The moment to look for the camera that will accompany you along a myriad of photographs can cause you as much emotion and pleasure as nervousness and stress. This is due, not only to the great quantity and quality of brands, models, functions and features, but also to the anxiety that the whole process generates. And this usually leads to errors when buying your SLR camera.
When making a decision , there are many factors that you should consider to avoid a bad purchase .
That is why today we will review some of the following most frequent mistakes made when buying a digital SLR camera. I run the risk that you already know some of these mistakes, but I prefer to take risks and prevent you well :
- Pay more for things you don’t need
- Pay more to have a camera that weighs more
- Choose the camera only for its megapixels
- Skip the necessary “extras”
- Do not listen to colleagues (or read them)
- Do not inform yourself before buying
- Do not investigate the camera thoroughly
- Ignore the terminology
- Believe that there are only “top brands”
- Pay more for more goals or accessories
- Do not leave money for a good goal
- Do not test the camera in person
- Let others decide for you
- Not knowing what you need (really) a SLR camera
- Believe the camera makes the photographer
If you were thinking of getting one, you can’t stop reading this article to go deeper into them and avoid them!
THE MOST FREQUENT MISTAKES WHEN BUYING A SLR CAMERA
Let’s look at these 15 errors one by one with their reasons.
1. PAY MORE FOR THINGS YOU DON’T NEED
Paying more for a camera you don’t need is one of the most frequent mistakes that photographers usually fall into. Although you are able to get amazing pictures with almost any SLR camera you find in stores, it is very easy for you to fall into the temptation to get out of your budget to get a camera with higher specifications but you really do not need.
The best way to make the most of the investment made in a camera is to pay for what you are going to use . And don’t spend a lot of money on functions that you won’t use.
Taking some time to analyze what use you intend to give it can save you a lot of money. Money you will need to get the goals with which you will make your best photographs . We will see this more in depth in error 11 .
2. PAY MORE TO HAVE A CAMERA THAT WEIGHS MORE
Another common mistake that many make is to relate the weight of a camera with its quality and performance. And, worse still, with the final photographic result.
In my humble opinion, there is no relationship between the weight of a camera and the quality of its photographs. I can not imagine anyone contemplating a great photograph of these that leave you speechless, putting his hand on his chin and saying, as a good understanding of the subject: «Man, it is obvious that this photo was taken with a very very heavy camera. I tell you, you just have to see the vividness of the colors, look at what composition, but what more professional use of light. OMG! Surely the photographer wore a fat camera, believe me, I understand this, you know?
I POINT OUT
It is true that professional photographers (those who are dedicated to photography as a profession or trade) often invest money in very expensive photographic equipment. But they require very specific benefits, for professional purposes, which you do not find in any SLR camera.
It is also true that these cameras, from 2,000 to 3,000 euros, and even more, tend to have a disproportionately large body and dimensions. But from there we must not deduce that fat camera = good camera. Each camera is designed for a specific type of user and specific needs.
DIFFERENT USERS FOR DIFFERENT CAMERAS
A professional camera is required to perform completely differently than an amateur user. If you hurry me, the amateur photographer makes a varied use of his SLR camera, one day at home, another day on the street, on an excursion or in a family event. You need, as an amateur, a light and versatile machine , something you can carry on without bulging too much and especially without getting tired of it unnecessarily.
Remember it when choosing your next SLR camera.
3. CHOOSE THE CAMERA ONLY FOR ITS MEGAPIXELS
Not always the characteristics that manufacturers highlight as fundamental are really important when it comes to getting a digital SLR camera.
The way in which the cameras are promoted according to their megapixels, to refer to their image quality, is an excellent example of this. Remember that megapixels mark the print size that the photograph will have. But they have nothing to do with the quality of these, as is usually promoted.
WHY DO WE GIVE SO MUCH IMPORTANCE TO MEGAPIXELS?
There was a time when you had to look at the amount of megapixels that the cameras had because most offered a very low amount. Which was reflected in some images that, as soon as you wanted to enlarge them, lost resolution ending in the famous pixelated photo effect.
But today, looking at megapixels (in excess) is monumental nonsense. Any current SLR camera offers more than enough megapixels to obtain incredible print quality at a reasonably large size.
4. SKIP THE NECESSARY “EXTRAS”
Keep in mind that the world of SLR photography is not only limited to the camera and that there are many accessories that will be indispensable for you to make the most of your camera’s potential. In fact, in many cases the camera may even be the most economical of the entire photographic kit.
