5 Questions to Ask Before Buying New Camera Equipment

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying New Camera Equipment

Vintage Camera Equipment and roll of film

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All photos are original to the author unless otherwise noted. 

This blog post may contain affiliate links.  I may earn a small commission for any purchases made through these links. Click here for the disclosure statement.

All photos are original to the author unless otherwise noted.

A beautiful picture catches your eye; the image is sharp and the colors are vibrant. You may start to feel camera, and thoughts like “If I had that camera I could take better pictures” are making you think you need new camera equipment. Contrary to popular belief, the best photography equipment is the gear you already own. The right tools and equipment can make a difference, but it’s ultimately the photographer’s skill that makes the biggest difference. 

I encourage new photographers to use their current equipment to its limits before upgrading, but if you’re looking into new equipment, ask yourself these questions first.

What Problem Am I Trying To Solve With New Camera Equipment?

Like lenses, different cameras excel at specific functions and may fall short in others. Buying expensive camera equipment won’t magically solve all of your problems. To be certain your new camera equipment enhances your photography, think about the times you felt like your camera was limiting your creativity and research cameras that excel in that function.

Consider these common problems different camera bodies can actually solve to help you decide if a new camera body is right for you.

Sony A7 Camera with 70 mm lens
Vintage black cameras
Photo by Alex Andrews from Pexels
Sony A7 Camera with 70 mm lens

Will I use the New Features?

We tend to equate expensive with better quality and to some extent that may be true; but in cameras, more money mostly just means more features. Use Digital Photography Review to compare and contrast your current camera with the cameras on your wishlist; look the features that differ to determine if those additional features are worthwhile. You may find the cheaper camera has the features you need, for the same quality, and less money.

When looking for a new camera, I kept seeing that the Canon 5D Mark IV was the best wildlife camera, and I was ready to dish out a hefty sum of cash for it. When comparing the Canon 6D Mark II with the Canon 5D Mark IV, I found the only significant differences were in video production quality and few extra megapixels. I don’t use video and megapixels are only important when printing massive photos, which I also don’t do. I bought the 6D Mark II with the confidence that it was just as good as the 5D Mark IV for my needs, and I saved over $1,000.

Would Camera Accessories Solve My Problem?

Sometimes the simplest solution is the best solution; you don’t have to buy a new camera to boost the quality of your photography. If you are struggling with the issues on this list, consider purchasing these photography essentials before upgrading your camera body or lenses.

Ring Light Camera Equipment
Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels
  • Use a tripod or other ways to stabilize the camera if you have problems with camera shake.

  • If you are unhappy with the level of digital noise in a low light image, add external camera lights to increase the amount of light that reaches the sensor.

  • If your images are flat and boring considering using Adobe Lightroom to enhance the colors, vibrance, and other post processing improvements.

  • If your white balance is off, try using a gray card for more white balance accuracy.

  • Purchase a high performing memory card to improve the burst mode. 

Flat lay of canon EOS 70D camera equipment on a wooden table
Photo by Shivkumar Sd from Pexels
Ring Light Camera Equipment
Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels

Should I Buy New Camera Lenses Instead?

More often than not, it is the lens preventing you from capturing the images you envisioned, not the camera. Lenses hold their value better and have a bigger impact in terms of artistic style and image quality than the camera body. Unless your camera doesn’t turn on, I’m probably going to tell you to get a new lens instead. To help you determine which lens you should buy next, here are a few common complaints from consumers looking to buy new camera equipment.

canon and sigma camera lenses
Photo by Thijs van der Weide from Pexels
Several camera lenses gathered together in the shape of a circle
Photo by Mengliu Di from Pexels
canon and sigma camera lenses
Photo by Thijs van der Weide from Pexels

Could I Benefit From Taking A Class Instead

Often we equate professional photography equipment with professional quality photos, but it’s not the camera that makes great photography, it’s the photographer. If you’re feeling frustrated with your photography, try taking a course to learn something new and inspire creativity. If you are new to photography, you may benefit from taking courses on photography basics, getting started with your camera, or using editing tools. A new camera won’t magically improve your skills, but a class will and is something you can use with any camera.

Classes I Love

In Person Austin Classes

Precision Camera’s Basic Point and Shoot Photograph

Precision Camera’s Camera Specific Classes

Online Learning

Photography Basics

Bird Photography

Amplifying Your Photographic Voice

Author Bio

Author Bio Image

Delaney is a project manager by day and a travel and wildlife photographer by night who is using her skills for translating complex technical language into easy to understand concepts to make photography achievable at all skill levels. You have questions; she has answers.

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