Consider These Things When Buying a Camera

e’ve taken efore buying a camera, it pays to be well-informed, so you get a camera that’s the best camera for you. Here are some things to consider when buying a camera.

Six Things to Consider When Buying a Camera Sam D’Amico’s Photography classes were voted the Best Art Class in Washington, DC.  

What Should We Consider When Buying a Camera?

Let’s face it, buying a camera can be difficult and confusing—especially digital cameras.

So before we commit to a make and model of the camera, It’s in our best interests to become well-informed about the features and functions of the camera.

Of course, we consider the camera body. And specifically, we evaluate camera features and functions. For example, assessing sensor size, exposure modes, focusing modes, and areas metering patterns, etc. However, there are other things to consider before we plunk down our money for a camera.

Below are some things that we should think about before purchasing a camera. 


Make sure to set a budget because there are other things you’ll need or want besides the camera body, and these additional expenses add up quickly.

The most obvious addition is a lens. And unless you’re buying a camera and lens “kit,” a lens will cost extra and varies in price depending on the lens.

A  few things you should consider purchasing are:

  • A camera bag or backpack to hold the camera and other equipment.
  • At least one backup battery and portable charger.
  • A UV filter for protecting each lens.
  • A camera strap.
  • An eye cup for the viewfinder.
  • If the camera doesn’t have a built-in flash, a portable flash.

When Buying a Camera, Consider Ergonomics

I suggest buying a camera in a brick-and-mortar store to get a feel for the camera’s ergonomics.

  • How does the camera feel in your hands to operate?
  • What about the ease of accessing the menus and settings you’ll frequently use?
  • The display options on the LCD screen and the viewfinder should be intuitive and easy to use and see.

The Camera System

When I say a camera “system,” I’m referring to the range of equipment compatible with the camera. Also, is the peripheral equipment that I may want to purchase limited to the equipment made only by the camera manufacturer, or are there “off-brand” manufacturers who make gear, usually at a much lower cost, that I can purchase to take advantage of the camera system?

The Reputation of the Manufacturer

Canon? Nikon? Sony? Panasonic? Olympus? Etc.

When buying a camera, consider the manufacturer’s history of serving photographers.

How long have they been in the camera-making business? What segment of the market do they serve? Professionals? Amateurs?

How are maintenance and repairs handled?

When Buying a Camera, Consider the Reputation of the Seller

Who we get the camera from is as essential as who makes it.

When buying a camera, know the seller’s return, exchange, and refund policy. What about any warranties beyond the manufactures warranty?

Is the seller an individual or a reputable camera store?

Additional Things To Consider When Buying a Camera

Are we new to photography or seasoned amateurs or professionals? And more importantly, how we answer helps determine whether the camera we buy is geared toward more experienced or less experienced photographers. When buying a camera,  less experienced photographers should consider the following camera functions to help them learn photography.

  • Cameras with menus that are easy to access.
  • The choice of exposure modes. Most importantly, aperture and shutter priority modes and full manual exposure modes.
  • Metering patterns/modes. Spot metering is a big plus.
  • Focusing modes and focusing areas.

To sum it up, learning about and researching cameras before we purchase a camera ensures we get the camera that suits us best. And because we’ve become informed about cameras, we can make wise purchases based on who we are as photographers. 


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