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.