Points to keep in mind before purchasing a Digital Camera

9 Dec

An important aspect of any successful travel blogger is the art of capturing and posting beautiful photographs. As all well written posts need actual photographs to enable the readers to relate to the post. So I decided to invest in a good quality digital camera and searched for options online –

Just a quick initial search threw up more than 2000 options and the sheer variety and number of options available were mind-boggling. Reading up more on this topic confused me further and a chat with a couple of camera enthusiasts just killed the purchase process as all the individual views, physics and mechanics of camera parts threw me into further indecision. And the more I researched the more the word “digital camera” became a monster from my school physics classes that I never got the hang of. Things reached such an epic proportion that I decided to give up this entire process and continue photographing with my iPhone camera.

However before I gave up the search, I decided to speak with a friend who is self-trained in photography and is pursuing a career in this space. A chat with him really helped me clarify this whole process so much so that I was finally able to purchase my own fabulous digital camera and also create a kind of questionnaire that has been helpful in simplifying this process for a lot of other people I know. While I am no authority on this subject, I felt that there are a lot of practical aspects (apart from the actual camera features) that one should consider before investing in a camera. Hence I decided to write this post and share the same with you today in case you are in the same boat that I was in then.

  • First and foremost – Decide what do you need a camera for / what is the purpose?ย Is this just for a hobby or a possible profession? Is this just a hobby that you have and want to indulge in or there is a possibility of taking this up as a profession? If it is just a hobby then you don’t necessarily need to buy a DSLR but can buy a high-end point to shoot (with manual settings) and slowly graduate to a DSLR if you really get good at this art and want to continue. If you want to take this up as a serious profession then you can invest in a high-end DSLR and the various lenses.
  • How are you normally in continuing with hobbies / latest fads – If photography is just a latest fad and you are normally not that good in continuing with your hobbies, then don’t buy a DSLR. Invest in a good point and shoot camera and stick to it till the novelty wears off. I have seen loads of people pick up really expensive cameras especially before an international trip but it’s soon forgotten after they are back. ย And it’s so much of money invested for nothing.
  • How much do you travel – If you are a very frequent traveler / photographer then you can consider investing in a good quality camera but if you do not travel / photograph frequently then stick to a good quality point and shoot camera.
  • Budget – Digital cameras come in a wide range of prices. You will find cameras for as low as Rs. 10,000/- ย to as high as Rs. 2 lakhs. So decide on a reasonable budget before hand and then research for possible options within that price range. In case you are considering purchasing a DSLR be sure to budget for additional lenses, which are at times more expensive than the actual cameras.
  • Size and Weight – One thing that a lot of us don’t take into account before purchasing a camera is its size and weight. Just imagine you are hiking atop a hill and apart from water (which is anyways heavy) you now have to carry an even heavier camera and all its accessories with it. How would you feel? Believe me at that time all the features of the camera are of no help. So be sure of what you are able to carry around for long periods of time and even for long walks. Hence always check the weight of the camera in your hands before the actual purchase.
  • Debate of Canon vs Nikkon – This is a never-ending debate and has no solution in sight. No matter who you ask, you will never get an answer to which camera is better. Well, both are equally good camera companies though some people say that Nikkon is better as its only business is making cameras. But I have seen pics of both cameras and they are equally good. The only differentiation that you can make between them is the features and price in the same bands /competing products. Pick up a camera that has the features that you like and is in your budget.

And once you have decided on a camera always go to a shop and pick it and feel it in your hands. I am not joking but I have felt this with my own camera, that it talks to you and somehow just feels right. ๐Ÿ™‚

17 Responses to “Points to keep in mind before purchasing a Digital Camera”

  1. pommepal December 10, 2012 at 05:31 #

    What type of camera did you buy?


    • getsetandgo December 10, 2012 at 17:54 #

      I bought a higher end point and shoot camera with manual settings and high end zoom.. No DSLR for me ๐Ÿ™‚


      • pommepal December 14, 2012 at 08:27 #

        Good decision, I think DSLR are a bit too bulky for travel even though they take stunning photos they are difficult to learn


      • getsetandgo December 17, 2012 at 15:05 #

        Thanks Pommepal… I so agree with you…. which camera do you use?


      • pommepal December 17, 2012 at 15:42 #

        I have 2 a Canon A720, a compact easy to use one and recently bought a Canon SX40, 35mm zoom, about half way between DSLR and the compact, I’m loving using it.but take the compact all the time and just bring the sx40 along when I know I will need more flexibility in the controls.


      • getsetandgo December 17, 2012 at 18:29 #

        I can understand that. I finally bought a Nikon P510 (very similar to your SX40) and take pics either from it or from my iphone. And this really works well for me too. ๐Ÿ™‚


      • pommepal December 18, 2012 at 06:05 #

        Digital photography is fantastic compared to the ols fashioned film…


      • getsetandgo December 19, 2012 at 11:20 #

        If you ever get the chance, check more on lomography… These are still old fashioned cameras that take imperfect pics… And the beauty of those pics is in its imperfections.. ๐Ÿ™‚


      • pommepal December 19, 2012 at 15:19 #

        That is an interesting concept


  2. solobackpacker.com (@solobackpacker) December 10, 2012 at 12:21 #

    I also went through the same struggle 10 months ago..did lot of research..and finally purchased a new one..you have explained all the points very well..canon vs nikon..its a never-ending debate..


  3. rommel December 13, 2012 at 09:17 #

    I’m here to make you head spin even more. ๐Ÿ˜› i had Point and Shoot, and most of my pictures from it are decent shots. [most of my Europe shots are point and shoot] no problem at all. i think Sony Cybershots are the best ones when it comes to point and shoot.
    There are some in the market now that DLSR’s are lighter and smaller. Some of them also happened to be Sony as well.
    I have a Canon DLSR. I think it’s not in the camera but it’s in the lens. I love to travel, photography second. Me, I put a dollar and my coins in the jar before I get to buy new lense. I now have four switching lenses base on my subject.


    • getsetandgo December 13, 2012 at 11:52 #

      Lol… And I love your pics… I remember a few pics of jellyfish in blue waters in some aquarium that you had posted. I loved them and just hope that I can take pics like that someday. I have a Nikon P510 now which has all kinds of manual settings and photgraphy options. I am trying to improve my photography with it and if I continue and get better then will eventually graduate to a DSLR. But doesnt the weight of the camera and the lenses bog you down during travels?


  4. abhoan December 13, 2012 at 20:09 #

    Hey, what about the lens, how does one decide on that when buying a camera?


    • getsetandgo December 17, 2012 at 14:09 #

      Hey, though I havent researched much on lenses but from my own understanding – it depends a lot on your interests and what is it that you like to photograph as subjects… There are different options available based on light, potraits, landscapes, etc etc.


  5. Bron January 14, 2013 at 10:29 #

    I used to buy Canon IXUS models (very compact point and shoots with manual options) but I’ve recently converted to Panasonic Lumix. They’re a bigger camera but the huge optical zoom (16x instead of 4x) is amazing – I don’t think I could go back to anything less now! The only problem I have with my model (TZ20) is it gets much grainer than a Canon when used handheld in low light, but I’ve found a couple of little workarounds that can get me better shots in those conditions. Enjoy your new camera, I look forward to seeing the photos you take with it!


    • getsetandgo January 14, 2013 at 15:13 #

      Thanks Bron… I ended up buying a Nikon P510 with all manual and automatic options, 42x zoom and 5 modes… It is also quite compact and light… Learning and enjoying with it at the moment… ๐Ÿ™‚
      Between I have heard the lens of Panasonic Lunix is one of the best in any camera at this moment…


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