Whether you are a professional photographer or a novice, buying new camera equipment can be a burden. While brands like Canon and Nikon are popular picks within the community, most people cannot afford the headache-inducing prices. Still, many buy them because they believe that these brands are the key to better photos.
The truth is, you do not need fancy new gear to be a good photographer. What you need is talent and a couple of necessities that will not cost you a fortune. Keep reading below to find out where you can get the best camera for your money.
Table of Contents
- 1 Tips To Save Money When Buying Camera Gear
- 1.1 Plan Out What Gear You Need
- 1.2 Create A Budget
- 1.3 Do Your Research
- 1.4 Borrow Instead Of Buying
- 1.5 Start Small
- 1.6 Upgrade Only When Essential
- 1.7 Online Discounts And Deals
- 1.8 Purchase Older Models
- 1.9 Buy Certified, Refurbished, And Used
- 1.10 Rent Photography Gear
- 1.11 Use Cashback and Credit Card Rewards
- 1.12 Look For Off-Brand Camera Gear Products And Accessories
- 1.13 Avoid Camera Kits And Bundles
- 1.14 Sell Your Old Photography Gear
- 2 Bottom Line
- 3 FAQ
Tips To Save Money When Buying Camera Gear
If you are on a budget but still need good camera gear, there are some things to consider. First, lay down your budget and how much you are willing to spend. Then plan out what kind of gear you need, your required camera specs, and so on. Below are some guidelines you can follow for easier planning.
Plan Out What Gear You Need
Before making a purchase, narrow down your goals. Do you want to focus on one type of photography, or do you want to shoot different things? Are you more into portraits or landscape? Perhaps you shoot fashion shows. That is important because it will help you determine the best camera for money.
For example, fashion photographers use a camera with quick autofocus, and the camera can shoot continuously for a long time. The gear would include a camera stabilizer in this case. If you are into nature, investing in a camera with a wide-angle lens will lead to better landscape photos. Each mastery has its craft.
Create A Budget
Creating a budget depends on the money you have and how much you are willing to spend. Amateurs and those who take photos as a hobby can easily create an entire bundle for $1,000. For professionals, investing in more expensive equipment will raise your price in the long run. So, it would be worth splurging a little more.
Do not forget to add camera attachments such as a tripod and lighting in the total cost. Our advice is to focus on what you need, not what you want. Look for practical, not trendy or fun. It will save you a lot of money. There is no free camera gear after all.
Once you have the budget for the things you want, you can start saving cash for it. One way is to, for example, sell your photographs online and grow your account until you hit the target.
Do Your Research
Make sure that you are up to the latest news and trends in the photography world. Making good but affordable camera equipment gets easier and easier. Do not accidentally splurge on your gear when you can find something similar for a significantly lower price. That is why it is crucial to do proper research before making any purchases.
Borrow Instead Of Buying
If you are unsure whether you want to buy a particular product, ask a friend to lend you theirs. That way, you can keep it for a while and see if you can work with it. What is even better, it will not cost you a penny! And, of course, enjoy the free camera equipment while you have it!
No one starts as a photographer by breaking the bank and getting the most expensive DSLR. If you are looking to start somewhere, begin with the necessities. You can easily find a cheap but good camera that will satisfy your needs. We recommend getting some batteries along with it and maybe a superb lens. You can purchase everything else later.
Upgrade Only When Essential
Try not to buy things that you do not need. Given the photography gear that you have at the moment suffices. Do not go out and invest in a new camera for the thrill. And, if you momentarily need new gear, there are other options of obtaining it instead of buying it.
One of the biggest mistakes is to buy everything at once. Instead, pace your purchases and get the essentials first.
Online Discounts And Deals
Nothing is more exciting than getting online discounts! Photographers can find them on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. You should also check out different vendors. Many offer two for one deal, extended warranties, and so on. Another great way to save money is to wait for the holidays to roll around. Christmas and Black Friday discounts can save you a ton.
Some merchants even offer free camera gear as part of a sponsorship. That is when you need to get creative. Show the company that you have something valuable to offer in exchange for a product of theirs. One example would be shooting them a sponsored video or giving them an Instagram shout-out. And who knows, it just might work!
Purchase Older Models
Let us imagine a great new camera with excellent specs comes out. And it is also precisely what you need! Should you buy it? Well, perhaps not right away. Anytime awesome new gear comes out, wait a little bit before purchasing. There are often dramatic price cuts on cameras, even a year after release.
If you are on a budget, buying something slightly older rather than splurging on significant investments might be better. So, instead of buying that camera right after it comes out, wait a couple of months to a year and buy it then. You will still get great new gear, and your wallet will thank you for it.
Buy Certified, Refurbished, And Used
Another option is to buy refurbished high-quality gear from reputable brands. It can save you hundreds of bucks, plus it comes with a warranty. However, you should not worry much about that, as these products are made like new. You can receive a sweet deal buying refurbished lenses from Canon for way less than their original price.
