Choosing a digital camera for the first time can be more than a bit mindboogling. Not only the number of brands and models, but the cost, type, size, functions and compatibility can be overwhelming. Add to that where to buy a camera.
I don’t think anyone choosing a camera for the first time in this day and age should consider a film camera, even though, what was once a very high end film camera has become extremely inexpensive to purchase. New photographers who wish to hone their skills in manual photography or who are taking courses, may choose to purchase a film camera for this purpose alone, although the added expense of developing and the “unseen” factor can sometimes lead to disappointment in the finished product.
Welcome to the world of digital photography!
The world of digital photography, computers and mobile phones has allowed even the most “amateur” photographer to take stunning photographs and videos that are not only memories, but beautiful and meaningful art.
The main advantage of choosing a digital camera is the ability to view your pictures immediately after taking the shot and re-take it if it is not to your satisfaction.
A beginner photographer, when choosing a digital camera, does not necessarily have to choose an expensive one, but something with variable settings that are easy to access and understand, with features such as a big LCD screen, as well as a viewfinder, stabilizer, and optical zoom. SIZE is also a major consideration. Do not concentrate too hard on the MP – megapixels at this stage. Even a 10 or 10.1 megapixel digital camera will give you beautiful, sharp pictures up to 10 X 8 inches.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing your camera:
- What is your budget? If you are choosing a digital camera for the first time, a point and shot will give you all the features you need at a very reasonable price. This is a camera that does exactly what the name says: You point the camera, frame your picture, zoom in or out, and when you press the button, the camera focuses and adjusts the light for you, depending on the setting. I would suggest that you stay with the well known brands. Canon, Nikon, Fuji and Olympus all have a wide range of point and shoot cameras, with varying levels of cost and functionality.
- How often do you plan to use your camera? The more you use your camera, the more likely you are to upgrade. Don’t be afraid to go over your budget just a little bit. That way you get a camera that will meet your needs for a longer period of time.
- What are you going to do with the camera and what is your main focus? Is this camera stepping stone so you can better your photography skills or do you just want to capture your special moments? Will you be travelling with this camera? By car or air? Choosing a digital camera for casual or travel photography, you may wish to go with a smaller point and shoot. NIKON has their Coolpix series, while Canon has it Powershot ELPH and Powershot series. Both have a wide range of prices, models and features that will give you beautiful pictures indoors and outdoors. Some of the NIKON cameras even have a GPS feature that will stamp your location on your picture. A scenery or wildlife enthusiast will want a camera with a larger optical zoom function and a fast shooting and/or continual shooting mode (such as a sport mode) for no blur photographs.
If you are upgrading your camera, but are not ready for the DSLR world, the high end point and shoot cameras, commonly known as “Bridge” cameras, give you comparable features, with manual and auto shooting as well as optical and digital zoom. Be careful with this and concentrate on the optical zoom only.
Talk to friends and family. You can read a million reviews online and end up even more confused about what to purchase. Check your local newspapers for special offers. Try to choose a well established retailer with its’ own Camera Department, that will offer support, extended Warranties, and future trade-ins. If a retailer cannot explain the features of the camera, you won’t know what you are buying.
If you have a local specialty camera retailer, they may be better equipped to help you make your decision based on your individual needs and give you better instruction on the use of the camera. Many include a package with your purchase that give you lessons, instructional DVDs, free printing and additional discounts on future purchases. You can even snap a few pictures right there to see if the camera is going to be functional for your needs.
Just remember one thing, wherever you go, whatever you purchase, you must be comfortable with your camera. It has to be easy for you to use, give you a finished product that results in those cherished memories that you will be proud to share with your family and friends, and inspire you to want to keep shooting those great pictures.
What camera is best for your needs? Focused on megapixels? Need a long-zoom lens to snap stellar shots from a distance? Use the AMAZON finder to capture the camera that’s right for you.
Point and Shoot
Digital SLR Cameras