Read on to learn about the common mistakes people make when buying a camera – make sure you don’t make them yourself

Buying a new digital camera is a momentous event. You imagine the beautiful action shots of your grandchildren at play, the portraits of your family members, the scenery shots you will take on your travels. The excitement of all these possibilities is enough to make you run to the store and purchase the first digital camera you come across. However, there are many different things you need to consider before you make such a purchase. You have to shop around and do your research, look into reviews, read magazines and blogs, perhaps even read a book, and try to actually test the camera.

It is all too common for people to purchase a digital camera, often a very expensive one, without really knowing how to use it to its full potential. Naturally, they will experiment with their camera and learn about it, which is easy to do since you no longer have to develop the film to see the results. However, there is only so much that experimentation can do for you. And considering how expensive good quality digital cameras are, you will likely have paid for functionality that you will never use. Let’s take a look, therefore, at the top mistakes people make when buying cameras. By learning how to avoid these, you will also be more likely to get exactly what you need for your perfect shots.

1. Taking bad advice
Once upon a time, only professional photographers owned high quality cameras, but this has now changed. The problem, however, is that we are conditioned to think that someone who has a professional camera can also give us professional advice. While it is certainly good to ask others what their experience was with a certain camera, their advice may actually not be the best. They may, for instance, have made quite a few mistakes in their choice of a camera themselves. Hence, make sure that you seek advice from the real professionals.

2. Thinking photography isn’t expensive
While digital cameras are now affordable enough for many people to own one, they still aren’t cheap. Photography is a costly hobby, particularly when you consider the fact that you may also need additional lenses, filters, and other accessories. Make sure that you have realistic expectations for how far your budget will take you, in other words.

3. Choosing a camera that doesn’t match your goals
Before you buy a camera, you need to think about what you want to do with it. It is all very well wanting to take a shot of a sunset over the Grand Canyon, but unless you will actually travel there, the camera won’t do you any good. Different cameras have different strengths, and you need to pick the one that matches what you will actually do with it.

4. Focusing too much on deals, sales, and special offers
It is tempting because of the substantial cost of a good camera, to opt for a special deal. However, while these deals may be good for your finances, they are not necessarily good for your needs. If you have no other option but to buy a camera on sale, then wait for the one you want to have an offer on it, rather than buying something else because it is on offer right now. You shouldn’t be after just any bargain, in other words.

Mistakes People Make When Buying A Camera5. Focusing too much on the little things
Once you start to learn about photography, you can start to be a bit overwhelmed with the various features and functions that cameras have. While you do have to compare what is out there in terms of functionality, you shouldn’t go too in depth either, particularly if you don’t really know what all of those features are for.

6. Believing more expensive is always better
Once you know what type of digital camera you want and which one is suitable for your needs, you need to find the one that has the best price. Again, it is vital that you do some research, because different sellers have very different prices. You may, at this point, still have two or three cameras on your list of potential options. Don’t think that the camera that happens to be the most expensive is also the best one, however, even if you can get it on a good deal.

7. Forgetting about the accessories
The camera itself is only the first part of your shopping trip. There are certain accessories that you may want, and there are certain accessories that you absolutely need. A memory card, for instance, is an absolute must. Other items that you may be interested in include lens attachments, filters, a camera case, a recharger, a spare battery, a monopod, a tripod, a reflector, and an external flash. There are quite a few cameras that come with some of these extras as standard. It is also quite common for stores to sell bundled items. However, this is where you once again need to think about buying what you actually need. If a bundle contains four extras, three of which you need and one that you don’t, then you may be better off not purchasing the bundle at all. Also, you need to make sure that the accessories that come with it as standard (such as the memory card and the lens) are fit for purpose.

8. Trusting online reviews a little too much
We have already discussed the problem with taking bad advice. In most cases, bad advice comes from people you actually know. On the other hand, another important issue is reading online reviews. Research has shown that 78% of people trust online reviews, even without knowing the reviewer. This is something you should avoid, because there are people out there who hate just because they can.

9. Forgetting to do the research
You should, as much as possible, get to know your camera before you even buy it. This means doing a lot of research online, in magazines, and through friends. Never buy a camera that you don’t already know from your research.

10. Thinking that all you need is a great camera
Photography is an art, and you need more than a good camera to take a good shot. You need a good eye, and some talent for it as well. Before dismissing a camera as not fit for purpose, ask yourself whether the problem isn’t actually you.

About Dan Hale