Skip to main content

Photography 101

Lesson 50 of 55

10 Tips on Buying Gear

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Photography 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

50. 10 Tips on Buying Gear


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Introduction Duration:03:17
2 The Camera is Simply a Tool Duration:06:24
3 How Does a Camera Work? Duration:12:07
5 Exposure Triangle Duration:13:53
6 What is a Stop of Light Duration:07:06
11 How To Measure or Meter Light Duration:06:41
17 Starting with Automated Modes Duration:02:19
18 Auto Mode and Flash-Off Mode Duration:09:33
20 Landscape Mode on the Beach Duration:08:18
21 Sports or Action Mode Duration:12:09
24 In-Camera Processing Duration:06:01
25 A Glimpse into RAW Processing Duration:12:55
27 3 Primary Types of Autofocus Duration:03:42
29 Single Shot with Action Shots Duration:02:06
30 AI Servo with Action Shots Duration:06:14
34 What Makes a Great Photograph? Duration:05:07
35 How to Capture Candid Moments Duration:07:08
37 5 Basic Compositional Theories Duration:11:17
38 The Power of Cropping Duration:10:22
39 Color Schemes Duration:04:43
40 Diving into the Narrative Duration:12:38
43 Understanding Megapixels Duration:09:15
44 Crop vs. Full Frame Cameras Duration:06:01
46 Prime vs. Zoom Lens Duration:06:57
48 Dynamic Range and RAW vs. JPEG Duration:09:22
49 5 Tips on Memory Cards Duration:07:06
50 10 Tips on Buying Gear Duration:11:35
51 Conclusion Duration:03:43
52 The Good Karma Jar Duration:01:41

Lesson Info

10 Tips on Buying Gear

In this video we have ten tips when it comes to buying gear because well, all of us loved to buy here, don't we? I'm a shopaholic alright, so before you get too being a shopaholic let's at least cover a few tips number one is, I would say is lenses before bodies right digger that absolutely okay and here's, the reason is that you're going to see bigger improvements in overall image quality as faras aesthetic and overall artistic performance going bigger differences in the lenses that you purchase versus the camera bodies sure, a camera body will maybe let you have a higher resolution, it might let you get better iso and low light performance and dynamic range and so forth, but the aesthetic quality of your images is determined by the lenses. In addition, we'll carry bodies come out like every couple of years they have a new version with lenses it's generally ten fifteen even up to twenty years before the update the lens so a lens is more of a long term investment and you're going to se...

