10 Tips On Buying Gear

Photography - 101 Learning More About Your Camera
11 minutes
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In this video we have 10 tips when it comes to buying gear because well all of us love to buy gear knowing I'm a shopaholic. Alright, so before you get to being a shopaholic, let's at least cover a few tips. Number one is I would say is lenses before bodies, right? Do you agree with that? Absolutely. Okay.

And here's the reason is that you're going to see bigger improvements in overall image quality. As far as aesthetic and overall artistic performance, you're gonna see bigger differences in the lenses that you purchase versus the camera bodies. Sure, a camera body will maybe let you have a higher resolution, it might let you get better ISO and low light performance and dynamic range and so forth. But the aesthetic quality of your images is determined by the lenses. In addition, well care bodies come out like every couple years, they have a new version. With lenses, it's generally 1015 even up to 20 years before they update the lens.

So a lens is more of a long term investment and you're going to see a bigger overall difference in your photographs by buying lenses and better Testing and lenses before bodies. Now tip number two though, is choosing the right camera body. Just because you're investing a lot in lenses doesn't mean you shouldn't do all your homework on getting the right camera body, pick the one that's right for you know your purpose, know what you're shooting what you like to shoot, and you're going to select your body. With that in mind. I think that's huge. And how many of us know people that have I mean, they'll go out and buy like $1,000 a DSLR have the most amazing lenses.

And they don't take it with them. Why? Because it's too heavy, it's too bulky or it's just too complicated. Exactly. So yeah, if you're not choosing the camera that's going to work for your situation, then you're kind of shooting yourself in the foot because the best camera is the one that's in your hand, the one that you have with you or the one in your hand all the time, all the time. So pick the right camera, if it's a point you if what you want is ultimate and portability.

They have amazing advanced point shoots that can get amazing images out of it, and they're extremely portable. If you want something like a DSLR buttonless Smaller body, well, you can get a mirrorless camera and if you want to go crazy like this girl, hey, don't judge, then you get your full DSLR setup and so forth. But either way, choose the right camera. Now number three, I think you're good at this one to one. Okay, number three is wait to upgrade your camera and why don't just upgrade because the newest or the greatest just came out. Don't be that guy.

I'm a shopaholic, as I am I'm not like that. Okay, you need to make sure that you're upgrading for the right reasons, is the current camera body that you have holding you back in your process in what you need to do and what you want to do. If that is the case, then it's definitely time to upgrade your camera. Well, and I love that as a rule if the cameras holding you back, then kind of upgrade the camera body to whatever function or whatever thing that you need, maybe it's resolution, whatever it is, otherwise, stick with what you got. Right, right. And I would say that 99% of people that own a DSLR probably already have a piece of camera gear.

That is beyond their own abilities like they're not getting the most out of that camera but after this course well they should be good on that right right now however, that being said, you could also try to rent your gear before you buy it. That's one thing you can definitely try to make sure that you really are going to upgrade for the right reasons. Because if you rent it at least three times and it stays in the bag, then you probably shouldn't buy it. This is a Michelle rule of thumb rent three times before three, three. Okay, so tip number four is third party accessories to avoid there are certain third party accessories that I really don't like using anything that's non branded, whether its brand to the camera manufacturer or just a name brand component and these for me are the internal components like for example the internal battery in the camera and also my SD cards.

So stick with kind of high end stick with branded components for specially will go with the factory when it comes to batteries, memory cards stick with a brand new stuff. Alright, so what are some third party accessories are worth buying lenses, and flashes, triggers, stands, even lights. Basically anything that's not an internal component and still do your research but anything that can help you to get your shots accessories modifiers are great third party. All right, next tip number six, that was tip number five, by the way. So tip number six is do you really need it and Michelle is kind of the queen of this Oh, come on, it really is just a difference of want versus need define want versus need are these shoes and do not talk about my shoes, all my shoes our needs. So want versus a need, again, need I think goes back to what she said with a camera body.

Right? Where if it's not holding you back, it's probably not a need. Right, right. Otherwise, and this is the other thing too is that as photographers we have a tendency to go oh man, it'd be really great if I had that 1.2 lens or even that 1.0 lens, the infamous 51 Oh Either way, we look into these lenses we go out to that that focus that it can everything is so amazing, that gadget nerd down because other people, non photographers can't even notice it. And that's one of the things that well, for my partners, that's one of their criteria in buying new gear. The first thing that they asked me is, Will a client be able to tell the difference?

If not, that's a really good point. That's a really good point. Because you know what, those photographers aren't gonna step this close look at the eyelashes and they might not be able to tell you whether or not it was a 1.2 or 1.4. Yeah, right. So the main thing is, is it gonna make a difference in your overall quality and the overall product that you are delivering? If so then maybe it is something that you need.

