Serious photography on the cheap

Photography has never been a cheap hobby. In the film era, cameras, lenses and accessories, film, developing and printing and running a basement darkroom added up. The change to digital brought high early-adopter prices.

Later, as the digital camera market expanded, we entered a happy time. Prices came down and the entry level settled at an (almost) low cost.

Then the financial crisis, natural disasters in Japan, the rise of the smart phone caused volume market for digital cameras to collapse. This hit profits and drove camera companies up market.

Now, expensive high profit cameras and lenses have become the norm. This is particularly daunting for students and beginners who want to look beyond their phone but are frightened off by the cost.

This occasional series offers an antidote! If you are a serious photographer with a small budget, we may be able to help. We’ll look at:

  • The used market
  • Budget and older “obsolete” models

to see what image quality is possible from low priced equipment, and compare it to more premium gear.

This should let you see where you can realistically cut corners with low priced equipment and suffer no, or marginal impact on image quality.

Panasonic Lumix GX7 (from £119)