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How To Save Money On Digital Cameras

Updated on September 1, 2012


Digital cameras are the big "have to have" item these days.  Do they have to cost you a fortune?  Absolutely not! 

The important thing to remember about a digital camera before you buy is why you are getting one and what you are going to use it for. 

If you're just an amateur photographer or want to capture pets or family, places you go, then obviously you don't need a top-of-the-line camera. 

If you need one for work or for other things like writing and taking your own digital shots, then you might want to think about getting at least a middle-of-the-road priced camera for more bells and whistles but also for durability.

All that said, even if you want to buy a top-of-the-line digital camera and don't want to pay full price, here are some great ways to accomplish just that.



Compare prices. First and foremost....always compare prices. Whether you look at Costco, compare prices on eBay or Amazon or you just look on-line....the bottom line is get the best deal for what you buy.

Buy an older model. Do you really care if you have the latest digital camera or will one step down do the job? Almost any device these days is outdated as soon as it hits the market. So buying a step or 2 down in the hierarchy of a certain camera is going to serve your purposes but it can save you lots of money!



SLR or compact.  Investigate both models.  SLR cameras are better in terms of professional type photography so if you are using your camera in a higher end application, definitely go for the SLR.  They also have more options such as lenses and overall higher quality images.  But if you are just the "average" camera buff, a compact is just that.  Fantastically compact.  It fits in your pocket and you can capture incredible pictures with them.  SLR's are better for zoom photos but on average, a compact will get the job done and then some.

Pawn shops and thrift shops.  You can always check pawn shops and thrift shops for great buys.  Again, if you are just starting out or buying a gift for one of your children, these are great places to save big bucks.  Most often too, you can find super deals on digital cameras on eBay or

Pixel power.  Remember this one fact....the more pixels a camera has, the more the price will go up.  Keep in mind how much quality on the pixel scale you truly need and then let your pocketbook be your guide. 



Accessories for your new hobby can also be a major investment. While we don't have the expense of film with digital cameras, there are still many things you might want to purchase, such as extra lenses, tripods, photo tents, etc.

To minimize your cost in this aspect of photography consider the following options:

  • eBay or Amazon - there is no need to pay full price for anything
  • Negotiate accessory prices if you buy at a store.....your accessories can end up costing as much as your camera if you don't
  • Digital software. You do not have to buy digital software! There are free programs such as Picasa, Kodak EasyShare, Google, IrfanView and Serif PhotoPlus to name a few. Seek out free photo software to tweak your pictures and save big bucks!
  • Books on digital cameras. Check out your local library and don't pay a dime for how-to's.
  • Also check out the Internet and YouTube. You can learn more on-line in minutes visually or by reading about them on line than you can by reading 10 full books on digital photography

In short, there are many different ways that you can save on digital cameras and even their accessories.

Take the time to shop around and give some of these ideas a try before spending top dollar for your next digital camera.

You don't have to spend a fortune to get a great digital camera these days.

If you have more helpful hints on how to save money on digital photography and cameras, please share them with us in the comment section below.


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    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      List Lady - So glad to help! I actually have a nice little wee camera I take everywhere in my pocket but then if I want to get 'really technical' I take Bob's SLR - it is so blasted heavy though to carry about my neck I feel like a hunchback if I have to carry it for too long so I opt for my phone camera or the little Nikon I can slip in any pocket!

      Good luck on whatever pick you make - you can't go wrong I think with digitals!

      Hanna - Thanks my dear!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Well, selected cameras and good tips.

    • TheListLady profile image

      TheListLady 7 years ago from New York City

      Very timely because I am in the market. Some years ago I bought an expensive hi-tech model - and it was just so much work to use - plus most of the features were not useful to me. So now I just need point and shoot and I will look into your tip about an older model. Something very slim and lightweight.

      Rated up and very useful!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Thanks Samsons1 - Glad you liked it!

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 7 years ago from Tennessee

      voted up and useful! Very well researched and written. Good insight into savings. Thanks for the pointers...

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Pamela - Thanks - I could buy all of them as that is another of my passions! Especially with a new puppy coming.....

      Steph - Still trying to get rid of all those pesky hubs that I did for the contest....I thought I'd be so sick of it I couldn't post them up but I guess it turns out I like finance! Thanks for the sweet comment!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      You are turning into the money-saving advice guru! As a gadget-loving amateur photographer, this is a great guide. Best, Steph

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Great selection of cameras.