Art and Science on choosing photography gear

by Enche Tjin on March 15, 2010

Are you confused on choosing photographic equipment such as cameras, lenses and so forth? You are not alone. There are so many choices today. Each brand has plenty of models to choose from. Plus there are more from previous years.

Is there any effective way that can help us select the best gear? I have no answer to that, but fortunately, I have some guidelines that I learn from school and personal experience.

There are three main methods:

1. Creating constraints
2. Determining the best value
3. Ask the expert

bingungThe first thing to do is determine the constraints. Every time we set a constraint, automatically it will remove some of the options so that we are closer to the decision.

My favorite constraint is price of the gear or or our fund. Next, it is a specific camera feature that we need or desire, such as size and weight, video feature in digital SLR camera, built quality and weather-proofing, and so on.

Another way is to determine the the best value gear in a category. Usually photographic gears are divided in several categories such as for beginners, intermediate and advanced. Then we determine the best value of each gear on the paper. For example, 18 mp is better than mp 12 mp, 51 point auto focus is better than 9 and so on. Many internet websites and magazine provide product specification and comparison.

If you are not confident to make decision yourself, you can  ask the experts. An expert of course, is someone who is experienced in the field of photography. But be careful in choosing an expert who can you trust.


  • Photographer or friends who only use equipment from one brand.
  • Salesman that will potentially promote merchandise with large commission.

Find expert photographer that honest about the weaknesses and strengths of photography equipment. especially those that have experience about tools that you want.

In the end, if you feel you have made a mistake, do not be disappointed, the most important thing is to learn from those mistakes. Note the advantages and disadvantages of your tool for future reference.

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