Deciding on which camera to buy can be a challenge to both entry-level photographers and advanced photography enthusiasts alike. So just how much should you expect to spend on a digital camera? To answer that, let’s take a look at some price options and why you should consider going for a camera within a certain price range.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • An entry-level photographer looking to dip their toes in photography can start with a modern digital camera that costs $300.
  • Photography enthusiasts who want to develop their skills can purchase cameras that cost lower than $2000.
  • Professional photographers who are more specific on what they are looking for spend $3000 and above on cameras.

Price Options Available for a Digital Camera

If you are new to photography, below are some price options that can help you decide on how to purchase a digital camera. If you’re curious about what kind of life expectancy you can expect from your new camera, check out how many years a digital camera lasts.

Digital Cameras Below $300

Second-hand and entry-level older camera options fall into this category. Examples of good second-hand options include the D3400 DSLR with its kit lens and the Canon PowerShot SX620 point-and-shoot. 

Digital Cameras Below $1,000

As a beginner photographer, you can pick a brand-new mid-level DSLR camera like the Canon 80D, Nikon D5600, or the Sony a6300. Alternatively, you can also select compact cameras like the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II or the Sony RX 100 IV. You do not need to go for professional features; a $1000 camera has more than enough to cater to your needs. To take advantage of the features of a digital camera, also learn more about how to take a selfie with a digital camera.

Digital Cameras Below $3,000

The starting price of a new full-frame camera with a larger sensor is $2,000 and other high-end point-and-shoot cameras cost $1,300. Examples of professional DSLR cameras that cost approximately $3000 include the Canon 5D MKIV, Nikon D850, and Sony A7R III for only the camera body. Top compact cameras include the Leica D-LUX 7 and the Fujifilm X100V. An amateur photographer going for these options is likely thinking about professional photography as a career, but not necessarily.

Factors to Consider Before Spending Your Money on a New Digital Camera

Selecting a point-and-shoot camera or a DSLR involves more than looking at the features. To help you plan on how to go about purchasing the ideal choice, below are some factors you need to consider.

What is Your Budget?

The first thing you need to do is to work out the maximum amount you want to spend. Once you start window shopping or browsing for options, limit your search to cameras that fit your budget.

Insider Tip

As a beginning photographer, it is not essential to buy an expensive camera. You can take amazing photographs with a camera that costs less than $500.

Do You Have Any Quality Gear?

Aside from the camera, there are other accessories you may need as well. For example, interchangeable lenses, SD cards, a tripod, and even a few filters are all things to consider. If this is your second camera purchase, you may already have some interchangeable lenses and other accessories. But if this is your first camera, factor these elements into your budget.

In most cases, an entry-level DSLR camera comes with a standard kit lens which may be 18-55mm with a max aperture of between f/3.5 and f/5.6. The kit is usually great for travel, street, and landscape photography. However, you cannot use them effectively for portraits. For that, you will need a cheap 50mm f/1.8 lens.

What Are You Looking for in a Camera?

An entry-level camera will deliver the same results as an expensive model. For example, an entry-level DSLR like the Nikon D3500 sells at approximately $600 on Amazon, but the beautiful pictures they take are not that different from the more expensive Nikon D500. Where an expensive camera shows its strength is in shooting a high-quality 4K video or filming in low light conditions.

It’s also important to think about why you want a camera. For example, if you only want to shoot your family vacations, there are a myriad of low-budget options that will meet this need. If you really want something on the high-end for the same purpose, you’ll be able to find a second-hand full-frame camera or a top compact camera at a reasonable price. Of course, if you’re looking to start a career in photography, opt for something mid-range until you can afford professional equipment.

New Model or Second Hand?

It is important to be careful with second-hand cameras. If you purchase one from a reputable store, experts will check the camera to ensure it’s working properly, and you might also get a warranty. In addition, you can get the features you want at a lower price compared to a new model. One of the interesting things about a second-hand option is that it will help you discover if digital photography is what you want. 

On the other hand, purchasing a new camera will get you a brand-new model with the manufacturer’s guarantee. You won’t have this with a second-hand camera.

Warning

Buying an expensive camera as a beginner can lead to frustration and confusion when figuring out how to work the gear.

F.A.Q.

What are the basic camera tips for entry-level photographers?

  • Always clean your lenses and keep them away from any risk of damage, especially when you are not using them.
  • Use a tripod stand to prevent camera movement when taking pictures.
  • Start by learning how to take easy digital photos before getting in night and action photos.
  • Carry your camera everywhere you go, and practice taking shots when the opportunity arises.

What are some accessories an entry-level photographer needs to purchase?

  • A tripod to prevent blurry photos caused by shaky hands.
  • A Camera cleaning kit to clean your lenses.
  • At least one additional such as a 50mm; if you have a cropped sensor, use an option close to 30mm.
  • Memory cards with enough memory to handle both RAW and JPEG images. 
  • A Photography bag to carry all your equipment.

Why is Canon more popular than Nikon?

Canon seems to have more sales volume compared to Nikon. That means that they are better at advertising and marketing, but it does not mean that they are a better option. Canon offers a wider product range, while Nikon sells primarily point-and-shoot and DSLRs.



STAT: Cameras with 3MP do not have enough image data for 8×10 prints, resulting in pixelation if you try to crop and blow up photos taken with them. (source)

Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."

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