Inspiration

It’s New to Me: Camera Buying for the Beginner

I’m fairly new to photography, but I’ve been “shooting” for years on my iPhone (I know, I know, that’s not a thing). Earlier this year, as I was doing my daily scroll of Instagram, I had a lightbulb moment. There is just no way the people I follow are posting photos strictly taken with their phones. The quality is much too good. I toggled back and forth between their photos and mine and thought “yuck, I need something better for higher quality photos”, but what?

Once I announced my intention to buy a camera, the photographers came out of the woodwork. I had no idea I had so many photographer friends! I was told the only choice I had was Nikon. Others told me Canon. Still others said that Leica was all I needed in my life. I went online and looked up all of the camera recommendations I’d gotten and fell out of my chair at how much some of the cameras and lenses were going for. Either my friends are way more affluent than they let on or they are crazy. Perhaps some combination of both.

Before I wanted to be an amateur photographer, I was (still am) an automotive connoisseur. I love cars, but I can’t afford to buy them brand new, off the showroom floor, plus why would I do that if there are used, still current models that go for less? A 2017 model is just as good (in some cases better) as a 2018 model – just more miles. One of the best lessons I’ve learned from being into cars is: used is better than new.

I applied that lesson to my camera buying. I had my eye on a Canon EOS Rebel T7i lens kit, but it was $849.99 new – too much for my first real camera. Instead, I went with a previously-owned Canon EOS Rebel T5i and Canon 18-55mm lens I found at KEH.com, both in better than excellent condition, for $626. I saved over 25% (or $223.99) and, because I purchased through KEH, I got a 180-day warranty. I also love the idea that I’m continuing the life of the camera. It had a story before me, captured images I can only imagine, and its story will continue with me. I’m so glad the previous owner decided to sell it to KEH instead of letting it sit (or worse, throwing it away). It’s a fabulous camera!

Don’t worry, Nikon and Leica friends. That money I saved buying a used Canon instead of a new one will go towards my next gear purchase, because, frankly, I’m hooked!

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