Welcome to BudgetProPhoto.com!
This website is here to show you how to achieve spectacular, professional-quality photography and video content without spending huge amounts of money.
Even if the camera that you own is 20 years old, or it’s a cheap smartphone, you can still get great results from it, if you just follow some basic guidelines.
The world of photography and video production has changed so much in the last few years. There really has never been a better time to be a visual content creator. And unlike in years gone by, getting maximum quality is now affordable. You don’t need a bank loan to fill your photography kit bag any more!
Whether you just take photos for fun, or you’re a successful working professional photographer, this website is about helping you to get better AND keep costs down. It is actually possible.
Here are some of the things we do:
- ADVICE on how to improve your photography.
- TIPS AND TRICKS for doing what the pros do without buying the kit they buy.
- Photography and video HACKS that help you cut corners and avoid buying expensive equipment.
- Budget photography gear REVIEWS to show you the best low-cost equipment.
- BUYING GUIDES to make sure you don’t spend money on photo gear you don’t need.
- Low cost photo and video NEWS, to keep you up-to-date with everything going on.
- GENERAL DISCUSSION about approaches and attitudes that will allow you to keep it cheap.
Here at BudgetProPhoto everything we do is born out of a specific mentality. Just like how in your home you don’t mind working a little harder to keep costs down, the same can be applied to photography.
For every professional piece of photo and video equipment there is a low cost-option. And that low-cost option can do exactly the same job as the premium one… IF you’re prepared to work a little harder.
At BudgetProPhoto we believe that the key to achieving great results on budget photography gear and video equipment is to know the limitations of your kit, and know the workarounds.
In almost all cases, we admit, the premium photo gear options are better than the budget options. Otherwise no one would ever buy the premium stuff! But… if you know what your low cost photo gear does well and what it does badly, then you can get the best out of it.
USED PHOTO AND VIDEO EQUIPMENT
At BudgetProPhoto we are huge fans of used or second hand equipment. Used photo gear is available everywhere now. Used photo equipment isn’t just cheap, it’s so so cheap!
Photography and videography is popular and the major manufacturers are churning out new models like there’s no tomorrow. Every time a new model comes on the market an old model starts to appear in the used photo gear websites.
There are some amazing deals to be had on used cameras, lenses and accessories.
I am a professional photographer. I’ve made my living in photo and video for 10 years and my proudest achievement is that more than 70% of my equipment was bought used. And a further 20% are low-cost options.
The difference in cost between going premium and going budget for your photo and video equipment is ENORMOUS. You could take two full equipment lists with exactly the same camera model, exactly the same lenses and exactly the same flash units… One kit, bought new, costs $50,000, but the other kit, bought used, costs $5,000.
That is real. Those are of the sort of numbers we’re talking about. Second-hand or used gear gets cheaper every day because manufacturers are bringing out new models every day.
There is a low-cost option for every piece of photographic equipment. There is a low-cost option for every piece of video equipment. Take a read through our BudgetProPhoto archives for everything you need to know. You can achieve pro-quality photography without breaking the bank.
Workarounds are key to the BudgetProPhoto low-cost photography technique. There are just two key points you need to remember:
- You don’t get $10,000 functionality from a $200 piece of equipment. So don’t expect it! In other words, if you buy a used, five year old flashgun, don’t expect it to perform all the same functions as a top-of-the-range studio strobe. There will be little to no available automation so you’ll have to do the leg work yourself. But…
- There is ALWAYS a way of achieving the same results. Always. There is some way of making the $200 piece of kit do what the $10,000 one does. Or at least, there is a way of making it LOOK like it’s doing the same thing. The low-cost option will take a bit more thought, and a bit more effort, but you CAN achieve the same results.
Here’s an example for you, one of so many – a cheap $50 lens is NOT going to have a silent autofocus motor. So you would think that won’t be able to use it for video, right?
Wrong. You won’t be able to use it for video where you are capturing sound on the camera, because you’ll hear the motor whirring. But you can use it either in manual focus mode, OR you can move the point of sound recording OFF the camera. And suddenly the only difference between your $50 lens and a $1400 lens is the technical aspects of image quality. There are not all that many people who could confidently and accurately tell the difference.
“But I don’t have radio mics” I hear you say. Think! What can you do? What could you add to your kit bag for a fraction of the cost of a radio mic? How about a long minijack exension cable? $5 on Amazon.
It’s not going to work for every situation. But it means you can either use a lapel mic, or you can actually move the on-camera mic away from the camera and the noisy lens.
Alternatively you can take the low-cost lens off auto focus. Switch it to manual and focus with your fingers. That’s how the world used to work! I grew up when autofocus was either unavailable or so unreliable that you never ever used it. We focused everyting manually. Try it, it’s not so scary!
The point of all this is that there is ALWAYS an option. Always another way of looking at something. Just keep thinking. You can probably achieve what you want to achieve with the photography equipment you already have.
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Make sure you leave comments on our blog posts and let us know what you think. What else do you want to hear about and how we can help you to be a better budget pro photographer?