Avoid 3 Most Common Mistakes Before You Think Which Camera To Buy

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I have come across so many people in my life who make these 3 mistakes, when buying a new Camera whether it is Point-And-Shoot or DSLR. It is important for you to understand why these mistakes are committed often before you even think which camera to buy, so that you do not spend money on something which is not what you desired for.

If you look deeper into the mistakes, you will find that we tend to commit the same mistakes in many aspects of life.

Though it may be a frustrating experience to know that you have committed these mistakes already may be in some other context, it is worth knowing so that you won’t commit it again.

Mistake #1: Not Knowing What You Want

This is the most serious of all the mistakes. At this very moment, do you know what you want? Take some time and think about it, it will benefit you the most.

You might spend hours and days knowing about every camera out there in the market, each of those camera settings like Aperture, ISO, Exposure, Shutter speed, Metering, Cropped Sensor, Full Frame sensor….the list goes on and on. You will be overwhelmed with the wealth of information and the learning curve involved. But they  make no difference, unless you know what you want.

Mistake #2: Letting Others Decide it for You

How many times have you done this before? Normally you will let the others to decide something for you! and then hold them responsible for your situation. Haven’t you done that before? You might not have told them upfront but would have felt like that, isn’t it? But who is really responsible…isn’t it you?

First and foremost thing to do is stop asking others about which camera you should buy. Whoever it may be, but rather concentrate on what you want. If you correct mistake #1, then you won’t get trapped into this mistake.

Mistake #3: Great Photographs = Expensive Camera + Lens

Do you believe that the photographer you admire the most, is a great photographer because he has the expensive gears? If so, think again.

Just for a moment, close your eyes and imagine yourself having all those expensive gears that you think will make you a great photographer.

Now what? does the camera do everything for you? does the lens produce the excellent photographs you are aiming for? No. Had it been the case only the rich people would have been great photographers.

Camera and Lenses are just tools which will translate your idea into a great photograph. If you don’t believe my words, then consider this example. What if an artist say;

Only if I have a big canvas and the most expensive oil painting and brushes, I can create a Masterpiece.

Every photographer is an artist including you. Art is in you not in the camera or the lens. Your eyes and brain are the most sophisticated tools which anyone could ever beat.

Create Great Photographs in your Mind and use the tools to translate it to reality

How to Avoid These Mistakes

Now, let us look at some of the important questions that will help you to avoid the above said mistakes and inspires you to make best possible decision.

Question #1: Why do you want to buy a Camera?

This is the most important question of all. You might already possess a camera; either a smartphone, a tablet, a point-and-shoot or a DSLR. But the point is:

  • Why do you want it?, and
  • What is the purpose?

Question #2: What type of Photography do you like the most?

Think about what fuels your interest. Is it Landscape, Birds, Animals, Pets, Flowers, People, Places? It is far easier to choose the best equipment if you know your interest.

  • Is it documenting those snappier and happier moments with the beloved ones? Or snapping whatever interests you depending on your mood? May be point-and-shoot or a smartphone will do. You can carry it everywhere you go.
  • Are you interested in capturing those magnificent landscapes, seascapes, cloudscapes in the magical sunrise and sunset moments? Are you ready to travel places, get up before the sunrise or stay beyond sunset? wait for long days and hours for that perfect lighting conditions? May be a DSLR with ultra-wide angle zoom lens will suffice.
  • Do you love details? are you interested in micro objects? may be a DSLR with macro lens will work best for you.
  • Do you love fast action photography like sports or wildlife? do you love to freeze those fast actions in fraction of seconds? may be a high end point-and-shoot with more zoom or a DSLR with a telephoto lens is what you need.

Question #3: How serious are you about Photography?

You might love photography…may be you are interested in many types of photography. But what matters most is, how serious are you about it.

Can you spend enough time and energy to get to the level where you can show your works to others with confidence? It might take weeks to months to even years to make something truly wonderful. It takes patience and perseverance to create a photograph you envision.

You may not be able to judge how serious you are right away. However, you can have a fair idea based on your other interests. Are you a person who endure despite several failures? do you mind carrying bigger camera around your neck no matter where you go or how much heavy it may be 🙂

And the list goes on…with permutation and combination.


