How to choose a camera – for advanced
Already have a camera, but thinking about upgrading and don’t know where to start? I went through the same thing two years ago. This article is a continuation of my personal guide to choosing a new camera. In this article, I will explain in detail how I myself chose a camera and what you should focus on during the selection and what you should be clear about.
If you are a beginner photographer, I have already written an article for you here.
To make it clear at the beginning – for me, an advanced photographer is someone who has been shooting with any camera for some time now and has reached the point where the current camera does not suit them. Whether because of the quality of the photos, manual shooting settings, the possibility of shooting in RAW and the like.
I found myself in this situation in 2020, when I switched to manual shooting and after some time I found out that my camera at the time no longer suited me (Canon PowerShot SX510 HS). I wanted better quality, more choice from manual settings, shooting in RAW and the possibility to take photos via the mobile app. It was also time to move from a so-called bridge camera to a SLR or mirrorless camera. As for the budget, I first started looking at cameras under €1,000, then I had to raise the bar and in the end I didn’t go over €2,000. Anything above €2,000 are more like cameras for real professionals, but if you are tempted and you can afford to pay €4,000 for a camera, then why not.
Of course, it wouldn’t me if I hadn’t created an Excel spreadsheet. These are the parameters on the basis of which I decided which camera to buy:
– price on the manufacturer’s website
– which lens can the camera be can bought with (I knew I didn’t want 18-55 mm, I was used to the zoom from the PowerShot and I wanted to keep it at least somehow)
– the number of MPx
– shutter speed
– how many frames per second the camera is capable of taking
– what processor version
– how much you can move the display, if at all
– if you can take pictures in silent mode
– Does it have WiFi and Bluetooth?
– what lenses can be added to the camera body
– how many AF points does it have?
– if it has a flash
– and how many photos it takes on one charge
The last point eliminated the Sony Alpha from my list, not only because of the price, but the battery life is said to be not much. I also looked at Nikons and other brands, but they mostly didn’t suit me in terms of price. So I started by looking at the manufacturers’ websites to find out what models are available in Ireland. In the end, I decided to stay with Canon for two reasons – I’m already used to this brand and it turned out that Canon had the best deals in terms of what I want from a new camera and the price.
I chose six cameras on the Canon website and entered their parameters into the aforementioned Excel. After that, I started scrolling through Instagram and ExploreCams.com to get an idea of what these models could do (for example, I was quite interested in night photos). ExploreCams works in a similar way to Instagram – you enter your chosen model and you get photos uploaded by people from all over the world. If you are thinking about an SLR/mirrorless camera, you can also enter the lens model. And last but not least, I also spent hours watching reviews on YouTube.
I originally thought about the Canon EOS 6D Mark II for quite some time and almost bought it before I came across my current Canon EOS 90D which had everything I wanted plus a larger zoom lens and was almost €200 cheaper.
So, to summarize: be clear about what you want from a new camera. Then start browsing the websites of manufacturers in your country and maybe even electro shops. Before you know it, you’ll have a list of several models that caught your eye. Then just read/watch reviews and check out Instagram or ExploreCams. It also doesn’t hurt to mention these models to aphotographer – an acquaintance, who should also be able to advise you (perhaps they themselves have an experience with one of the models on your list and will be able to tell you more about it).
It took me about three months to choose a camera, but I’m a person who doesn’t like to buy a rabbit in a bag and thinks everything over a hundred times. To make it easier for you, I’ll share my Excel with you – of course you can modify it to suit your choice.
I hope this article helps you in choosing a new camera and feel free to let me know in the comments below the article which model you decided on in the end 🙂