When you get a new camera-- how do YOU test it?


Hall of Famer
Jul 9, 2010
Caguas, Puerto Rico
I never "test" a new camera. I just use it. I've never actually bought a camera that I did not fully intend to keep. I guess I have also been lucky in that I have not had to return any defective cameras; they have all worked fine.


Super Moderator
Aug 7, 2011
Jersey Shore
I ordered one but I am still on the fence. Mostly because of the expense. I have a lot of expenses lately and trimming down unnecessary ones is key. The GR seems to have everything I want but zoom, which I can reason because my film cameras don't so that isn't a heavy arguing point and I will have a second camera that can zoom.. and I do think lacking IS is a bit weird but if one can't support that small of a camera without hand shake there is more going on than what image stabilization can correct. DSLR with macro lens, whole different story.
I ordered one, too. And I have to admit the $800 expense is giving me pause. But I think I'll go through with it as I really like it and think it'll be a long-term keeper. No IS doesn't bother me - particularly at 28mm. I started in film and worked without it for decades. I even occasionally forget to turn it on when using some of my other cameras.

In terms of "testing" new cameras, I usually research them well enough so that I know what I'm getting. I just deliberately shoot with them with different modes and settings to make sure my particular sample is working as intended.


Hall of Famer
Dec 24, 2010
Brisbane, Australia
I think I've developed a good sense for what camera is going to work for me and what is not, and I don't mind working around around any minor issues that I might have with a camera. There has only been one camera that I have bought in the last year and not kept it for long, but I really only bought it to try out of curiousity.


Jan 11, 2013
SW Minnesota
Dennis Ulrich
I've bought five new cameras in 40 years. With the most recent, a Pentax K-01, I charged the battery and packet it in the bag to go on vacation. The other 4, it was too long ago, I don't remember.


Nov 5, 2010
W. Australia
No test. To develop the necessary emotional trust in our relationship I respect my insrument in the expectation it will give me all it can. In Indian classical music there is a similar relationship between musician and insrument.


Jun 30, 2012
I'm with Ray and John. I just take it out, go through the menus and turn on any options I know I'll want, then go shoot it. If I get stumped I'll google something (I've never read a camera manual, except for some parts of the Nikon D600 manual because I didn't know how some of the features worked). After taking some images, I'll run them through LightRoom and look at the sharpness/IQ and how they respond to my usual post-processing workflow.

From there just like Ray said, I either start bonding with the camera, or not. Usually that's my indicator whether it'll stick around or not. So far the only exception was the Sony RX1 - it took me a lot longer to bond with, but now I love it and would really hate to part with it.


Feb 15, 2019
Bought a new one today. Tested it in the store (all the knobs turn properly, shutter speed and fstop work, meter works good, lens is clean and works smooth) took it home and loaded it with some film :)

Thanks to Gary for the direction finding tip.

Nikon F3, 50mm f1.4 by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr


Jul 21, 2012
Same with Ray, John, AJ and others- I just shoot right away. i guess "testing" is more important if you are using your cameras professionally and want to ensure it works a specific way under specific conditions? Have never been a big pixel peeping/test chart kind of guy, so testing was never my thing. What I've found is that when I am not happy with the the way a camera "performs", it's actually less about the camera being "wrong" or "poorly designed", and more about my using it in a way that it was not designed to function.


Feb 15, 2019
Actually I read the manual, charge up the battery and get familiar with the menu to set the camera up the way I like it. Then I like to make a custom color profile using one of these:

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Photo Make-up by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

And to test autofocus and adjust back focus (when possible, depends on the camera) I use one of these:

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Spydercal by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr

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