Monday, April 23, 2007

Question for the camera-buyers out there

OK, so like, assume that after hours of research, you find the digital camera you want to buy.  (And, yes, then you find the charger for your old camera's batteries, but have now convinced yourself that camera is obsolete, given all the stuff you were looking at, so you figure you'll buy the new one anyway.)

And then you want to find the best price for it.

Now, you could do something sensible like comparing prices on the camera.  But all the stores offer different packages -- in which they throw various and sundry crap in with the camera.  (Indeed, I reckon this is where they make their real money, as I'm guessing the great bulk of the crap is off-brand stuff they get for cheap.)

Leading to the question:  what crap should one buy for one's camera?  Extra memory cards?  (One big card?  Lotsa little ones?)  Camera case?  Back-up battery?  Cute little foldy-tripod?  Lens cleany kit?  Which of this stuff will I actually need (and use) and which is a waste of cash?

And, more to the point, should I try to get a camera bundled with all this stuff, or am I better off buying the camera separately and choosing exactly the stuff I want and going with name-brand purveyors?

(The fact that today's Woot is two 512 MB SD cards for $5.99 is sorta bringing the question to the fore.)


memes121 said...

Just ask yourself, if I had that tripod, when and how much would I use it? I have a cheaper camera but wanted all of the stuff. But I settled for memory cards, battery rechargers and soon a case. The other stuff will just collect in a closet somewhere. Tammy

hewasolddog299 said...

Extra batteries, if they are of the proprietary (non-AA,AAA or CR-2) kind as there's nothing worse than being in the back of beyond with a flat battery and a beautiful sunset.

A camera skin to reduce wear and tear. I also use a little zippered case on mine to keep the pocket lint and crud out of the mechanism -- nothing fancy nor fitted on the pocket camera.

To tripod or not to tripod...  I suggest, unless you know your style of photography requires it alot, that you forgo the tripod, get a monopod and let your own two legs be the other legs for the "tri". It can even double as a collapsing walking stick, with a little care. I just keep the camera mounted all the time when I am walking with it. Collapses down to a size that fits into the backpack and when collapsed isn't so awkward that you can't snap a shot or two with it still attached.

Space memory cards are so cheap, might as well have a few.

Price out the camera as just a camera and worry about the rest of the stuff as extras -- adjust packages prices for comparison on on the basis of the stuff you are going to buy anyway