Why Now is a TERRIBLE Time to Buy Photo Gear [IP36]

Now is the WORST time of the year to buy photography gear.  Why?  Listen to the first few minutes of the show!

[0:25] Why now is a horrible time to buy photography gear

It seems like all of the manufacturers of cameras, lenses, and other gear have announcements planned for the next couple of weeks.  If you want the latest and greatest or you want to see a price drop on currently available gear, wait a month or two to get the best prices on many different items.

We expect to see major announcements from Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Apple, and lens manufacturers in the next two weeks.

This year we're expecting to see a Nikon D610 full frame camera which is a minor upgrade, a D5300 with built-in wifi without a dongle, and Jim is eager to buy the Olympus EM-1 when it is announced.  Be aware that most of the gear won't be available for a month or so after announcement, but prices on current models usually drop immediately after the new stuff is announced.

Obviously this isn't to say that the price on all photo gear is a bad buy right now.  For example, the Canon 70d is very hot right now and is a safe buy because it was just barely released, but watch out for other gear to make sure you're buying what you want and get the best price possible.

[8:00] Only a few days later to take an online photography class with Jim and Dustin

The next month of classes is about to start at PhotoClasses and podcast listeners get the biggest discount available on what is already an awesome deal.  Use coupon code podcast10 at checkout at PhotoClasses.com

[9:40] What is the best $150 tripod and ballhead?

Dustin wrote his recommendations for tripods and ballheads here.

[13:21] Should I buy a new camera or a new lens?

This user has an older T3i and so they recommend a new in this situation.

[18:00] Is a full frame camera worth it?  

Jim says for most photographers, the answer is no.  In fact, he's even considering selling his full frame camera and moving to a Nikon D7100 as he prefers the APS-C sensor for shooting landscapes.  More of his thoughts about this are available in this video.

[22:30] An alumnus of the portrait photography class asks about insurance for photography gear if you make some money with photography.

Jim says he did some price checking and it will cost about $300-$500 to insure up to $5,000 worth of photography gear even if you use it for business.  He recommends getting gear insurance if you wouldn't have the budget to replace it if it were broken or stolen, but to save your money if you could replace it.

[30:00] How do you make more than one flash fire at the same time?

Simply get another flash receiver for the new flash and make sure the receiver is set on the same channel.  Viola!

[32:00] Is it worth it to print on expensive fine art paper, or should I get the normal print?

If you're selling your work for typical fine art photography prices (at least $350 for a print) then it is worth it to choose the fine art print from Pro DPI.  These prints are on archival paper that will stand over 100 years, they are bright white papers that will help you get better contrast, and you'll get the best quality inks used on your print.

If you're selling very inexpensive prints like this listener is for $50, then you can't justify spending $30 of those dollars on the print.

[37:30] What does the tone curve in Lightroom do?

The tone curve is simply a way to apply contrast to a photo, but with more control than the contrast slider alone will give.

[43:00] What camera strap do you recommend?

The BlackRapid RS-5 is the strap that Jim and Dustin most often use, but even that is a bit cumbersome at times.

[34:40] Doodads of the Week

Jim's doodad of the week is the Apple Macbook Pro with Retina Display.  Jim likes this laptop for photo editing because the screen resolution is so high that you see great detail in the photo, and it has a large trackpad that makes photo editing on the go a lot easier.

Dustin's doodad of the week is Photo Pills, an app available for iOS only.  It combines what a lot of other photography apps do into one.  It shows where the sun will rise and when, hyperfocal distance, etc.

[38:30] Prizes for reviews!

The winner is RenLoc85 from Australia. If that's your username on iTunes, email us at [email protected] to get your free online photography class.

To be entered to win the online photography class each week, simply go to this podcast on iTunes and write a one or two sentence review. While they appreciate a a 5-star review, any review will get you entered to win a class for free (a $98 value).

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The free audio download of this episode is available on ImprovePhotography.com.  If you're reading via RSS or email, please click the title of the article to listen to the show on the site.

12 thoughts on “Why Now is a TERRIBLE Time to Buy Photo Gear [IP36]”

  1. Why do you always delete my comments? just because I´ve said that you were giving your listeners to the podcast – which I really like by the way – a wrong information about Photokina? or is there any other problem? I would apreciate an answer…excuse my bad english, I´m not a native speaker…
    sorry that this question comes in a comment, but I don´t have an other opportunity to mail you….

  2. @Simon – No one is deleting your comments. Your comment came in on the previous post that was updated when we caught the mistake we had made. Since the podcast was updated to the new version, the comments were lost.

  3. This doesn’t compute! 🙂
    “Usually Jim and Dustin recommend a new lens, but this user has an older T3i and so they recommend a new lens in his situation.”

  4. I found the audio a bit disjointed, odd and non sequitur at times. Was it edited / mixed oddly? I found myself rewinding to find out if I had missed something, but I hadn’t. Thanks

  5. You recommended the blackrapid strap. I think you should check out the Carry Speed straps. I’m not affiliated with the company just a happy customer. They have the same idea except they don’t prevent you from attaching a tripod plate to your camera. The blackrapid straps screw into the hole where the tripod connecting plate connects and that’s a bummer. In addition, the Carry Speed has a ball head connection for better comfort when carrying the camera and also wider straps like the FS-Pro (I personally use the FS-Slim) and an arca swiss compatible plate.
    There is also a mechanism for keeping the strap tight when not shooting and quickly freeing it. And also an anti-theft clasp mechanism.Check it out (http://straps.carryspeed.com/ProductsView-2.html)

  6. Just wanted to give you a heads up…

    I heard your recommendation on the new MacBook Pro. I own a 2012 non-retina edition Pro. I recently installed Win 7 via bootcamp and it’s been the best Windows experience I’ve ever had. The bootcamp drivers and software keep the hot buttons functional just like they are in OSX. Just a tip.

  7. Hello,
    I would like to download and listen this podcast (#36) and I am not able to find the download link. Can you please help me?

    Also, I don’t understand your instructions ‘The free audio download of this episode is available on ImprovePhotography.com…. please click the title of the article to listen to the show on the site.’

    Thank you in advance,

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