Photography gear can be extremely expensive. Many photographers experience an occasional bout of gear envy and decide to invest in a camera or lens to enhance the quality of their images. However, when photographers buy gear without proper research, it proves to be a costly mistake.
So, how do you know if the gear is worth the investment?
A photographer should always try to work with their current gear until they feel it has reached its limits. This way they’ll have a clear idea of the types of specifications or improvements required. If you aren’t sure about which photography equipment you should buy as your first priority, try taking notes of where you get stuck most often and what frustrates you. For example, you may want the lens to zoom in closer or shoot wider. In this case, you may require a tripod for a slower shutter speed.
It is also important for a photographer to use and understand all the remarkable aspects of new gear. For example, if you mostly shoot on auto-modes, then purchasing a new camera that mostly features manual options would be a poor choice. Instead, consider purchasing a camera that has both manual and auto modes.
Photographers are often short on cash to make a major investment like purchasing new camera or lenses. Therefore, your budget should be a major consideration when determining if the gear is worth it. Do some research on the costs of items in the market and decide on the equipment that meets your specific budget.
If you are exceptionally short on budget, a good option is to purchase the necessities and save up for the more expensive items. If you need new, expensive gear sooner, renting is always an option. Photographers can also consider options like purchasing second-hand gear or buying the equipment on installments.
We say it all the time – RESEARCH IS KING! Professional photographers post reviews and opinions online which can help others do their research. In order to determine if the gear is worth the investment, read website reviews and personal opinions. YouTube and Flickr are great places for research. Don’t just read either. Check out tutorials, box openings and reviews about gear on YouTube or find images captured with a specific camera or lens on Flickr.
Another option would be to go to a camera store to check out the equipment in person. Browse around and check the items you’re most interested in buying to become familiar with them before making your decision. Just like anything else, if you aren’t comfortable with the gear you are purchasing, it may not be the right choice for you.
In a nutshell, if you need to know whether the gear you’re looking into is actually worth the investment, start by determining your requirements, considering your budget and DO YOUR RESEARCH. This way you’ll be able to put your hard-earned dollars into the right photography gear.
Lindsay has been with Agency Access for four years. After a transition from Campaign Manager where she managed multiple client campaigns, she found her home as Marketing Manager. She enjoys working in the creative world and bringing her Public Relations background to the forefront.
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