e a bigger overall difference in your photographs by buying lindsey investing in lenses before bodies now tip number two, though, is choosing the right camera body just because you're investing a lot in lenses doesn't mean you shouldn't do all your homework on getting the right camera body picked the one that's right for you no, your purpose? No, what? You're shooting, what you like to shoot and you're going to select your body with that in mind, I think that's huge. And how many of us know people that have I mean, they'll go out and violent. Eight thousand dollars of dslr have the most amazing lenses and they don't take it with them. Why? Because it's too heavy it's too bulky or you it's? Just too complicated. Exactly. So yeah, if you're not choosing the camera that's gonna work your situation. Then you're kind of shoot yourself in the foot because the best camera is the one that's in your hand the one that you have with you for the one in your hand all the time all the time. So pick the right camera if it's appoint you. If what you want is ultimate and portability, they have amazing advanced point shoot that could get amazing images out of it. And they're extremely portable if you want something like a dslr. But in a smaller body will you get a marylise camera? And if you well, I want to go crazy like this girl. Hey, judge thing you get your full dslr set up and so forth, but either way, choose the right camera now number three I think you're good at this one, too, okay? But number three is wait toe upgrade your camera and what don't just upgrade because the newest or the greatest just came out. Don't be that guy. I'm as shopaholic as I am. I'm not like that. Okay, you need to make sure that you're upgrading for the right reasons is the current camera body thatyou have holding you back in your process in what you need to do and what you want to do. If that is the case, then it's definitely time to upgrade your camera well, and I love that as a rule, if the camera's holding you back then kind of upgrade the camera body to whatever function or whatever thing that you need, maybe this resolution, whatever it is, otherwise, stick with what you got, right? Right? And I would say that ninety nine percent of people that own a dslr probably already have a piece of camera gear that is beyond their own abilities, like they're not getting the most at that camp, but after this course, well, they should be good on that right right now, however. That being said you could also try to rent your gear before you buy it that's one thing you can definitely try to make sure that you really are going upgrade for the right reasons because if you rent it at least three times and it stays in the bag then you probably shouldn't buy it this is a michelle rule from rent three times before three okay so tip number four is third party accessories to avoid there are certain third party accessories that I really don't like using anything that's non brandon whether its brand to the camera manufacturer or just a name brand component and these for me are the internal components like for example the internal battery in the camera and also my sd cards so stick with kind of high end stick with branded components for especially will go with the factory when it comes to batteries memory cards stick with the branded stuff all right so what are some third party accessories that are worth buying lenses and flashes triggers stands even light basically anything that's not an internal components essentially and still do your research but anything that could help you to get your shots accessories modifiers are great third party all right next tip number six that was tip number five by the way so tip number six is do you really need it and michelle's kind of queen of this. Oh, come on. It really is just a difference of want versus need define want versus need? Are these shoes and do not talk about my shoes. All my shoes are means so want versus need again need, I think, goes back to what she said with a camera body. Right? Where if it's not holding you back it's probably not a need, right, right. Otherwise and is the other thing, too is that as photographers, we have a tendency to go oh, man, and really great if I had that one point two lens or even that one point only, and that infamous fifty one o either way, we look in these letters and we go to that focus that it can everything still missing cash, that gadget turned down because other people, non photography can't even notice it, and that's one of things that well, for my partners, that's one of their criteria, and buying new gear. The first thing that they asked me is, well, a client be able to tell the difference, if not that's, a really good point. That's a really good point, because you know what? Those photographers aren't going to step this close look at the eyelashes, and they might not be able tell you whether or not it was a one point two are one point for you. Right? So the main thing is, is it going to make a difference in your overall quality in the overall product that you are delivering? If so, then maybe it is something you need. Okay, tip number seven. Where do you buy your gear online? I'm an online shopper. Do you think you're being a I do? Being h is kind of our go to sources you do being aged two idea. Okay, so there's a reason that we do being h they are one of the largest online dealers there. Extremely reputable and it's. One of the few places you can actually call with a question and say, hey, I'm looking to do this and everybody that works there is literally a photographer. So everybody in sales in lighting and video they can all help you to get the gear that you actually need and give you awesome recommendations. In addition, when it comes to, well pricing, really, everything is the same across the board because the manufacturer's hold all of the retailers to the same prices they have free shipping on most things and it's just been a great overall experience. Their customer service if you ever get something is broken, we need to return. It has been awesome as well, but there are other great online dealers too. There's also add a rama which is probably the next biggest one that we like to go to or if you really know what you're looking for amazon is actually a really good resource is well yeah amazon is a great place it's just not a place to it's not a photography store right? So you kind of have to we have to know what you're doing no eating or read a thousand reviews, right? Yeah and they're not gonna have like mohr specialized kind of gear so it's for specialty stuff you still need to go to a dealer tip number eight where to be careful when buying your gear have you had any bad experiences? Um no I've been very careful I'm kind my shopaholic senses say don't go there where something places that we need to be careful crisis is definitely one of us craig this is definitely one any use marketplace I want me they're careful with even amazon because amazon there's a lot of third party dealers that are not amazon dealers we need to be careful of basically what happens is ebay amazon third party craigslist you get a lot of companies that air trying well there's a lot of things going on, they try and sell new equipment as or used equipment as new they'll sell you something new that's not actually like what you want on then you'll end up getting something different fakes even like memory cards yeah that's a big scam right now is that they have, like sandy's brandon memory cards that are actually just chinese manufactured cards that are non brandon just packaged toe look like it so they're fake cards so these air things be careful about because if you're out on a shoot and your memory card fails or something goes wrong with your gear well that's a big issue, so buy from these reputable dealers I do get stuff off craigslist. I just kind of deal with people on a you know well, in very public places, you know, tone co anywhere like you don't need people's houses, go to copy shop, test things out um and if you're buying used, if you could take some with you that's a little more knowledgeable as faras ifyou're not knowledgeable yourself if someone that's a little more knowledgeable as faras the gear, they know what to look for, what teo kind of avoid and so forth. All right, where do you want to avoid for sure buying year? I think we named them we got them but there is one place that I want to bring up. This is tape number nine by the way there's certain place that I would definitely avoid and whenever you see these online they're kind of fly by night camera shops that you'll see and there's their frequent they sometimes even post like retail like brick and mortar locations these places are straight up sketchy you end up buying from some of these places and they give you these deals to kind of enticing that could be a two thousand dollar camera for, say, twelve hundred bucks will get you the door to buy something and then they'll call you up on the phone and do a little being switch and say, hey, this camera's on available but I do have this one I'll send it off to you for fourteen hundred bucks instead and then I'm trying to basically switch you to something else it's not what you wanted oftentimes end up selling you gray market goods that are well basically packaged as retail and it's just worth avoiding remember that if the deal is too good to be true, then what it's probably not really yeah hold on though there are reputable places to buy things like used equipment like there's a there's a shop called k h and they check out all the year before they sell it. So you know that the gear is good the manufacturer's themselves sell refurbished items and actually at a rama and being both sell used items as well absolutely that's a great point a lot of these repeatable dealers have used apartments that are awesome just just keep using that lenses cameras I mean generally these things have a certain market value and when you see the price far below that market value most likely it's too good to be true avoided okay and the last tip I don't have gas but I guess it don't get gas that's step number ten it's not the gas and they're thinking can you tell what they're thinking? You know you can tell them okay gas is gear acquisition syndrome I don't have that neither of us have gas okay don't get guys what it means is like this is the mentality that photographer's jump into where they kind of overtime is very natural to fall into this where they think that you know it be awesome if I could get that photograph on ly I have this piece of gear or if I had that piece of lighting equipment or if I just had this I could do that awesome photo and that's what's holding me back this is your acquisition syndrome where basically we think maura about acquiring the gear more about what we could do if we just had the gear than what we could do with what we have again most of us have mortgage ear than we could possibly use and most of us don't have the abilities to even use that year at its full potential okay so what is the bottom line than the picture is about the photographer and your skills not the gear exactly. All right. And don't get guess we're done with this video. Let's. Hang on to the next one.

