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How to Get Your Dream Camera Gear for Cheap

Posted by Art's Cameras Plus on

We've all probably been there at one point or another... staring at that shiny new lens or camera behind the glass. Our lip starts to quiver with excitement at the thought of owning and shooting with it. And while you're caught in a photo fantasy, the sales associate hits you with the price. Then your wallet screams. 

Well what if there was a way to get all of your dream fantasy camera equipment, while also saving tons of money? And it doesn't involve shopping online sketchy retailers that advertise a lower price for a new camera or lens that's probably grey market. Not sure what grey market is? Let's just say that the couple hundred dollars you are trying to save, you might just end up with a shell of a camera, or better, a camera with no US warranty and menus in another language.

Rather than taking the risks, here are a few tips for shopping on a budget without compromising for your dream camera gear.

Buy Pre-owned

Pre-owned, or preloved as we call it, is exactly that. Cameras, lenses and sometimes other camera accessories that were loved by one owner and given up after that owner decided to upgrade. Pre-owned cameras and lenses can sometimes be half the price of a new one. When shopping pre-owned, make sure to be thorough with checking over the equipment you are about to purchase. If it's a credible dealer like Art's Cameras Plus, they'll have checked over the equipment at least twice before putting a price tag on it, to make sure everything is functioning properly. And the best part about pre-owned is you can bargain with the seller. Unlike new cameras and lenses, pre-owned equipment has a price that is determined by how much the seller hopes to profit off of it and what the current market price is. Here's your chance to swoop in and ask for a better price point. Doesn't hurt to try! 

Check our preowned inventory here.

Rent Your Gear

Maybe you can't justify spending thousands of dollars on that one lens you're likely going to use only a couple of times a year. But the thing is, you don't have to own your camera gear. Places like Art's Cameras Plus rent equipment, so you can pick and choose when and for how long you need something. ANDDD, it's a fraction of the cost of purchasing the gear! 

Learn more about Art's rentals here.


Maybe you can't afford or don't wish to spend the money now, but many places, including Art's Cameras Plus, offer financing options. Financing allows you to break up the payments on your new camera or lens so that you don't have to pay it all at once. It may not be considered a way to get your dream camera gear cheap, but if you finance at the right time, you could score on an instant rebate or sale price that won't be around forever. Through Art's, our financing options are also 0% APR, meaning you won't pay any interest as long as you make your payments on time and within the promo period!

Learn more about Art's Financing in-store.

Share or Rent a Studio w/ Equipment

This might be an option that's a little harder to come by, but they exist out there. Sometimes, a photographer or group of photographers will decide to open a shared studio space with limited camera equipment and/or props available for use. Usually there's a monthly membership fee to cover space rental and you're limited to whatever availability there is on the studio calendar, however it's a great option to save money while still shooting like a pro.

Learn more about shared studio spaces in/near the Milwaukee area here.

Go to FOCUS Group Outings

Not only are Art's Cameras Plus FOCUS group events and excursions fun, but we'll often times have a manufacturer like Nikon, Canon, Sony or Tamron come in and sponsor the event. Meaning, there will be a bunch of free loaner gear to shoot with during the event, so you'll have an opportunity to use equipment that you've always wanted to shoot with. 

Sign up for the FOCUS group here.

When it comes to being a photographer, it's all about being resourceful. Whether your a hobbyist or professional. photo equipment can stack up to be thousands of dollars out of your pocket. But if you shop preowned, rent your gear or take advantage of shared studio spaces with equipment, you'll be able to use your dream camera equipment for cheap!


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