Buying a Camera: 35mm, 110 or Disc

Camera choice

Don’t be put off by the seemingly endless array of cameras when you go into a photographic store. It might seem difficult to make a choice initially, but do not worry. There are a large number of models, but only a few different types of camera. Once you know the type of camera you want (110, disc, 35mm. etc.) it is then a case of deciding on a particular make or model.

The camera you need

Choose the one you feel at ease with. Many buyers are tempted into buying a camera that they simply don’t need. The complete newcomer to photography may be totally baffled by an electronic-marvel 35mm camera – and then become discouraged from taking pictures because of its complexity. Remember, there is a camera on the market for every level of photography, from simple snap-shooting to tackling professional assignments.

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Price and quality

Generally, cameras are very good value for money. In most cases you get what you pay for, but even at the lower end of the price scale, you can find a camera which will produce acceptable results. Obviously, the more you pay the better the quality of the camera. But don’t confuse this with achieving better quality results – which depends far more on how the photographer uses the camera.


Before you part with any money for a new camera, ask yourself a few pertinent questions.

What can I realistically afford?

Do I want a simple snapshot camera?

Do I want a camera which will stretch my photographic ability?

Do I want to be able to add a range of useful accessories later?

Who can I ask for some useful informed advice?

Have I read as much about cameras as I should?

Is there anything I need to ask the dealer before buying?

The answers to these questions could help you to avoid making the wrong purchase.

Thinking ahead

When buying a camera it pays to think beyond your initial requirements. For example. you may prefer to buy a single-lens reflex camera (SLR) rather than a compact because of the accessories you want to buy later. Spending carefully now can make long-term goals easier to achieve.


When you buy a camera, you really should hold the camera and get the ‘feel’ of it. You should be just as interested in how the camera handles as in its specifications. Do not buy a camera if you don’t feel comfortable using it.

Look for a test report

One way of finding out how a camera you are interested in performs is to read a test report. Many photographic magazines test the popular brands of camera, commenting on performance, specification, handling, and soon. Reading such a report beforehand can give you an impression of what to expect – but remember, it is youropinion that should decide the final purchase.

Your own trial run

Most photographers would prefer to try a camera before buying, but this is rarely possible. If you have a friend who has a model similar to the one you are thinking of buying, ask his opinion of it. You may even be able to borrow it for a trial run. If you are on friendly terms with a local camera dealer. he or she may allow you to run a roll of film through the camera before buying. Do a few test exposures. have the film processed and analyse the results.


The increasing popularity of photography has widened the market for cameras, and you can buy them in a variety of different outlets. These range from solely photographic dealers, through High Street chemists and other stores to stationery chains. Prices are usually fairly stable, except in certain lines or during special sales.

Specialist dealers

While cameras are available from various sources, most keen enthusiasts buy from specialist photographic stores. This is mainly because of the dealer’s specialist knowledge of the subject and because good dealers will not only stock a range of accessories but also offer camera repair and film processing services.

Mail order

Be careful when buying cameras by mail order. While this is a simple and convenient way of buying, particularly if there isn’t a camera store nearby, it often involves buying ‘blind’. Remember, if you are not satisfied with your purchase, most mail-order companies offer a money-back guarantee.

About guarantees

Most cameras are supplied with a manufacturer’s worldwide warranty. Read the guarantee very carefully so that you know exactly what is covered in case of a fault. If a shop sells a faulty product, the onus is on them to replace or repair it.

Buying secondhand

If you are looking for a camera bargain, the secondhand market is worth considering. Some specialist dealers offer used stock for sale and there are also plenty of secondhand bargains to be found in the classified sections of magazines, or even in your local paper. There is always the risk, however. of buying a ‘dud’; so. if no guarantee is offered, follow the rule: buyer beware.

Camera film speeds

All films are given a numerical rating that indicates the speed of their reaction to light: the higher the number, the faster is the film. Two rating systems are used: the ASA devised by the American Standards Association, and the ISO devised by the International Standards Organization: the latter system is gradually replacing the former. Both use identical number scales: 400 ASA, for instance, has the same value as ISO 400. You will find the ASA or ISO rating printed on the film carton.


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16. February 2012 by admin
Categories: Equipment | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Buying a Camera: 35mm, 110 or Disc


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