The BIGGEST Beginner Photography Mistake

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Spending too much of your money on a camera – that’s the biggest photography mistake you can make I think. Make sure your camera budget sits within a photography budget, and you stand a much better chance at creating the photos you dream of making 🙂

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Panasonic G9:
Panasonic G80/G85:
Panasonic 12-35 2.8 II:
Panasonic 35-100 2.8 II:
Panasonic 20mm:
Nikon D750:
Tamron 24-70:
Canon G9X:
Big Tripod:
Little Tripod:
Video/selfie tripod:
Messenger Bag (Sandstone):
Red camera strap:
Shotgun Mic:
Mic stand:
Hard Drives:
Video Lights:
Small video Light:
Tiny Softbox:
Lav Mic:


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Comments 45

  1. Good video for beginners 🙂 I think it's maybe helpful to suggest that if you have a set budget to divvy up between cameras and lenses, it's probably worth investing more in a decent lens over a decent body. I know I certainly wish I'd have known that sooner. A 24-105L on a 1300D is probably going to produce better quality photos by and large than a 18-55 kit lens on a 5D? Is that roughly fair to say?

    Also it might please you to know that of all the YouTube channels I subscribe to, yours is the one and only I've enabled e-mail notifications for when a new video arrives 😀

  2. I'm 70 and got my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic, when I was 15. I soon found its limitations! But having said that I've only ever bought a new camera, and I've had dozens, when I found myself bumping up against the limitations of the current one. My advice would be, start simple and work up. If you can't take a well composed pic with your phone you aint gonna do it with a top end Nikon or Canon.

  3. Excellent video! Often youtubers can make you feel like you need the latest and greatest sony A7-whatever, but the feel of the camera does play a huge part for me. I have a Canon M5 that I just love shooting with, it doesn't have the greatest specs but it is just so much fun! I don't think I would trade it for a "better" camera!

  4. I bought all my gear used (Canon 5d ii, 70-200 2.8 i, used 100mm macro etc.) Even my bag I bought off eBay. I'm now able to use the money that I've saved to take photography classes and business classes at my local community college.

  5. This is a good video and I think we all have spent to much money on a camera before we figure out it’s not the camera so much but how we use it. I wish I would have seen this video when I was first starting out but unless you actually go through the process you will not figure out that’s it not just the camera that will make a good picture. I also agree with you that the difference between a $500 and a $3,000 camera for the average user is not worth the extra money. I enjoy your videos, keep them coming.

  6. Another common sense video from you. Following on from that I think another big beginers mistake is buying that up market camera but not understanding basic photography especially exposure. I shoot alongside people with good DSLRs who are constantly asking what settings they should use. I've got a G80 so it's a bit easier because I have permanent live view and I can see everything that is going on but even with a DSLR it should be fairly instinctive if you know your way around the exposure triangle, just asking your mate for their settings isn't going to make you a better photographer. How about a video on basics that you should be learning when you get your first camera.

  7. Hey James. Just a quick comment to say that while I watch a lot of togging channels, I find your presentation style particularly entertaining and engaging. You are appreciated so keep doing what you do 😀

  8. It's about how they get as much money out of your wallet as possible, in the shortest possible time. That's why they call cameras, beginners camera, entry level camera, high end, prosumer. But if you look closer, it is pure nonsense. For example, the D5300 and D7200 have the same sensor and processor. With a big price difference. The photo quality is excatct the same. Do not be fooled by manufacturers and sellers. The man or woman behind the camera takes the photo, not the camera. And if money has to roll, invest in the best possible lenses.

  9. Great advise. Beginners would be better served purchasing an entry level body or even a second hand camera. I say this because to be honest many beginner photographers loose interest and end up never using the camera again after a few attempts. Spend big money on a camera once you know for sure you've outgrown your " starter " camera and its a hobby/profession you'll be likely to peruse into the future 😃

  10. Good common sense advice .. I came to a point where I had to make a decision and asked myself "what will make the biggest diff to my photography" and it was not a better camera or more lenses , it was lighting and I have never looked back , perhaps not for all and not ness to create fine art but still opened up a whole other world of creativity .

