Photography Life: Tips to Check for When Buying a Camera Online

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Photography Life: Tips to Check for When Buying a Camera Online

Buying a camera is not about buying the latest technology or the most expensive product available in the market. When buying a camera online you will be faced with an endless list of possibilities. In order to successfully sift through all the cameras that are not going to suit your needs, you first need to know what your needs are. Ask yourself some basic questions such as:

  • What is my budget?
  • How often do I plan on using the camera?
  • Do I need ten different accessories with the camera or will the basics suffice?
  • Do I need a stand/tripod on which to place the camera?

These basic questions will give you a better idea of what you are looking for. Keep the following tips in mind to make buying a camera online as easy as possible:

Newer Doesn’t Mean Better

When you shop online, retailers will always make it appear as though the latest product is the best. It is the product that will be the centre of attention, with plenty of advertising on any e-commerce site.  This is called marketing, and you must look past it to get to the best camera for you. There are four major criteria to look at when buying a camera:

  • Photo quality
  • Features
  • Design
  • Performance

It’s important to remember that no single camera can beat all others in these four major criteria. This means that last year’s model may be just as good, or even better than the latest or the most expensive model. When buying a camera online, don’t obsess over having the newest model because this is not necessarily the best camera for your needs.

Also remember that no single specification can tell you which camera is better than the others. It’s all a mix of different factors, including something as basic as size. Some cameras might be too large for you to carry to your family birthday party while others may be too small to fulfill your professional photography needs.

You Probably Want a dSLR Instead of a Fixed Lens Camera

Why is a dSLR camera a better choice than a fixed lens camera? There are several reasons. One is that with a dSLR, you can buy a new lens after a certain length of time and use it for better picture quality and improved performance. It’s the benefits of a new camera without the costs. Another reason is that a dSLR will allow you to shoot better pictures in low-light conditions due to the wider lens.

A fixed lens also offers some benefits, some of which are a smaller size which allows ease of transportation. A fixed lens can also come in the style of a bridge camera, the type which tends to have a very large standalone lens. This is better left to professional photographers of photography studio due to the zoom range that they cover.

This type of camera is hard to move around with ease as well. It can also be tedious to swap the lens in a fixed lens camera. The advantage of a fixed lens camera is that you will probably never buy a second lens due to the high quality of the lens as compared to a dSLR lens. However, a dSLR camera might be more likely to come with freebies due to the many accessories that it can contain.

But Wait! You Might Want a Mirrorless Instead of a dSLR

These cameras are smaller than dSLRs and their lenses are also smaller when compared to a dSLR. A mirrorless camera also provides much higher quality video shooting than a dSLR due to the LCD and high quality autofocus that they provide. Not having a mirror in the camera allows you to have a real-time preview of what you are shooting, for example when you are mixing different filters and during long exposure shots.

Some of the newer mirrorless models have better image stabilization (IS) ability than a dSLR because this technology combines sensor shift and optical IS whereas a dSLR uses less powerful digital IS. To get more detailed descriptions of different brands, you can look at this article on the Best Camera & Lens that goes in-depth on mirrorless cameras.


Thanks to the invention of the ‘autofocus’ feature, you no longer have to worry about shutter speed as much as photographers used to in the past. Look for cameras with a fast autofocus system which will help you accurately capture the images to your liking.

The only exception is if you want to shoot images in action. If you want to shoot scenes in motion, then look for a camera with superb autofocus. This also means you will have to increase the shutter speed to more than 1/500 seconds in order to capture the action precisely while also maintaining adequate exposure.

Does It Have a Viewfinder?

If you plan on shooting in direct sunlight, then opt for a camera with a viewfinder because you won’t be able to see through the LCD under sunny conditions. Looking through a viewfinder also helps to keep the camera steady because your arms are by your side.

Temperature Battery Life

This pertains to photographers who plan on taking pictures in the wild. When buying your camera online, look for models with dust sealing and other types of weather protection. If you will be shooting in extremely cold locations, look for cameras which can function in -10 degrees Celsius or so because there are not many models who are built to do this.

Battery life is an important factor for those planning on shooting for days without access to electricity. If your battery life is not sufficient, you will have to spend extra on more batteries.

Photo Quality and Price

If you want high quality photos, opt for a bigger sensor. However, keep in mind that the bigger the sensor, the more the camera will cost you overall.


Shopping for a camera online doesn’t have to be difficult. Just because you can’t feel the camera in your hands, doesn’t mean you can arm yourself with knowledge which has the power to help you make an informed choice. While it’s great to be trendy, when it comes to buying a camera, remember that newer doesn’t always mean better. Look for a camera that fits your needs and which will stay by your side for a longer period of time.

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