An even cheaper option is to buy used equipment. Many sites sell used but quality gear for very little. One example is B&H, a website that sells used gear from different merchants. They have created a used equipment rating system by which they rate merchants’ products. Vendors can only sell equipment tested and proven to work.
This way, you can finally obtain that expensive camera you have been lusting after for so long. Just make sure that there are no scratches or fungus on used gear and research before purchasing. Looking into reviews of sellers is also a great way to prevent getting scammed and receiving defective equipment.
Photography equipment is expensive unless you know how to buy it smartly. Get refurbished or second-hand items and save tons of cash instantly.
Rent Photography Gear
When you rent gear, you get your hands on items that cost thousands of dollars for a hundred bucks or less. You can rent from abroad or local freelancers to avoid shipping costs. By renting expensive gear that you cannot buy, you can significantly raise your price and charge your clients more. All this while also bumping up production!
Another reason to rent gear is to get the feel of a camera before buying it. You will have the opportunity to hold it in your hand and test it out. Plus, you can rent it for as long as needed, be it a week or a month. Renting gear out before you buy it can save you a lot!
Some people will offer to subtract the rental amount from the overall cost if you borrow their photography equipment. That way, if you decide to buy it later, you will be able to do so at a lower price. That is another reason to consider renting first instead of buying.
Use Cashback and Credit Card Rewards
One of the best ways to save money when buying gear is to use cashback or credit card rewards. Many merchants offer mail-in rebates. Go straight to the manufacturer’s website, make your purchase, and then send a form of proof of said purchase. After this, the manufacturer is obliged to pay you back a certain amount of the money.
It is a perfectly safe way to save some cash. And, if you are a frequent credit card user, then many of them offer cash rewards. For every buck spent, you get more points which you can later spend on whatever you like. It is not exactly free camera equipment, but it will save you a ton.
Look For Off-Brand Camera Gear Products And Accessories
Just because something is branded does not mean that it is worth it. There are plenty of lesser-known brands that provide excellent goods at reasonable prices. You may even come across a camera similar to a Nikon, just a ton cheaper! Do not let consumerism convince you that you should be spending a fortune on your equipment.
Avoid Camera Kits And Bundles
Although buying in bulk may seem like a great idea at first, most professional photographers speak against it. The reason is that when selling bundles, merchants will often include very cheap and weak gear. You will also most likely be buying a bunch of things that you do not need.
Instead, look to purchase everything separately at a reasonable price. An excellent entry-level camera with a lens and an SD card is where a beginner can start. Buying refurbished lenses from Canon is a cheap alternative. Purchase whatever else is essential. You can get things like bags, tripods, and cleaning kits later on.
Sell Your Old Photography Gear
Are you bored of working with the same equipment and want to invest in something new? Then it would help if you considered selling it. The sooner you do it, the better, as gear loses value over time. There are many places on the internet to sell your used photography gear, and you can even sell it locally.
One place you can do this is Bokeh Market. It is a website that determines the selling price of items you no longer want. Once you narrow down the cost of everything, you can put your old gear up for grabs! And the best part is, you will finally have that extra money to purchase that fantastic new camera!
Realize what is going to make the most remarkable difference in your photography. Then, search for said products. Always look for the least pricey option that is also good enough to do the job. And, instead of buying expensive gear, our advice is to spend more time improving your skill instead.
The plus side to cheap photography equipment is that it will teach you how to make the most of it. It will make you work its angles and discover its advantages. We hope we helped you find the best camera for money. If you enjoyed reading, make sure to subscribe to our ProMoneySavings Newsletter for more financial tips and tricks!
How can I save money as a photographer?
You can save money by setting a goal. Do you want to do street photography? Promise yourself only to buy what you would need for this shoot. A tripod is something that is rarely used when doing street photography. On the other hand, investing in good lenses is vital because it will help you capture far-away objects.
How do you save on camera gear?
We are here to help you spare yourself the financial troubles. To recap, you can save money on gear by creating a budget, borrowing instead of buying, and renting. Other options include buying second-hand items or refurbished ones. Finally, consider taking advantage of cashback and credit card rewards instead of spending your cash.
How much should I spend on a DSLR?
Depending on your budget, beginner-friendly DSLRs can go up to $1000, and professional ones can cost double the price. It depends on your level of expertise and what you shoot. Do not fret. You can find a professional DSLR for very cheap by buying second-hand. Thanks to the advancement of mirrorless cameras, DSLRs have never been more affordable.
What is a good camera but inexpensive?
If you are looking for something under $300, then the best camera for your money is the Nikon Coolpix B500. It is very affordable with an impressive zoom range. You can shoot anything from landscape to street photography all in one lens. Keep in mind that this camera caters to casual photographers.
Is Canon or Nikon better?
Pitting one against the other is biased as both Canon and Nikon are recognized as top-notch digital camera providers. Choosing one over the other boils down to what you, as a photographer, need from a camera. When it comes to overall quality, Canon holds the monopoly. On the other hand, Nikon’s are way more affordable.