Okay, tip number seven, where do you buy your gear online? I'm an online shopper. Do you go to b&h I do. b&h is kind of our go to sources. You do b&h too, right? I do.

Okay. So there's a reason that we do b&h. They are one of the largest online dealers, they're extremely reputable and if One of the few places you can actually call with a question and say, Hey, I'm looking to do this. And everybody that works, there is literally a photographer. So everybody in sales, in lighting and video, they can all help you to get the gear that you actually need and give you awesome recommendations. In addition, when it comes to, well, pricing, really everything is the same across the board, because the manufacturers hold all of the retailers to the same prices, they have free shipping on most things, and it's just been a great overall experience their customer service.

If you ever get something that's broken, you need to return it has been awesome as well. But there are other great online dealers too. There's also Adorama, which is probably the next biggest one that we like to go to, or if you really know what you're looking for Amazon is actually a really good resource as well. Yeah, Amazon is a great place. It's just not a place to it's not a photography store, right? You kind of have to you have to know what you're doing know what you're doing or read 1000 reviews, right?

Yeah, and they're not gonna have like more specialized kind of gear. So for specialty stuff, you still need to go to a dealer Tip Number eight, where to be Careful when buying your gear. Have you had any bad experiences? Um, no, I've been very careful. I'm kind of my shopaholic senses say don't go there. were some of the places that we need to be careful.

Craigslist is definitely one of them. Craigslist is definitely one any us marketplace. Want to Be careful with? Even Amazon because Amazon has a lot of third party dealers that are not Amazon dealers we need to be careful of right. Basically what happens is on eBay, Amazon, third party Craigslist, you get a lot of companies that are trying, well, there's a lot of things going on. They try and sell new equipment as or use equipment as new.

They'll sell you something new. That's not actually like what you want. And then you'll end up getting something different, like fakes even like memory cards. Yeah, that's a big scam right now is that they have like SanDisk branded memory cards that are actually just Chinese manufactured cards that are non branded, just packaged to look like it so they're fake cards. So these are things to be careful about because If you're out on a shoot and your memory card fails or something goes wrong with your gear, well, that's a big issue. So buy from these reputable dealers.

I do get stuff off Craigslist. I just kind of deal with people on a, you know, well, in very public places. Don't go anywhere like, yeah, don't need people's houses, go to a coffee shop, test things out. And if you're buying used if you can take someone with you that's a little bit more knowledgeable as far as if you're not knowledgeable yourself. If someone that's a little more knowledgeable as far as the gear, they know what to look for, what to kind of avoid and so forth. All right, where do you want to avoid for sure buying gear?

I think we named them. We got them. But there is one place that I wanted to bring up. This is tip number nine. By the way, there are certain places that I would definitely avoid and whenever you see these online, they're kind of fly by night camera shops that you'll see and they're there frequently. They sometimes even post like retail like brick and mortar locations.

These places are straight up, sketchy. You end up buying from some of these places and they give you these deals. To kind of entice you It could be a $2,000 camera for say 1200 bucks, they'll get you in the door to buy something and then they'll call you up on the phone and do a little bait and switch and say, Hey, this camera is not available, but I do have this one I'll send it off to you for 1400 bucks instead. And then I'm trying to basically switch you to something else. It's not what you wanted. Oftentimes they end up selling you gray market goods that are well basically packaged as retail and it's just worth avoiding remember that if the deal is too good to be true, then what it's probably not real.

Yeah, hold on though. There are reputable places to buy things like used equipment like there's a there's a shop called ke H and they check out all the gear before they sell it so you know that the gear is good. The manufacturers themselves sell refurbished items and actually add a Rama and b&h both sell used items as well. Absolutely. That's a great point. A lot of these reputable dealers have used apartments that are awesome.

Just Just keep these things in mind that lenses, cameras, I mean, generally these things have a certain market value. And when you see the price far below that market value, most likely, it's too good to be true. avoided. Okay, and the last tip, I don't have gas, but pi gets it. Don't get gas. That's Tip Number 10.

It's not the gas that they're thinking of, can you tell them what they're thinking? Now you can tell them, okay, gas is gear acquisition syndrome. I don't have that. Neither of us have gas, okay, don't get gas. What it means is like, this is the mentality that photographers jump into where they kind of over time, and it's very natural to fall into this where they think that you know, it'd be awesome if I could get that photograph. If only I had this piece of gear, or if I had that piece of lighting equipment, or if I just had this, I could do that awesome photo and that's what's holding me back.

This is gear acquisition syndrome, where basically we think more about acquiring the gear more about what we can do if we just had the gear then what we could do with what we have Again, most of us have more gear than we could possibly use. And most of us don't have the abilities to even use that gear at its full potential. Okay, so what is the bottom line then? The picture is about the photographer and your skills, not the gear. Exactly. All right, and don't get guess we're done with this video.

Let's head on to the next one.

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