Choosing a Camera for Boudoir Photography

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.”—Ernst Haas

It may come as a surprise but I sincerely believe you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on equipment to make high quality glamour photographs. Of the three camera bodies I use regularly only one was purchased brand new.

When a new digital camera is launched, lots of photographers who want to be the “first kid on their block” to own the new camera trade their previous camera for the latest model. This is the best time to buy that previously latest camera and let the other person take the depreciation hit. Or sometimes dealers, even Amazon, mark down the price of the older model. The image at left was made with a new Olympus E-M5 Mark I that was purchased as a substantial discount after the Mark II was announced.

There are subsets of used cameras called demo and refurbs. From time to time camera stores offer demo gear so it pays to have a sales person you work on a regular basis to keep you informed of these bargains. Refurbs are similar but somebody may have previously owned it and there may or may not be a camera warranty in the package. Used cameras are available from many sources. For more than twenty-five years, I have purchased used equipment from B&H Photo and KEH Camera  and they remain a source of used gear for me.

Many local camera stores have a selection of used gear and some camera clubs or organizations sponsor shows where you can actually see, hold, and feel used gear. Don’t forget that your friends are a good source of used cameras to purchase. It’s a win-win for both of you.

I’ve sold some cameras and lenses on eBay as well as purchased a few, some from as far away as Japan. I just purchased a Panasonic Lumix GX-1 via eBay that will be used for an upcoming infrared project. (You can read some hints about that here.) And while the bargains that abounded in eBay’s early years have pretty much disappeared, it remains a great place to locate hard-to-find items.

The final point is that I don’t care if the cameras I buy are used; I’m going to use them anyway. It’s like getting a door ding in a new car, the first one is painful but you soon get over it. With used equipment—cars or cameras—I don’t mind if maybe they come with that “first dent,” now I can just use it happily shooting and making photographs.

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My book Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography is full of tips, tools and techniques for glamour and boudoir photography and includes information on all of the cameras used as well as the complete exposure data for each image. New copies are available from Amazon for $22.22 with used copies selling for $14.47, as I write this.