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How to Choose Your First DSLR Camera

Lesson 2 of 16

10 Camera Purchasing Mistakes

John Greengo

How to Choose Your First DSLR Camera

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

2. 10 Camera Purchasing Mistakes

Lesson Info

10 Camera Purchasing Mistakes

I want to start off with my ten camera purchasing mistakes, and so as I said, I have spent years working behind the camera counter selling cameras to people, and I hear people come in and they ask a question, and I say to myself, oh, brother, this is going to be a long one, this's going to be a hard one because they're already on the wrong track. All right, so here we go. Number ten on the list is bad advice, all right there, buddy, at work, which is the smartest photographer they happen to know, ask somebody what camera guo and for some reason or another, he ended up with a certain model, and you've decided you're going to get the same camera is your buddy at work, even though they really don't know what they're talking about? Number nine underestimated what their money would buy cameras, and photography in general is a fairly expensive hobby for a lot of people, and there are some people that think that for five hundred or thousand dollars, they're going to get a top of the line came...

ra capable of shooting the olympics on par with all the best sports photographers in the world. The fact of the matter is, is that very high end professional photographers do use very high end here because it's appropriate to their skill level and they're trying to get the most out of it, so you have to be a little bit tempered with what you can get sometimes because a good lens is a thousand bucks reality didn't match ambitions every once in a while, I would encounter somebody who would say, yeah, I'm just a year away from retirement, and when I retire, I'm just going to travel the globe, I'm going to go all over the place, so I need a camera that is really good for traveling, and then they come back a year later and they need well, I need to return this camera's what happened? A big old travels? Well, I got grandkids now and they're hanging around the house, and I'm doing a lot more people photography than travel photography, and so it wasn't really clear the direction that their life was going and what they were going to be doing pictures and so you you need to buy a camera that fits your lifestyle and where it is going. Number seven distracted by special deals, you walk into the camera store, you look online and you kind of have something in mind, but all of a sudden over here with a shiny, glittery sign, that's got sparkles on it that says special weekend deal, and they have all sorts of kits and lindsay's packaged together and it's got the bag in the strap on the tripod and you're thinking, wow, this sounds like a great deal but you're not really looking as that the camera I want so don't be distracted by those deals over thought the little abs well here in seattle we've we've got big businesses in microsoft and boeing which means we've got a lot of nerds in town and every once in a while they would come in and they would over analyze these cameras and they would come by and they would pick up a couple of cameras and they're thinking I'm thinking about camera camera b now cameron a has seven stops bracketing in camera b does nine stops of bracketing so that must be a better camera do you know what bracketing is and how often do you use it? Well, I don't know but one's got more than the other so it must be better and you start analyzing these things because there's a lot of details and ways to compare the cameras and they just get lost in the details totally lost in the details and they need to stand back and kind of look at the bigger picture of what sort of camera do I what type of camera do I want to get in? And those little items for the most part don't really matter number five thought more money would solve the problem every once in a while, somebody's got more money than they know what to do with it, and they're just getting into photography. And if you just kind of forgot about money for just a moment, you could walk in and you could choose any camera you wanted is the most expensive camera going to be the camera that's appropriate to your skill level? Not necessarily. So. When I bought my first motorcycle, I did not go spend as much money ideas I had in the bank on a motorcycle. I wanted to get something that was simple and a good starter for me to learn on, and sometimes with cameras rather than spending more money sometimes it's better to spend less money that's appropriate to your skill level in what you are doing didn't budget for all the accessories many people when they go out looking for a camera there, thinking I'm going to spend and they come up with a number one thousand dollars on the camera. Oh yeah, I need a lance. Well, maybe I'll spend eight hundred dollars in the camera and two hundred dollars on the lands. And what about the tripod and the camera bag and the memory card and the battery and everything else that you might need an old you have forgot all about that stuff and so there's a lot of little things that you're going to need and we'll talk a little bit about those as we go through the classes well, the more money you spend on photography, the smaller and smaller percentage of that is the camera and so you know, when I when I go out with my camera bag, my camera probably is about one quarter to one third the cost of everything that I've paid for in that camera back at the beginning it might be a fifty fifty ratio and issue get better the camera value goes down and down in percentage so you really got to think about the lens because the lens is as important to image quality as the sensor in the camera. Number three over concerned about online reviews you know I don't post pretty much anything online, but I love going into the forums and the comment sections in the review sections to see what people say about particular products and there are haters for everything out there I can tell you oh every camera that you confined you were going to find an entire group of people that seemed to not have a job and spend their entire lives online writing bad reviews and comments about any particular camera, so if you think you're going to find a perfect set of reviews for any camera, it does not happen and so you have to kind of ignore the chatter look at the overall scope hey, if everyone says the lens doesn't fit on this camera that's something to pay attention to uh oh, and so you can kind of look at the overall themes of what they're talking about and kind of address that and see how it fits with what's important to you, but for the most part I have seen so many bad reviews and comments about cameras that I use that my camera is certainly not capable of doing this and I'm like yes, it isthe and so these air just angry people with way too much time in an internet connection number two didn't do the research a lot of people when they're getting involved in something that's kind of new and we all do this from time to time whether we're going to go out and we're going to get into skiing and we've never skied before and we need to learn about skis and ski boots and all of that or we're going to go on vacation to a place that we've never been we're trying to find out this information on a lot of people just go on overload and they just kind of go shut down and they're like, you know that one yeah, I'll just take that one and they don't really bother to get in to do the research and as I said before, some people do too much research and so there's an appropriate amount of research to dio and then there's too much on so there's a careful balance between those two. So you guys ready for number one? All right, the number one problem belief that a great camera takes great photos. A lot of people will come into the camera store and they'll be looking at all these cameras and they'll be asking terrible questions like what's the best camera there is in the best camera there's, the best camera for you, which one's going to take the best pictures? Well, these are artistic tools it's going to be like buying a guitar or piano, which one makes the best music? Well, that has a strong, strong uh, link to how good the artist is behind the lens, and I think it was ansel adams who said the most important part of a camera was six inches behind it. All right? And so I could give any one of these cameras to many of the talented photographers that come here to creative live, and they could make great put photos with it and so it's not the camera that's ultimately going to determine the artwork that you're going to create. It is really you this is just the tool that you happen to be using at the time

