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Pros and Cons of Buying a Camera "Bundle"

I recently purchased a Nikon D5500 Bundle from Amazon and have had to make only minor adjustments to it. I'm going to cover my purchasing process to see what I actually needed and what I was looking for and what I have had to do so far with additions to this bundle.  These seem to be common issues with many of the bundles and I'm going to go over them all.

I had just began to appreciate photography and wanted a new hobby, so with the New Year coming up I had to figure out what I wanted in a camera.  MY method for purchasing came in 3 segments:

1.) Price

2.) Support with settings on Camera

3.) Video Reviews

When looking for a new camera you have to establish what is a comfortable price range for you to purchase, what are you trying to achieve from this Camera.  Is this going to be a hobby or do you want it to be a profession and make money. More often than not its going to be some sort of combination of the two and that was my case as well, so I established my price-point to be just shy of $1000 for a bundle deal.  Included in bundle deals are going to be the Camera, one or two Lenses, a tripod, some filters, a Slave Flash, and SD cards.  All of these things vary but are generally pretty close it seems.  

The tripod you get will more than likely not be good, made of flimsy plastics, be too short and just not be ideal for anything other than its size and weight.  I tested the Tripod my Bundle came with during my Juno Dunes shoot and it was miserable.  I took it out, set it up and just did not trust the camera on that thing by itself, so I immediately took it off and never looked back at it.  I ended up replacing my Bundle Tripod with a Ravelli APLT4 and WOW, what a difference in quality.

The filters that come with the bundle I have not found a use for nor the telephoto lens, this does not mean their useless or bad, but a Filter worth investing in is a Neutral Density Filter set.  This is used for when you want to slow down your shutter speed during the day realistically, if you're not looking to do that, then no need to worry, but a good kit is the Altura Photo filter set.  I stayed away from the Variable Neutral Density filters due to many reviews stating that at certain Density levels it creates artifacts within the lens itself and I just wanted to stay away from it, and got this 3 pack of individual levels to eliminate the issue entirely.

To continue promoting that you shoot in RAW format for editing purposes I do recommend getting additional SD cards, these bundles come with 1 or 2 SD cards of different sizes.  Currently I have about 700 Photos in RAW on my 32GB card and its doing well so far, but I am still going to be purchasing another 32GB card or higher.  The camera itself is going to come with one battery and charger, but if you can get additional batteries and alternate charge cycles or do them all for a longer hiking trip or something, it's a wise investment.  

The one thing I wish I had purchased with the Bundle would've been a photography bag and I have to give it to Altura because their bags are fantastic.  You NEED to protect your equipment, for me I will be hiking for a majority of my shoots, or driving with my bag by my side.  If you are flying then you better have a Pelican case, no if and or buts about it.  If you do not invest in protection for your equipment, it will get ruined and you will have to double your initial investment and that is just not good.

Now the Lenses, this is where a majority of your research will be I came to find out.  There is a plethora of support online on lenses and cameras, but I found that hands down Jared Polin will have such an insightful view on equipment, film theory and actually have "Real World Reviews" hands on with the products.  If you can find your own reputable source who does reviews that work for you, then stick to them and support them but definitely find one who reviews products and lenses because their real world experiences are invaluable for beginners.