Okay, so here’s the deal. At Foto-Ruta there is one broken record question we get repeatedly and without fail at every single Foto Ruta event, excursion, workshop, and sometimes even just through correspondance with our followers. And that question is…you guessed it…
What camera should I buy?
And without fail or hesitation I always answer: Well…that depends on you.
Truth is there are an ever-expanding number of options for hobbiests and professionals in the market for new camera gear and chances are high that the selection will only continue to grow. Most of our particpants at Foto Ruta fall into 1 of 2 categories:
Obsessed with gear and technology
Warning: these people read instruction manuals and talk in F-stops and high dynamic ranges. Some of them even know what the zone system is and they also likely know the exact hour and minute of the day when the sun sets and rises. They’re bonified nerds. And their photos are more technically perfect than creative. We can all learn a lot from them and should try not to be jealous of their robot-like dedication to the craft.
I’m just traveling and want to take some cool photos
These people are better at photography than they lead on. You’ll often see them bring out their cameras to get a shot in mid-conversation over a moment of pure inspiration and they often come back after a day of exploring a new city with 5 new friends and a dead camera battery. Their images are far from professional in quality but their ideas carry their hobby and keep them shooting. You know who you are.
Stereotypes aside, before you rush into the Nikon store to be seduced by an 18 year-old with braces on commission trying to sell you on the next must-have in the 2012 gear-guide, there are a few things we we think you should consider.
Things to ask yourself before you buy a camera
- What do you need the camera for? ( Work, travel, personal, pleasure, etc )
- What type of photography will you be doing? (portraits, landscapes, macro, sports…it’s okay if you don’t know this yet but at least ask yourself what you like to take photos of)
- What conditions do you think you’ll be photographing in? (indoors, outdoors, low light, bright light)
- Will you largely stay in auto mode or do you want to learn the art of photography?
- What experience level do you have with cameras?
- What type of features are you looking for? (long zoom, image stabilization, large LCD display etc)
- How important is size and portability to you? ( people think big glass and big cameras make them look more pro…a little secret. Good photos make you look more pro, not the camera itself)
- What is your budget? ( we advise you NOT to purchase in Argentina )
Conclusion: Get to know yourself before you purchase a new camera. Your pictures will be better for it.