Recently I found myself in need to buy a secondary camera. For backup reasons, but also to have more lens options during specific photoshoots. This article will explain my thinking process, which can help you buy a new or second camera.
The need for a second body wasn’t necessarily acute, and it felt the right time to get a second camera. If the other one gives out, I need to have several lenses to photograph important moments on events, or just because it’s sometimes a bit more comfortable.
As a professional, it’s also somewhat important to have backup gear. Especially for essential equipment like a camera. It’s a wonder I have done without a secondary for so long. Of course, now I can say that since I’m used to the comfort and luxury of two cameras.
So don’t rush out to buy a second camera if you don’t feel like you need it. It’s still a luxury rather than a necessity.
The first question I had to ask myself was what camera to choose. I’m on the Nikon DX system, so my choices were limited to their products. This can also be helpful; my thinking would be so much harder if I had to consider all brands.
Immediately I went to either the Nikon D850 (which I had already) or the mirrorless Z range. At the camera store, I explained this thought process. And they helped me walk through it.
Why I considered the Nikon Z7
Let’s start with the Z7 and why it was a good candidate.
The Z7 is one of the newer mirrorless cameras by Nikon. They are great, and I wanted to have one to try out the electronic viewfinder. It’s different from the D850, so that was a reason to try it out. I am broadening my technical horizons and skills.
Another benefit of mirrorless is the noise. Mirrorless cameras are silent. Which in many cases isn’t a requirement, but on specific events or for more candid street photography, it can be helpful. And let’s be honest, the quiet mode on the D850 is anything but quiet.
Why I didn’t choose the Z7
So why didn’t I go with this excellent camera? Well, it’s me, not him.
The technical features and prices are relatively similar to the Nikon D850. So it wasn’t for those two reasons.
It was about the compatibility with my current gear. My DX lenses don’t fit on the Z7 without a converter, which isn’t the world’s end. But being able to avoid a convertor did help me with making my choice.
Needing a convertor is an extra cost, a slight loss of quality, and more gear that can get damaged and fail. I could invest in Z lenses, but I would buy the same lenses twice for different systems. Monetarily that’s not an intelligent choice.
Another big reason was the handling. Though they are both Nikon cameras, they have different layouts and systems. If I have to switch between the two during a shoot, that might cause confusion and loss of time.
Why I went for the D850 again
Overall, the Z7 would be a great choice if I hadn’t already invested in Nikon’s DX side. So, in the end, rebuying the D850 was the best option.
I could easily change between two cameras without changing my mindset or way of working. I could still use all my lenses without any hacky lens converters.
The converters or change in lenses also made the D850 the cheaper option of the two. Since I am running a business, the price can be an essential factor in this decision.
Advice when buying a camera
Of course, this is my advice, and some other people will look at things differently. But in general, don’t look at your camera as a toy. It’s a tool. You won’t go for the cheapest chainsaw if you know you have a big forest to cut down.
The same goes for buying a camera. Don’t go for the cheapest one you can find. Also, don’t go for the most expensive one. Sure that Hasselblad H6D-400C MS looks cool. And 400 megapixels does sound impressive. But do you need it?
Look at what specs you need and what camera can provide it to you for a reasonable price.
Make sure the camera is compatible with the gear you already have. Buying a Nikon body is not that interesting when your entire set of lenses is Canon-branded.
But even within brands, there are differences in the lens mounts. So look out for that.
There are many factors to buying a camera, so think it over. Maybe go to your local camera store and ask the experts there. It’s a significant investment, so it is worth thinking about it thoroughly.
Anyway, what camera do you think about buying next?