Tips to getting the most for your money when spending on photography equipment with our camera price buster guide to buying photography equipment
There’s no denying that photographers love a bargain. Whether it’s a saving of just a few pounds or hundreds of pounds, getting your new model for less than the asking price is rewarding for the pocket.
Usually around the months of July and August there’s a bit of a lull in the number of new models that are launched as camera manufacturers put the finishing touches to their very latest innovations which are due to be unveiled at the world’s largest imaging trade fairs
With new models expected, it has the knock-on effect of lowering the price of cameras announced earlier in the year to make them more attractive to buy, but it also has an influence on the price of older cameras, which often only have minor differences to the camera that replaced them due to the current rapid turnaround of product life cycles.
With DSLRs, CSCs and Compacts constantly being renewed it’s perhaps no surprise the greatest bargains are picked up on cameras rather than lenses, which tend to have a much longer life cycle. The prices of many cameras can change daily, so in order to pick up the best deal it’s important to check retailers and price comparison websites regularly.
As with any online deal, if a price seems too good to be true, it usually is so be wary of parting with your money. Always remember to research retailers you’ve never bought from before and be conscious of of grey imports outside of the UK from unrecognised retailers that could incur extra-unknown expense.
If you’re unsure we’d always recommend dropping the retailer a line, plus you’ll get expert advice and be able to check if the product is still available. Don’t be afraid to ask if they’ll price match too – most retailers will only be too happy to meet the best price you find.
Here are a few more detailed tips on how you can save money when shopping for your next camera.
Prices vary wildly between dealers. Some retailers may be cheaper for one model but more expensive for something else, so it pays to visit a number of shops and compare prices.
Buy last year’s model
Compact cameras only have a six-month lifespan. When new ones come out the old ones get discounted. Often there’s little difference between an older model and its replacement and last year’s model may still suit your needs.
Buy from specialist photo retailers
You’re more likely to find staff who know what they’re talking about at a specialist photo dealers. This increases the chance of you getting the right camera for your needs.
Stick with the brand names
Stay clear of cameras from brands you’ve never heard of. They’re likely to have been made on the cheap using outdated or low-spec components, and the brand is just a marketing name.
Be wary of grey imports
If an online deal seems too good to be true then maybe it is. Some online retailers dodge tax laws by selling non UK cameras. This may mean you won’t be given an English instruction manual, the wrong plug may be on the charger and you may find you get little support from the UK distributor if it goes wrong.
Try before you buy
Never buy a DSLR without handling it in a shop first. Find one that fits in your hand comfortably and has just the right button placement for your fingers.
Go online and read reviews from photography and tech sites such as ours, or our sister sites, Amateur Photographer and Trusted Reviews, so that you’re sure the camera you’re thinking of is the one you needs. You should also check out user reviews and ask advice from people who actually own the camera and have used it over a period of time.
Before you buy you may also want to consider checking out our
range of other buying advice for camera equipment: