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A Camera Right For You - Step 3

Monday, February 29, 2016

How do you find the camera that is right for you? 

The first two posts in this series about DSLR cameras are

You are now ready for the third post about how to find a camera right for you.
Mostly words, only a few pretty pictures, which is ironic since the topic is photography. 

✯ 3... Research brands and models. 

Once you have begun to narrow your search to a few brands and models, 
visit camera manufacturers' websites to see all the models currently available. 
Keep your research notebook handy; 
facts, figures, and options are about to sweep you away. 
Numbers used with camera and lens options will be similar, but with big differences. 


The PINTEREST, blogger, and photography sites you read 
may contain information that is outdated. 
Cameras may no longer be available. 
Newer models with better features may exist. 
Older models may still be available, 
but they may be near the end of being supported by the manufacturer. 
Models may also have had design flaws 
that have been corrected in newer versions of that model. 

Camera manufacturers' websites will have the 
most up-to-date information with suggested retail prices, 
warranty information, and a list of authorized sellers. 

A few brands to consider are Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, and Samsung. 
(In alphabetical order)


Caution:  The warranty for some cameras is only valid 
when bought from an authorized seller in the United States. 

eBay or other third-party sellers may or may not be 
selling cameras and lenses with valid warranties
even if the camera is still in the original box and unused.    

Photo taken in Kenya using a 35 mm camera in the days of FILM


After visiting camera manufacturers' websites, 
check out the online sellers listed as authorized sellers for different brands. 

Visit online camera stores and sites like Amazon 
to compare their prices and special offers. 
Just type in the brand name of the camera into your web browser,
and go the sites that are listed.

Many sites offer more than one combination of a camera model 
bundled with different lenses and other accessories. 
One bundle may be a better option for your needs than others offered. 
The camera on which I narrowed my search comes with different lens bundles. 

#1:  18-55 mm lens 
#2:  18-135 mm lens
#3:  18-55 mm lens AND 55-250 mm lens 


Read the specification charts for the cameras and lenses 
to get the most accurate information about close-up and zoom ranges. 
Make notes in your notebook. 


Remember to check the compatibility of the camera with your 
existing computer's operating system. 
Does your computer have enough hard-drive memory to install the software? 
Is your computer's operating system supported by the camera's software? 
Will you need to upgrade either your computer's memory and/or operating system? 
Include new memory and software into the total cost. 

If you do not see the information on the manufacturer's website, 
research by typing into your browser something like, 
"Canon Rebel T6i and Mac operating system." 
Replace the camera model and computer model with 
camera and computer that YOU are researching.


Read customer reviews to learn about the likes and dislikes of a camera 
as well as information about problems with either the camera or the seller. 

A camera I am considering had a problem with its sensor 
in the first ones made which I discovered in customer reviews. 
The problem has been corrected, but the reviewers alerted readers 
to be sure not to buy a camera that began with certain serial numbers. 
Very important information especially if you are thinking about 
buying a used camera from eBay or Craigslist.  


Before buying from either the camera manufacturers' website 
or any other authorized online seller, see the camera in person. 

Visit a local camera store to see an actual camera you are considering. 
See what actually comes in the box/bundle/kit. 
Holding the camera with its lens attached gives you a much better 
sense of how big the camera is and how much it weighs than 
just reading the dimensions and weights in listed specifications. 
You also get a better idea of how well the camera is made. 

Pictures (online) may be worth a thousand words, 
but nothing compares to seeing the real thing in person. 

 Research up front may save you headaches and frustrations later,  
especially about warranties and computer system compatibilities. 

More to come in how to find a camera right for YOU. 
Upcoming topics include...
deciding WHERE to buy,
choosing WHICH accessories,
locating sources for HOW to use.

Do you have any tips for readers about how to research brands and models? 


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