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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I have $120, what camera should i get?

One of the most common things that i get asked is "I have $120, which camera should i get". That's pretty simple to answer, it doesn't matter for $120. See my previous post "It's not the camera, its the photographer", that will help highlight the main train of thought on this issue. You can buy a digital camera for $20 now that will snap 5 megapixel pictures or buy a $80 HD video camera from CVS.

When you're in the price range of $20 to $300 and looking at simple point and shoots you're basically paying for style, what looks good on you and what looks the most modern. Some of these cameras do have some bells and whistles that i admire such as the option to shoot in Shutter Priority mode or full manual. When it comes to brass tacks though the sensor that is used is pretty much all the same.

Let me use an simple comparison to highlight what i mean. Lets say you're looking at cars and you're just looking at Fords, Chevys, Lincolns and Saturns all in the price range of $8,000 to $12,000; you're buying the brand, the look and the color. All those cars will do exactly the same things but one may have an extra cup holder or one may have a little better suspension. In the end all of these cars aren't a Corvette or a top of the line Mercedes.

So if you have $120 to buy a camera, buy something that looks nice and maybe has a function to shoot manual. For photographers a $120 camera is considered a throw away camera, something that if it breaks we won't blink an eye.  Save an buy a DSLR if you want great pictures and want to improve your basic photography skills.


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