Class Description

Learn how to create, edit, and share stunning digital images.

To a photography beginner, the gleaming complexity of a new camera seems to demand an arsenal of expensive equipment and a long legacy of training. This is a common misconception – beautiful, professional-grade shots are within reach to any with a mastery of the basic mechanics of photography.

Join Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge for a thorough, practical exploration of the fundamentals. Photography 101 teaches you how to use standard, inexpensive equipment to:

  • Explore the inner mechanical workings of your camera
  • Learn how to recognize good light and modify it to your needs
  • Make the elements of manual mode - aperture, shutter speed and ISO - work for you
Take advantage of the flexibility and control offered by your camera’s manual mode by shadowing Pye on 5 days of shooting at 8 different locations. You’ll learn how to capture both crisp action shots of moving subjects and classic portraiture with posed models. You’ll also gain a sense of what makes a great photograph, and how to mix professional staging with candid, humanizing moments.

You will walk away from Photography 101 with SLR Lounge's Pye Jirsa as a better photographer, and you’ll have the creative and practical skills to create, edit, and share stunning digital images; all with no more gear than you started with. 



I watched this class "live" and was simply amazed at the amount of information Pye covered. Yes, he talks a little fast, and since I was streaming the class I couldn't stop it to review anything, but this guy really knows his stuff and explains it very well so I absorbed quite a bit. Bye is enthusiastic, clearly enjoys his craft, and delivers excellent information to students in a light heartedI and fun way. I think some reviewers are a bit harsh about his humor. Lighten up, people! His examples and the additional information his co-host provides are very worthwhile and you can tell the course was well thought out. I plan to buy the class to help me get back into DSLR photography.


I really enjoyed this class. I am not a beginner, but there were still things I learned here that I found helpful. I really enjoy learning from Pye. He is quick, gets to the point and doesn't spend a lot of time going over and over the same point. There is a wide variety of things that he covers, so really something for everyone. I would recommend purchasing this class if you want to understand your camera better, improve your technique and start taking better photos.

Joy Bobrink

I have tried to learn photography myself via the internet / YouTube but always felt like I was missing something in my foundation. Sure I can zero out my meter...but why? How do I know the settings I've selected are the correct ones? I've been circling this drain for a year until this course. WOW! Pye has SO MUCH information in every video. He doesn't just stand in a classroom and talk, he's out in the field actually putting his settings into his camera, talking about why and why not and then shooting. He's hands on the entire course. You don't just hear him, you see exactly what he's doing! I'm a visual / listening learner and this is my eureka moment! Thank you Pye! Watching the Exposure video and how you changed the settings yet maintained the exact same exposure was mind blowing. Awesome course! I would recommend this to anyone new to photography or anyone that feels like they don't have all the info.