photography / Technology


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Last Updated on 17th November 2017 by Sophie Nadeau

So you’re looking to buy a new (or even your very first) camera, eh? Well, there are plenty of points you’re going to need to consider when deciding on the question “what camera should I buy?”

If you’ve been following me on Instagram for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m pretty shutter crazy! Any time that a photo opportunity presents itself, I’m snapping photo shots faster than you can say ‘take a photo‘.

As a result, over time friends and readers have asked me ‘what camera should I buy?’ Well, the truth is, there’s no hard and fast rule! Everything depends on your budget, skill level and what you’re aiming to get out of the camera. If you’ve started searching around for a camera to buy, then you’ll know that you can easily be overwhelmed by the options available!

Consider your Budget

First things first! Consider your budget. If you buy that super-duper top of the range $2000+ dollar camera, are you really going to get your money’s worth out of it? That is, if you even know how to use it!

Well, remember that mid-range cameras are improving all the time- you can easily pick up a mid-range camera that has the potential to take sell-able photographs! Also, remember that as newer models are coming out all the time; buying last year’s model can save you hundreds of dollars- a lot of savings for a model that is not so different from the one you’re lusting after.

panoramic views over paris tour montparnasse

What do you actually want your camera for? (aka what type of photography?)

After budget, this is probably, the most important question to ask yourself. Do you want to take landscape photos or are you aiming more for holiday shots? Are you going to learn to use the camera manually or are you just looking for something that you can use on auto?

If you’re really not sure what you want, then it may be best to start with your smartphone (if you’ve got a smartphone camera). If not, then a point and shoot digital camera (such as the Nikon Coolpix) is perfect for figuring out what you’d like to do.

When I started taking photos, I a) didn’t have enough saved up for the camera I wanted and b) didn’t have a clue if I’d be committed enough to taking photos. I set myself a challenge of taking a photo every day. As a result, I decided what kind of photography I liked and realised that I was committed to taking photos!

photo of a photo at the eiffel tower

Consider the Camera body

If you’ve decided to go for a body with detachable lens (e.g. a DSLR or compact mirrorless), then yay! You’ll be able to upgrade your equipment as and when you need/ want to.

If you’re not sure what kind of photography you’re going to be interested in, there for the moment, don’t worry about the lens too much but focus on learning how to use your camera.

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Consider the Size of your camera

Size matters! I can’t even tell you how many stories I’ve heard of people buying big, bulky cameras, only to realise later on that they could have got away with buying a camera that is a lot smaller. If you do go for that big DSLR, are you really going to lug it around in your bag all the time?!

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What’s in a Brand?

Something that often surprises me is the number of times I get asked ‘Nikon or Canon’? Well, the answer is neither! If you’re wondering what I use, it’s the Sony a6000 with kit lens. Yes- I’ve still not bought an extra lens and still use the one that came with the camera! I find that the kit lens (the lens that comes with the camera when you purchase it) is a really good all ’round lens for a variety of light and landscape circumstances.

Once you buy a camera body, you’re going to be somewhat limited by the lenses that you can use with it. So while you should bear this selecting selectioning your camera, don’t pay too much attention to the brand.

Do your research before you even go to the store!

Before buying my camera, I read dozens (if not hundreds) of online reviews. I even went into multiple camera shops and asked the people who worked there for advice. When going into the store, be specific. Do you like macro (close up) photography? Are you going to be shooting in a lot of low lighting? The more information you give, the better the advice you’ll receive!


Further equipment you might consider

Phew, that was a lot to think about! But it’s not over yet! At the very least, you’ll also need:

  • A memory card (I recommend the SanDisk Extreme 32 GB – this is the one I use)
  • A filter- so that your precious (and expensive) lens doesn’t get scratched (I use the Hoya 40.5mm) Note: When it comes to lens filters, make sure you get the right one to fit your lens!

You may also want to purchase

  • A tripod (The Manfrotto has been recommended to be by a number of people)
  • A camera bag- I normally just use my handbag!

Pin what camera should I buy and use now, read it later!

What camera should I buy for travel photography! Tips, tricks and practical advice for purchasing a travel camera.

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About Author

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, Paris, pizza, and history, though not necessarily in that order. A fan of all things France related, she runs when she's not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming her weight in sweet food. Currently based in Paris after studies in London, she's spent most of her life living in the beautiful Devonian countryside in South West England!


  • Paul Pedersen
    28th January 2018 at 2:09 am

    Be careful of the kit lens. Some cameras come with a very small zoom in order to hit a price point. On those, the zoom is not sufficient to offer much flexibility. I have an 18-105 on my Nikon. It is modestly wide angle at the 18 end of the zoom and has a useful amount of magnification at the 105 end of the scale. Kit lenses with less zoom should be avoided. Unfortunately, the people who buy a camera with the lesser kit lens don’t know what they should be looking for. They hear the word “zoom” and think they have something more powerful than they really are being supplied with.

  • FabioRosado
    1st September 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Really liked the post and I agree with everything that you said Sophie.
    My first camera was a Canon and I loved it, but then when the newest cameras came out and they could shoot video, I was like: “wow! I need one of those! Imagine all the possibilities!”

    I ended up getting a Nikon because my father was a professional photographer and always used Nikon (free equipment right?) Funny thing is, I end up using the kit lens more than any others I have – mainly because he had good lenses for portrait pictures but not great for landscape.

    One thing I would add to your list of needed equipment: A spare battery – simply because my battery tends to end at the worse possible times haha


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