The 5 most common mistakes people make when buying a camera

If you are ready to purchase a camera and want help making the correct decision, the experts at Precision Camera and Video can help.{ }

Buying a camera can be confusing, especially if you're not entirely sure what you're looking for. Here are the five most common mistakes that people make when buying a camera as well as a few tips for avoiding them.

Mistake #1. Taking advice from the wrong person

It’s normal to ask for other people’s advice before you choose a new camera. But, it’s important to get advice from the right sources. Friends and neighbors are common sources of advice, but do they actually know what they’re talking about when it comes to cameras? Are they up to date on all the latest gear? Because newer cameras have many new features that others may not know about, make sure that the person you ask is up to date in their understanding.

Many people shopping for a new camera seek out a “professional photographer” friend, but a pro needs gear that may not be what you need. They will have a very different idea and you could spend a lot of money on features you don't need if you run out and buy the first camera a pro recommends.

Mistake #2. Underestimating what your money will buy

Many people think the more something costs the better it must be. So, if you buy the most expensive camera your photos will always be better. Wrong. Shop for the right camera in your budget range. You can get a great camera that can take extra lenses starting around $499. Don’t forget to save some money for accessories like a tripod, gadget bag, extra batteries and other goodies. A real brick and mortar camera store can guide you through your options and give you a chance to touch and feel all the cameras.

Mistake #3. Assuming quality is equal to price

Your cell phone can take fantastic photos, however it has limitations. No long telephoto lens is built-in to shoot sports or animals. The flash is limited, and just taking good old fashioned photos is really hard to do. There is no need to spend thousands of dollars on a new camera but if you intend to keep a camera and really get into photography, you should consider getting one model better than you think you need. It’s better to “grow” into a more advanced camera than buy one and, only a few months later, find out that you have outgrown it.

Mistake #4. Bargains and specials can be confusing

Camera brands have deals all the time so don’t buy a certain camera just because it has a huge rebate on it, unless that model is what you are looking for. Online you might see a camera package that comes with a lot of extras like a tripod, bag, lens tissue, cleaning kit, filters, and many other little items. Looks like a great deal, right? Maybe not. All those extras are not worth much, they are mostly low quality items thrown into a package to make it look good. If you're serious about investing in a good camera, you don’t want to use low quality accessories with it that could detract from what you're able to create. Go into a camera store and choose the right stuff from the start.

Mistake #5. Not having a clear goal

Photography can be an expensive hobby or profession. You need to ask yourself why you are getting a new camera to choose the one that makes sense for your needs.

  • Are your kids getting into sports and your cell phone just won’t cut it anymore?
  • Are you looking to make a little extra money taking photos of your friends families?
  • Are you starting to travel and need a good way to document your travels?

You need to figure out what you want to photograph and then do your research from there.

Many people do the easiest thing and just get the same camera brand that their friends have, or the same brand that they have owned for years. Look at some of the newer technology cameras before deciding, like mirrorless options. Almost all the brands now have mirrorless systems available and these cameras tend to be smaller, lighter, and easy to use with the same quality as other cameras on the market. Don't buy the first camera that seems good – instead, really explore your options to make sure you pick the best camera for you and your needs.

If you are ready to purchase a camera and want help in making the correct decision, reach out to the experts at Precision Camera and Video. Call (512) 467-7676 for a free consultation, or visit for more information.