than a few photos. So she has been shopping around and we've talked about different cameras she could want.

I want to talk about buying a camera... again.

After talking with Rosanna, she started her buying decision based on budget. Most people do. She is buying the camera for a trip to Italy and wants something that is easy to travel with. More specifically she wants a lot of zoom.

She's been going through lots of different cameras trying to decide on the best one. She has some pretty general wants, nothing really specific like time lapse, just a better zoom.

After talking more with her today I realized what she really wants in her camera purchase. She could be happy with any one of 100 cameras. What she really wants is to feel confident that she got the right one. So here is my buying advice for Rosanna:

1. Make a list of things you trust about your future camera. This means pick a brand you know you'll be happy with. List some features that you really like and used from your old camera. I'm going to guess that most people like me use probably five to ten features about 99 percent of the time they shoot and use the other hundred features available on the camera one percent of the time. For me It would be: Canon, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, P Mode, Macro, Timer, Video, maybe zoom, it also need to have a time lapse feature or at least have a firmware mod to add it for kite photography, or maybe flash, I try to avoid using the flash. Those features make up 99 percent of my shooting. If I bought a camera that was missing one of those features, I'd be quite unhappy with that camera.

This will be the "meat" of your camera finding. Once you got your list made, and your budget set then...

2. You should be able to narrow down your list to just a few cameras. Use this fantastic tool to find all the cameras with your features. I love this tool on Then you can pick based look and feel etc.

3. Pick one you like best.

4. Find the best deal on that camera. Stop second guessing, stop looking at the green grass on the other side of the fence. If you really went through your list from #1 you will be very happy with the camera you get.

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