  11. Good video, I’ve invested thousands of £ in full frame kit and yet I think my £300 little Lumix GM5 has yielded the best images I’ve ever taken. Specs and money can’t buy great images!

  12. Excellent video, I agree with all you said. I've been asked which camera and usually the person thinks with a better camera they can take better photos. Even they don't appear to want to learn the subject, just buy a better camera and use auto mode.

  13. James Popsys. Good advice: I belong to a forum where beginners ask what lens they should buy for their Nikon D850 or Sony A9, or whether they should shoot RAW or JPEG with their very expensive camera. Perhaps I am wrong but I feel that if you buy such expensive and sophisticated cameras, you should have a pretty good knowledge of photography in the first place. To me, it's like learning to drive in an Aston Martin or Ferarri. It's good that photographers such as yourself take a moment to explain that fabulous cameras are not going to make a fabulous photographer. If anyone asks my advice I ask what genres they are interested in and take it from there. Like others here, I always suggest second hand kit as a starter.

  14. It does seem obvious but people tend to get GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) when shopping around for gear. They think they will need a full frame sensor when they have no idea how heavy and expensive it is. I'm happy with my 350usd APS-C Nikon D3300. I wasn't even into photography. I got it to start a YouTube channel and ended up loving camera channels when I was researching which camera to buy. Now I'm planning to travel this summer and take some great photos.

  15. Buy any DSLR as a hobbyist, and suddenly everyone thinks you are a pro and expects awesome photos in seconds! At least thats what i have found in the last four years of taking up photography. I bought a D3300 second hand, love it. and have bought lots of 'bits of kit' along the way. Yes it would be nice to own an expensive camera, but id also like a new car!! but a new car only gets to me where i want to go the same as my 14 year old citroen does. it wont make me a better driver owning a new car. Keep on with the videos James.

  16. Jesus, there are probably 10,000 YouTube videos saying the same thing.

    Try to say something original, and if you can’t, consider that uploading videos like this waste your viewers’ time.

  17. If you are a beginner, hobby photographer or a pro it is always and of course a question of money when there is so much temptations, equipment that can be bought, and almost every day something new and better comes around. The YouTube posters would of course review the equipment and conclude that it is a must have. If you jump on the equipment wagon, you lose focus, remember there is a lot of good sound in an old violin. If it's your first real camera purchase, buy something that will cost you a little extra.

  18. I can't agree more about actually going to a photo shop and holding cameras in your hands. If you're a real beginner, ask the staff to show you how the camera is held. Does the grip feel secure? Are the buttons and controls placed so you won't be pushing them accidently? Different cameras will suit different hands. And these days you really don't have to spend a huge amount to get a camera that is good to learn on. In fact, a less advanced camera will likely be easier for a beginner to deal with than one with too many bells and whistles that even the experts use infrequently.

    And if you do go to a shop with knowledgeable and helpful staff and a good selection of cameras by different manufacturers, do buy your camera there. I have a friend who was buying a point-and-shoot type of camera and told me about going to a store to 'try out' a camera he was considering. He said he liked it and said that he would go online to buy it since it was a little less expensive. I asked him if the help and advice he'd received in the shop was not worth the $20 he would save by buying online. After a long pause he replied that he'd not thought about it that way and would go back to the shop and get the camera there. It's also nice to be able to go back to a shop if there's problem with the camera or if you need help figuring things out.

  19. Yeah, for some reason spending an extra $20 on fuel each fortnight bugs the hell out me. Dropping $1200 on a lens, hm not so much. Guess it helped that price was a bargin for the lens…though that could have also got me a week in PNG doing photography for medical charity…yeah I hate myself sometimes haha

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