buying a new camera.

I take a lot of photos.  You’ve probably already noticed that about me.  But lately I’ve found that I tend to miss out on photo opportunities because I don’t want to lug around my big DSLR camera and lens(es).  On top of that, I’ve also been having some technical difficulties with it.  My Canon Rebel EOS XSi is somewhere around 10 years old I think.  Lately it has been ‘acting up’.  It just stops working.  It has happened twice now.  Each time I’ve been shooting a lot of photos on a hot, sunny day.  I find that if I let it ‘cool down’ by shutting it off and leaving it alone for about 20 minutes or so, it starts working again.  I don’t have any problems with it during short furniture photos shoots, but when I’m taking 300+ photos in the space of a couple of hours it acts up.  I have to admit, I get a little panicky when my camera stops working!  And it has stopped at some extremely inconvenient moments!  As of yet I have been unable to diagnose the problem because I don’t get an error message of any kind.  Changing the battery doesn’t help.  Changing the photo card doesn’t help.  I suspect it’s overheating, but I haven’t been able to find any definitive information on that online.

So I decided it might just be time for a new camera.  If you have absolutely no interest in cameras, stop reading now and come back next week for another post that might be more interesting to you.  But if you are considering a camera purchase of your own in the future, keep reading!

Since I have a lot of money invested in various lenses and filters for my Canon, the obvious first choice was to just buy a new Canon Rebel body that would work with the lenses I already have.  But I quickly realized that didn’t solve my first problem; that lugging around all of that equipment is not always practical.  Plus my current Canon still works well for furniture photo shoots as long as I don’t overuse it.  What I really need is a good travel camera for places like Budapest …

Budapest collage

Thus began the research.  I’m not a huge fan of techie research of any kind, but it has to be done.  There are so many options out there.  I started with reading a few different articles reviewing various cameras and their features.  That helps me narrow down the features that are available and whether or not they are important to me.  For example, I really prefer using an optical viewfinder.  I used my sister’s point and shoot camera at the McCrory Gardens when we were out in South Dakota and I hated using the LCD display to compose my shots.  I couldn’t see the screen at all in full sunlight, and even in shady areas it was difficult to see.  I felt like I was shooting blind.  I also realized that even though I want a more portable camera, I still want the ability to control my settings.  I also want good quality photos.  And down the road I want the option of investing in higher quality lenses for my camera if I decide I need them.

After doing a bit of reading, I quickly realized that what I wanted was a mirror-less camera.  Don’t know what that is?  Check out {this article}.

Can’t be bothered with reading that?  The short version; it’s smaller and lighter than a DSLR (so more convenient for traveling), but still allows you to have more control over settings than the typical point and shoot.  It also allows you to swap out lenses.

Not all mirror-less cameras come with an optical viewfinder though.  Some have an optional optical viewfinder (say that 10 times fast) that costs extra, and some don’t have a viewfinder at all.  I really wanted a viewfinder so that limited my choices.

I also was working with a budget of $500.  There were plenty of options that were priced way out of my price range!  I just can’t justify spending $1,500+ on a camera.

I ended up with two potential cameras on my list.  The Olympus OM-D E-M10 and the Canon EOS M3.

Once I had my choices narrowed down to these two I used a very helpful website to make my decision,

I used their comparison tool to see how the two cameras stacked up.  Check that out {here}.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 came out just slightly ahead of the Canon overall according to this website.  Despite that, I was still leaning towards the Canon because I’m used to a Canon (less of a learning curve), plus I could use my current Canon lenses on it (with the help of an adapter, I think).

But in the end I went with the Olympus after all.


As it turned out, the price on the Canon EOS M3 on Amazon was $479 for just the body with no lens.  The camera with an 18-55 mm kit lens was $599.  To add on the optional viewfinder was another $189.  Yep, suddenly I’m looking at almost $800 for a camera that I thought was under $500.  If I also wanted an adapter so that I could fit my existing lenses on the camera, that’s another $100.

By comparison I found the Olympus (with its built in viewfinder) in a kit that included a 14-42 mm lens for $399.  Wow!  That’s half the price of the Canon and $100 under budget.

Purchasing the camera was just the first hurdle.  Somehow I had this crazy notion that my new camera would arrive and I’d pop it out of the box and start shooting.  Silly me.  It practically took me five minutes just to figure out where the memory card went!

After struggling with that, I went to youtube and found an awesome video tutorial for my camera by Tony Northrup.  That radically simplified things for me.  I find it so much easier to learn by watching and playing along.  Plus, that guy is not exactly hard to look at, if you know what I mean (although obviously not nearly as handsome as Mr. Q).

So, the new camera is up and running and I’m playing around with using it.


Whether or not I love it for travel remains to be seen, but so far I am getting some rather nice photos with it.

Sidebar:  this next photo is Hosta Sun Power.  It is a hosta that will not only tolerate a little more sun, it actually needs a little more sun to become this vibrant yellow-green.  It practically glows in the garden.

sunpower hosta

I’ll report back in a couple of months and let you know whether or not I continue to be happy with my camera choice.

Please note that this is not a sponsored post and there are no affiliate links for purchasing anything.  Both the camera decision website and the camera tutorial are free.  I paid for my new camera myself and all opinions are my own.  In addition, the camera I chose suits my needs but may not suit yours.  If you are in the market for a new camera, I hope you’ll find some of these resources helpful in choosing the best camera for you.  I know I did!

14 thoughts on “buying a new camera.

  1. The first pic with the water droplets is so crisp! My Rebel acts up now and again as well, which, I suppose, is the definition of Rebel. Self fulfilling prophecy. I’m curious to hear later on how you like the Olympus! I’m sure I will refer back to this to remember the tutorials, thanks!


    1. Interesting to hear that I am not the only one with Rebel problems 😉 I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how I like the Olympus. Thanks for the comment Meggan!


  2. Just be aware that if overheating is a problem, the new camera may or may not solve the problem. A digital camera is a small computer & computers don’t like heat. Yes, old parts can become more susceptible to heat issues but heavy use & hot weather can create more heat than normal use. Here’s hoping that the new camera does all that you want & need.


    1. Thanks so much for sharing this insight Chris. I’m glad to know the problem isn’t all in my head! I’m still happy to have a new smaller camera for travel, but I’ll continue to rely on my Canon for home use and most of my blog photos. Fortunately here in Minnesota I don’t have to worry about excess heat very often 😉


  3. Love this post! I’ve been looking at getting my first professional camera to take shots of my furniture with, and have always loved your photos. Learning about what you have used in the past, and what you are currently using helps a novice like myself!


  4. I owned the same camera for more than 2 years and was pretty happy with it. You picked it for all the good reasons (value for money, quality, flexibility, compactness). I switched to a higher model that features a silent shutter and weather proofing, otherwise I would still be using this one.


    1. Thanks for your comment! I’ve had the camera just over a year and I find myself using it more than my Canon now. My absolute favorite feature is the touch screen focus. I often want to focus on specific things in my photos and this makes it so easy. I also took the camera on a trip to Norway and Scotland last May and I loved how easy it was to carry this camera around. Luckily we had amazing weather on our trip so weather proofing wasn’t an issue 🙂


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