1 bloody good reason to try the camera before you buy

The answer is PAIN.

I recently upgraded cam­eras and pur­chased a Nikon D700. It’s an awe­some cam­era and I love it except for one thing…it does not feel great in my hand. In fact, after using it for a month it has been caus­ing me a good deal of pain in my shoot­ing hand.


I should know bet­ter, I coun­cil peo­ple to try before they buy and yet I did not fully lis­ten to my own advice. Here’s what hap­pened — I actu­ally tried the D700 for a week­end 4 months ago. On that week­end I shot with the D700 for two peri­ods of about 1 hour and my hand felt fine. I did notice that it was a heavy cam­era but I felt fine so I fig­ured all was good.


I mean when I go out to shoot nor­mally, on a gig or for plea­sure, I USUALLY shoot for 3–4 hours (plus plus). So test­ing on 2 peri­ods of 1 hour was a huge mis­take. But I was in a “rush” to test the cam­era as it was only on loan for the weekend..and week­ends are often busy.


Before you spend a whack of cash on a cam­era, test it for the length of time that you nor­mally shoot with. Try­ing it in the store or for an hour is bet­ter than noth­ing but it’s not an accu­rate test. Rent the cam­era you intend to buy for a week­end espe­cially if it is an expen­sive cam­era. Many larger brick and mor­tar cam­era stores will deduct the rental price off your new cam­era if you end up buy­ing it. For my own case, I think adding a bat­tery grip will solve the prob­lem as it will take the excess weight off my shoot­ing hand and divide it more evenly.….but this could have been avoided if I had fully fol­lowed my own advice.