Think about what kind of photographs you’d like to take
People often ask me what to look for in a new camera and my reply is almost always, “well what sort of photographs would you like to take?”
Some people might want to take close-up pictures of flowers and insects, others want a camera to go travelling with. A lot of people just want to take better pictures of their kids growing up.
If you’re in the market for a new camera, then I would suggest having a think about what sort of pictures you like taking now and also any areas you might wish to explore in the future. You might not be 100% sure, and that’s OK, but we need a place to start.
If we think about a car for example, they come in many different shapes and sizes. It might have three doors or five doors, have a manual or automatic gearbox, run on petrol or diesel… you get the idea. Your choice of car is influenced by the needs of today and with an eye on tomorrow. Perhaps you’re planning to start a family in the next couple of years, so a five door option just might seem that little bit more appealing.
You need to take a similar approach to buying a new camera – because let’s face it, they’re not cheap. Any bad decisions at this stage might put you on a road that is expensive to get off. And it just might be the case that spending a little bit more money now could save you a lot of money later on.
Do you want to take pictures of people? If so, where? At family gatherings? Indoors? Outdoors? Do you wish to try your hand at kids portraits? Or are you more interested in capturing them playing sports or in the garden? Still life? Product photography? Macro photography? Food photography? Street photography? Landscapes? Travel?
At what level do you aspire to be working at? Do you want to “be a photographer”? Semi-professional? Share a hobby with a friend? Or perhaps just for fun?
The point of this post is to encourage you to have a clear idea in your mind about what kinds of photographs you aspire to take and how far you might want to go. If you can’t choose between them, then at least prioritize.
In a future posts we’ll discuss how your aspirations and other considerations can help get you on the right road to taking the pictures you want to take.
I did originally start writing a “5 tips for buying a new camera” article but it became so large I decided to split it up. This is the second part of five (the other being “Gear Heads“), and when I’ve published all five I’ll provide links to the other parts. I also decided to abandon numbering them so I could retrospectively add more parts should I feel the need to without messing up the post titles! I just thought it was worth explaining to regular readers why they might seem a little disjointed referring to posts that don’t yet exist… hope that clears things up somewhat.