I recently visited my favorite local photography store, Ace Photo. They were having a special event that brought together a number of major camera and lens manufactures for a mini-trade show.
I wanted to upgrade some current functionality through either a new lens or possible a new camera system all-together. I’d done a lot of online research but there is nothing like going in-person to see, feel, hold the camera, and to speak to an expert. I could explore Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Tamron, Sigma, and more. I was able to talk with all these experts about the features, capabilities, and compatibilities of their systems.
We spend so much time shopping online for what we believe to be the best value, we forget that the most important value may be in exploring all the options in person. In addition to the satisfaction you’ll gain from your purchase, you will likely save money in the long run at your brick and mortar because you’ll get the best choice for you — without having to ‘purchase’ a lot of trial and error.
I did get a new set-up, and one that is fully compatible with my existing equipment! So guess who the winner is — besides me . . .
When choosing a new camera, there are a number of things you’ll want to consider before you get to an event so you can focus on what’s right for you. New equipment is really fun and exciting but can be daunting, so be sure to consider the following:
- In order to be not swayed by all things bright and shiny, figure out: what are you trying to accomplish? Do you just need a lens for birding or for shooting weddings? Or do you want a whole new set-up?
- What are the most important features for you; ones that you don’t want to do without? For example, I wanted a fully articulated LCD monitor — which is hard to find.
- Is that new lens compatible with your current system? Will that new body work with your current lenses? If you’re like me, you may have invested a lot in your glass and want to still be able to use it.
- Does the new set-up fit your current tripod, memory card, batteries, your specialty macro flash unit, camera bag, filters, and… o-o-o-o-oh… everything else you own? These incidentals can really add up. Fortunately, there is an adapter available with which I’ll be able to use my existing four thirds lenses on my new micro four thirds camera body.
- Are you changing brands and will you be ready for the learning curve that inevitably comes with a whole new set-up?
- Think about image file size. If you end up shopping just for extreme mega pixels, will your present memory cards and computer handle the new files or will you now need to upgrade those, too?
- What will be the lifespan of your new equipment? Technology seems to come and go so fast I often shy away from the latest technology — it is initially more expensive and will still be outdated by next Tuesday. Consider also the potential bugs and fixes that the Latest-and-Greatest might well require — think of that recent PC operating system. When you’re the one owning this cutting edge equipment, then these fixes are, effectively, on your dime.
There is a lot to think about and learn before you can snap that first great shot with your new set-up. Do your research. Talk to people in-the-know. Visit a trade show or an event like this one we attended at Ace Photo. This event was amazing. It was small and very ‘do-able’. Service was great. Information was plentiful and readily accessible. And, we really enjoyed purchasing from, and supporting, a local store.
Thank You for visiting,
P.s. How do you do your research? Do you know of any trade shows or other events coming up that others would find beneficial? Share your thoughts in the comments so we can all make better informed choices!