Lenses, filters, extra batteries, high-speed memories, backpacks to transport your equipment, external flashes, diffusers and tripods are part of the endless accessories and tools necessary for you to take your photographs to the highest level.
Eye, again, you must be careful to know your photographic needs well in order not to oversize.
5. DO NOT LISTEN TO COLLEAGUES (OR READ THEM)
When buying, do not take advantage of the advantages offered by the Internet to know the opinions of other colleagues, it touches the irresponsible.
Before launching in search of your next SLR camera, take some time to compare the different alternatives available in the market. And also to know the opinions of those colleagues who have already done with them.
6. DO NOT INFORM YOURSELF BEFORE BUYING
Okay, when you buy your first SLR camera, it is understood that you do not devote much to photography. And most likely, you don’t know the ins and outs of photographic material. But beware, this does not exempt you from spending a little time, before buying, to inform you a bit of the basics of the matter. You don’t need to do a Master or anything like that, but you do look for information in blogs and forums and streamline your purchase.
An informed purchase, beyond the opinion of the users, is always a useful purchase.
7. DO NOT INVESTIGATE THE CAMERA THOROUGHLY
In line with the previous error, although the opinions of colleagues can help you, it is useful that you download the user manual and take a look at it. This way you will know all its functions and characteristics. And, together with the opinions of colleagues, you can get a more concrete idea of the camera you want to buy.
8. IGNORE THE TERMINOLOGY
Do not take time to study the terminology used by sellers and manufacturers when offering their products, it is a mistake that can cost you very expensive, and not only in money.
It is very important that, to find the perfect SLR camera for you, you understand the terminology used by sellers and online sales sites . In this way you can interpret the specifications of the SLR cameras and make the best purchase decision. To do this, I recommend that you read the references in the following article to choose better .
9. BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE ONLY “TOP BRANDS”
If you are one of those who believe that in the world of digital photography is limited to Nikon and Canon, you are making a mistake. Every day, second-class brands , such as Sony, Pentax , etc., launch cameras, lenses and accessories that nothing has to envy supposedly top- notch products , so you should not overlook them.
10. PAY MORE FOR HAVING MORE LENSES OR ACCESSORIES
You have informed yourself and finally you know what camera you want. You go to a physical store or online to buy it and, suddenly, you find 7 different packs of the same camera model: without objective, with objective, with objective + another extra objective, with transport bag and without it, with bag of transport, tripod and memory card, etc. A real mess.
The funny thing is that, for all these extras, you have to pay. It’s not that they give it to you as a gesture of courtesy, what’s up. They offer them to you as an unbeatable price offer, but most of the time they are charged within the price you pay for the camera.
My recommendation in this type of occasions is that you do not buy anything that you did not intend to buy before seeing these packs. As much as you think they are useful accessories and that you would end up using them, two things happen:
- First, many times you will be wrong. This is marketing. A good marketing job makes us, as consumers, want to buy things that we were not initially looking for and we do it convinced that they will actually have some use. Most of the time they don’t have it, and …
- Second, regarding the accessories that they are going to offer you, they will never, never include the best tripods, memory cards or backpacks in the promotion package. The best products in their category are already having the sales they want, they don’t need to get rid of them with a promotion. The promotions are worth precisely to take inventory of the store and output products that otherwise nobody would buy.
That’s why I advise you, when buying, forget about any unnecessary accessories and focus all your attention on buying the camera. If it comes with a serial goal it is fine, you will need an objective anyway the first few days. But don’t invest money in more elements. Later you will have the opportunity to invest in a good objective, tripod, backpack and whatever you need.
11. DO NOT LEAVE MONEY FOR A GOOD GOAL
And speaking of objectives, did you know that buying a good camera is only half the way? Even if you bring an objective or two included. You still need to buy a target. I already know what you will be thinking «How is it possible, if it already comes with a built-in objective or two? Why do I need to spend my money on more goals? »
Here the important thing to know is that the lenses that usually come with the standard SLR cameras are generic lenses. That is, they are made for a very general type of photography.
You, like most of us, will be interested in one type of photography or another, and there you will need a specialized objective. For example, if you like landscape photography, you will need a wide-angle lens; And if you’re more of portraits, you’ll want the famous king of goals .
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE OBJECTIVE
If you think this is bad news, fortunately, you are wrong . The beauty of SLR photography is to be able to exchange the lenses and use, depending on the circumstances, one or the other.