Class Description

It’s nearly impossible for any beginner to sort through all of the functions, features, and price points of DSLR and mirrorless cameras and make an informed choice. In How to Choose Your First DSLR Camera, John Greengo will simplify the buying process and help you find the camera that fits your needs and your budget.

The key to finding a great DSLR camera for beginners is knowing the market and which questions to ask. In this class, you’ll learn about all the different types and brands of cameras and which one is right for you. 

You'll learn:

  • Which features are beneficial to your style of photography
  • The importance of having the right lens
  • The differences between Digital SLRs and mirrorless
  • How a camera’s sensor size impacts image quality

John will look closely at all the latest DSLRs from Nikon and Canon, and the mirrorless cameras from Sony, Fuji, Panasonic, Olympus, and others.

The current crop of photographic equipment is more diverse than ever before and finding the right DSLR camera for a beginner can be a challenge. There is a huge range of variables between cameras, even when they come from the same manufacturer. How to Choose Your First DSLR Camera will help you know what to look for and which questions to ask when it’s time to buy your first camera.



I have to thank John Greengo and the CreativeLive staff for another wonderful class. Mr. Greengo is a very good instructor (he has a nice Bob Ross ambiance), very knowledgeable and very technical with the camera and the terminologies. I am very grateful that he has material to download so I can continue to review and learn. I own a DSLR but I never truly understood the baseline technology. I am in the process of purchasing a new camera system and lens for some photography but mostly for filmmaking. With the knowledge I gain by watching this course, I can better choose and identify the features of the future cameras in my upcoming new passion. Thank you CreativeLive and Thank you Mr. Greengo. I am looking forward to attending future classes.


This was a great class. I already had an idea of the direction I wanted to go as I start my new business, but this class really helped me focus on the most important upgrades I need to make to my current system. I was particularly impressed with the visual graphics used to explain the technical functions of cameras and how those functions affect image quality and camera use. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who wants to up their camera system and I am looking forward to taking the classes that are specific to the camera systems I am using. I would love to see a class on image processing and getting the most out of editing software. Great Job! Glad I signed up for CreativeLive.

Bev Anne

Excellent course. I was happy to find out that I made a good choice when purchasing my entry level DSLR camera -- it does everything I need at the moment. I was also interested to find out that mirrorless is the wave of the future -- I really like the idea of the light weight because I am developing some arthritis in my wrists and when I am ready to move up in the future I will have great options. Meanwhile I also learned that there is an inexpensive lens that I can get that will upgrade my system enough for the immediate future. Thank you John Greengo for this informative class it was well worth the purchase price.