Photo Tip Series – Buying a Camera

Written by: Nathan Wertheimer

Welcome to my first Photo Tip series. To start off, here is a little bit about my background. I have been an avid photographer since I was a child. My parents gave me a Kodak film point and shoot camera, which started me in the world of photography. In my next stage of life, I attended college and bought my first Single Reflex Lens (SLR) Camera for Photo I class. I loved every minute of it of the class by going out and capturing many great images from architecture to people and everything else in between. After college, I was became a Graphic Designer and was in the field for a few years before deciding switching over to my true passion, which is photography. Most of my time today is focused around the world of photography. I am currently, a seasoned photojournalist covering many Central Florida events.

To get you started into photography, I will be discussing what type of camera to buy and some recommended places to buy a camera from. If you already own a camera, that is great continue using it until it dies or you want to upgrade. These tips can be used in the future when buying another camera.

Now you will have to make a decision on whether you want to buy a digital point and shoot camera or a digital SLR camera. These cameras can be bought new or used. Another factor to consider is the purchase price along with the camera features. If you’re looking for an entry-level digital camera then I recommend the digital point and shoot camera. Just set it on automatic setting and shoot away. If you’re a little more advanced I would recommend an entry-level to a prosumer digital SLR camera. There more features the camera has the more it will cost you. When deciding on what brand and model to purchase, I suggest doing your homework and compare different models and brands. The top three brands I recommend are Nikon, Canon, and Sony. But there are other brands out there that make great cameras too.

So now you have decided on a brand and a model for your camera. The next step is where to purchase your camera from. Do you want to purchase used, refurbish, or new camera? If purchasing a used camera please be aware of to check the shutter clicks and or shutter actuation count on the camera. To do this, go download a free copy of EXIF Viewer application to your computer. Next, take one photo with the used camera. Make sure it has an SD card in the camera when taking the one photo. Now transfer the SD card into your SD card reader to your laptop computer and open the EXIF Viewer application and review the number clicks that camera has been used. Just remember most cameras are rated at 150,000 clicks or more. When buying a used camera I would try to buy a barely used camera with around 10,000 or less clicks. Most used cameras do not come with a warranty. But you may want to look into buying a third party warranty for your camera. Some place to buy a used camera is thru photography retail stores, eBay, craislist.com, pawnshops, and or by an individual owner.

Another purchasing option is buying a refurbished camera. This is the better option than buying used plus you are able to purchase an extended warranty. Which is highly recommended. Plus you can save some money in the process to buy other photography equipment. Some places to purchase a refurbish camera are directly from the manufacture, retail stores, and eBay.

If you have the money to spend then buy new. Buying a new camera means no one else has ever used your camera, has a new warranty, and piece of mind. Plus you have the option of buying an extended warranty, which I recommend if you’re going to be keeping this camera for 3 to 5 years.

Once you have a camera in hand go out and capture the moments of a lifetime. Happy photography to you. Thank you for reading this Photo Tip Series and check back again for more Photography Tips in the future.

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