This allows manufacturers to market extremely specialized objectives, with spectacular optical results in the type of photography for which they are designed. Photographing a landscape with a good wide angle has nothing, but nothing to do with photographing it using the typical serial lens, 18-55mm. The same goes for any other type of objective.
As I said, buying the camera is only half the way, the other half is buying a good lens. Of course you do not have to buy everything at once, start with the camera, obviously, so you try it and messing with it, but instead of investing money in an expensive SLR that you will not give 100% of the use, why Why not buy a SLR of your level and save the rest to invest in the objective you need?
12. DO NOT TEST THE CAMERA IN PERSON
If you have the possibility to meet your next SLR camera before buying it, do it. In this way, you will be able to evaluate live and direct those characteristics that drew your attention to it.
Notice not only their physical appearance, but also their functionality, that is, that their weight, size, location of the buttons, etc., fit your needs and desires. Experiment with your future camera before buying it. When you have it in your hands, you will know if you are the ideal partner .
13. LET OTHERS DECIDE FOR YOU
It is very common that sellers or colleagues want to convince you to buy a different SLR camera than the one you have in mind.
Most of the sellers are honest and will advise you well, but some will try to take advantage of your poorly informed pint and will do everything possible to put on the camera that sells the least. Or the one that has no way of getting rid of it or the one with the highest profit margin.
COMPARE IS THE KEY
I also don’t want you to distrust everyone. Just compare , ask the seller for his opinion and compare it with that of another seller. And then with that of another, and contrast it with what you have reported in other media. Only then can you draw a definitive conclusion from you.
You should not buy a camera just based on the opinions of third parties, however valuable they may be, but based on your own needs. Of course, for you to do it, you must be clear about what use you intend to give to the camera.
14. NOT KNOWING WHAT YOU NEED (REALLY) A SLR CAMERA
The only way to ensure a responsible purchase is, first of all, to ask yourself and try to find the real reason why you want to buy an SLR camera. It sounds weird to hear this from the mouth of someone who has a photography blog, but there is nothing you hate more in the world than seeing an idle SLR camera, lying in a drawer without being used in months and months.
If you are going to buy a SLR camera I want you to use it and give it a lifespan. SLR cameras are a wonderful instrument for communicating, moving and transmitting stories. But I have seen so many users buy one because they did not know what to do with 700 euros that burned their pocket, and then not use it in months, which gives rage.
15. BELIEVE THAT THE CAMERA MAKES THE PHOTOGRAPHER
If I asked you, why do you want to change cameras? I am sure that one of the reasons for doing so is “because I want to take better pictures . ” When you are not involved in the world of cameras and SLR photography, but only contemplate it from a distance, you think that small, small and compact cameras, of those that you had a lifetime, those are amateur, that’s clear. The others, big and black, with a goal that you can turn with your hand and such, those are the professionals and those who take good pictures. Error!!!
Professional would rather be a range within SLR cameras. If you approach a photographic store you will see that it has many SLR cameras. Of these, a few will be professionals, but many others will be semi-professional or even for the beginner photographer.
THE CAMERA IS THE TOOL
What you really want to buy, with almost total security, is a SLR camera for beginners or amateur users . There are cameras so they are real wonders, affordable and with very advanced features , but that does not have to be considered professional.
The camera is just a tool that you will use to transform your ideas into photographs, but under no circumstances should the camera cease to be a means to become an end in itself.
The real magic in this wonderful art that is photography happens within you, thanks to your creativity and your desire to turn your ideas into a photographed reality.
HOW TO AVOID THESE MISTAKES WHEN BUYING YOUR SLR CAMERA?
To avoid making the mistakes I just told you, you need to defeat the worst enemy that every buying decision has: anxiety.
While it is true that the time to start the search for your next camera is a very exciting process, it is also true that it can cause you a lot of anxiety. Or that this ends up pushing you to make a decision that you would not have made with more information at the time of purchase.
But keep in mind that, much of the information necessary for you to make the best purchase decision, does not come from the environment but emanates from you and your needs .
ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS
That is why, before deciding to get a new camera, it is very important that you ask yourself:
“What can I do with this new camera that I can’t do with my previous camera?” “Do I really need an SLR camera?”
Thank you for joining me in this article. If you enjoyed it or found it minimally useful, I would appreciate it if you gave it a recommendation on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. If you do, I will feel very supported.
Oh, I forgot, if you are looking for more information, be sure to check out my list of the best SLR cameras .
And finally, if you think of any other error that has been overlooked, that has happened to you, or to someone in your environment, please, do not forget to share it in the comments, we help the community to avoid these errors; ).