Photography on a budget

If photography is only a hobby, which it is in my case. I’m sure you will agree that photography has never been considered an inexpensive hobby. Well it can be with some investment and time.

As an amateur photographer I always have this desire for better higher specification cameras that are either way beyond my budget or they would be difficult to justify spending that much on a new camera or a better lens.

I always stall at the question. ‘Would a Xxxxxx model yyy help me produce better photographs compared to the cameras I already own and use?’

I have partially answered this question by watching videos from a few YouTubers such as

There are plenty of others as well, just do a search on your own make/model of camera and find some for yourself.

I discovered a lot of people using much older digital cameras and reusing film cameras with great results.

In the past we just had ‘a camera’ it might have been a 35mm SLR or a compact 35mm camera or may be a larger format 120 roll film camera.

With digital cameras with their different resolutions, and the differences between DSLR or Mirrorless designs. You will hear recommendations from reviewers about the suitability of cameras for ‘Sports and Wildlife’ ‘Landscape’ ‘Street photography’ etc etc. Are these divisions really needed?

Going back to older designs my own Canon EOS20D is all of 8.3 MP, but it can still take very acceptable photographs.

Consider what you are going to use your photographs for, will a higher resolution camera improve your photos if they are mainly going on social media? Also those higher resolution cameras produce much bigger files that require storage and will take longer to upload.

Newer cameras can have improved low light performance or lower noise at higher ISO speeds, but if most of your photos are taken in good lighting conditions, will you notice the difference?

If you are a film photographer, you will be very aware of the cost of film and film processing. Many years ago I was very fortunate to have access to a full darkroom. I also had one set up in my own apartment. I never ventured beyond processing and printing black and white film.

Processing and printing or scanning your own film once you have mastered the skills can help you save money on your photography hobby.

I also used to buy film in bulk (100 metres) and using a bulk film loader I loaded my own 35mm film cassettes. Once you have mastered the skill of loading the cassettes you will start saving money on film costs even if you still get a lab to process the exposed films.

If you are shooting professionally, may be you are a wedding photographer or you are doing other paid for commercial work then your requirements will be different to those of the average or slightly above average amateur photographer. Being paid to do your hobby, something you enjoy doing can be very rewarding. That said I’ve heard people that enjoy photography without repayments and contracts involved. I once did a set of wedding photos for a friend of mine, it was quite stressful. You don’t get a second chance!

How do you keep your photography hobby from breaking the bank? Do you have any tips you would like to share in the comments.

Thank you for joining me this week. Remember there are #nobadcameras