Everything starts with basics. If you answered my questions promptly, then you know what you want. In a way, you have narrowed down on your interest. Go get a camera which you can afford. Use it everyday. This is where most photographers fail.

After doing months of research, you buy a Camera which is probably over budget and then click hundred or even thousand photographs in the first week or first month. Then the camera accumulates dust.

You have to take it slow and steady. One step at a time. Learn to use whatever you have to the best possible extent. Every concept of photography can be learnt with any camera including smartphone. Once you learn these, you will have an idea what you can do and what you cannot do.

 That’s all from me. I hope I have convinced you enough to take your own decision 🙂

Looking forward to hear comments from you. It will be interesting to know how many of you have committed these mistakes already. Also, feel free to share other mistakes which you think should be avoided.

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23 Responses to Avoid 3 Most Common Mistakes Before You Think Which Camera To Buy

  1. Carlski December 5, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    Very true indeed. How many times have I not been asked by friends which camera to buy? This question is almost impossible to answer. I never asked someone else which camera to buy. I bought what I liked and took it from there. But I have to admit I have too expensive and heavy equipment for my everyday needs 🙂

    • Prathap December 5, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

      Hi Carlski, I am sure you started off with what was affordable. You have expensive and heavy equipment now, probably after several years because you understand the need for it. You are in photography atleast from 15 years, several years more than I do 🙂
      My view is that we should buy what is absolutely necessary to translate our creative idea into reality. And that will happen only after we realize what cannot be done with current equipment we have 🙂

  2. nilakant desai April 26, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

    Hi Pratap… Firstly I hats off to u as a person u r… I will going to my my first dslr camera I.e.canon eos 1200d with 50-250 lens. I just search and found ur blog posts was very useful who never aware of what is a think is camera and photoghraphy… U are given birth to a new photoghrapher its me.. Thnks and hats off again keep going
    best of luck for ur future

    • Prathap April 27, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

      Hi Nilakant Desai, Thank you so much for your kind words. I am glad that our blog is useful. Congratulations on your new DLSR. I hope you have a fantastic photography years ahead. Thank you for the best wishes.

  3. Ron June 18, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

    Hi Prathap, Your wisest words in this blog were “Your eyes and brain are the most sophisticated tools which anyone could ever beat.” There are two people in every photograph, the photographer and the viewer, A great photo can come from any camera depending on the skills of the photographer. So go for what you can afford and as Prathap says, ask yourself what is it you want the camera to do.

    • Prathap June 19, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

      Thank you for your kind words and supporting my suggestions, Ron.

  4. Nze Anizor June 18, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

    Thanks, Sir. I bought my first camera, a Canon SD 870IS on my own volition. I bought the second one, a Canon SX 50HS on a friend’s advice. Although I am not entirely satisfied with the second camera due to issues with its focusing, I am not blaming the person who recommended it at all. Now that I am considering buying a DSLR, i’ll start for the opinion of a few people, or else how can one navigate through the tons of advertising material. My photography interest is not really specific. I snap whatever catches my fancy. I learned a lot from your article. Thanks.

    • Prathap June 19, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

      Hi Nze Anizor, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It’s truly overwhelming these days with number of ads and choices. I would suggest you to do your research to see what suits your needs the best way and then ask your friends/experts to let you know why one is better than the other. That way you get more knowledge, no matter what kind of photography you do.
      I find this website very useful to compare two cameras: http://snapsort.com/compare. I have used it as a base to decide many a times while I recommend my friends or readers. It gives a quick bird’s view difference. Hope this helps.

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  5. Soma July 7, 2015 at 11:16 pm #

    Mr prathap…What you say is quite right..luckily I got a advice from one of my photography friend and I went in steps before I landed buying dslr. I have graduated from point and shoot on older version like sony p 5.0 to Nikon p500 and now to Nikon d5300 based on your advice.

    • Prathap July 9, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

      Thank you for sharing your experience! Soma. Congratulations! on your new DSLR. Good luck!

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