I love camera gear and accessories. I enjoy browsing the web for the gear I want to have in my collection. It can get expensive real fast. A good rule of thumb when starting out is to only buy what you need to get started. It is absolutely unnecessary to buy the best of the best. A hard truth is the best camera in the world won’t suddenly turn you into a photographer. You need to understand how to use the camera in the first place.
The camera I started out with was a used Canon EOS 40D first released in August of 2007. I got my hands on it in 2010. By then it had already taken thousands of photos and dropped who knows how many times. I turned on that bad boy and pressed the shutter button. It seemed like an eternity waiting for the image to appear on the screen.
The photo sucked and I was bummed. I spent the next several years learning all that I could about photography. I continued taking crappy photos for a very long time and gave up the craft multiple times along the way. Something kept drawing me back to photography and I kept trying and learning and making mistakes along the way. This is the camera I learned with. This is the camera that made me realize after nearly a decade of using it, my photos were beginning to look better, clearer, and crisper.
I was slowly starting to think that I may be getting good at the craft. One day before a trip to Thailand the old Canon EOS 40D stopped working. It was dead and I needed a camera for my upcoming trip. I did what anybody would do in a pinch….go to the camera store while living in a foreign country and find a replacement.
Luckily for me, I had already done research in recent weeks because I knew at some point I would definitely replace it. I left my apartment in Shanghai seeking a brand new Canon EOS 70D in July of 2017. It’s the camera I still shoot with today. All of the photos on this blog and website were shot with my EOS 70D.
A few money-saving tips when buying a camera
I know for a fact that I got ripped off when I bought my Canon EOS 70D. I was an Amerian in Shanghai, China and I paid a premium for the camera. I wanted it immediately so I sacrificed a bit of money to get the camera. If I were doing it all over again in my home country with minimal knowledge of photography, I would have done a few things differently.
Rent before buying
There are still physical photography stores around that rent equipment and sell new or used. Some may or may not be in your geographical area. Thanks to the internet, you may now also rent cameras and lenses online. I like the Adorama brand and its website for rentals, their website is https://www.adoramarentals.com/. They have been in business since 1988, so they pre-date the internet we know today. If you need guidance on cameras or lenses, I’ll be glad to offer assistance.
Pro-tip: If you have a photographer friend or family member, you might ask if you could check out their gear for an in-person preview of what you will be renting. Who knows, they may even let you borrow it.
Decide on a brand
Do you shoot with Canon? Nikon? Sony? Pentax? This is for you to decide and it requires research. What I shoot may or may not be right for you. All brands have pros and cons and there are die-hard fans of all brands. Take time to research and ask questions and then go for it.
Buy used, it’s okay!
If you’re just starting out, then used equipment in good shape will function the same as brand new. The major difference is hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars. There are two places I recommend for used equipment. One is Adorama, which they sell new and used, and the other is KEH:
Get to it
When it comes to photo gear, equipment, cameras, and lenses there is A LOT of information out there. There are forums spewing with information about what is the “best”. Do your due diligence and I would recommend talking with a competent and trustworthy source before buying something that may not be what you were thinking. Again, I am here to help guide and assist. Just reach out on social media or use my contact form to ask any questions.
If you would like your questions to be public, I encourage you to ask in the comments below. Someone in the near or distant future will benefit from your question!