There are a LOT of digital cameras on the market each year – an overwhelming number in fact. It can be hard enough knowing where to start looking, let alone what to look for. This advice is primarily targeted at digital compact cameras, but the same principles apply if you’re looking at hybrid or DSLR cameras.
If you haven’t already, have a look at this camera page on the VP site for some more detailed information on how cameras work. It’s important to understand some of the camera jargon when doing your research and it outlines the most important components of digital photography.
First things first: make sure you get the actual features you need from your camera. If you’re not sure – think about what you’ll use it for most and work out what’s most important to you. There’s no use in getting the most expensive camera you can find, if you only make use of the more basic features. You may be equally disappointed if you decide to get something much less expensive that is lacking some features that are important to you. Figure out what you want and look for cameras that fit your needs. It makes it easy to rule out and narrow down options when you start out with the end in mind. A couple of quick examples: if you love landscape photography, look for a camera with as wide a lens as possible (26mm and lower is a good place to start); or if you’re more interested in portraits, look for a camera with as large a sensor as you can afford and a lens with a wide aperture.
Once you’ve worked this out, my next move is generally to get hands on and focus specifically on the sensor and lens. Does the zoom range cover a wide enough range for me? Do images look awful inside or are they clean and free of ‘noise’ (high ISO). Everyone wants amazing images and some of the current cameras really are fantastic. This step is important to ensure what you’re getting is quality.
A few final things then when you’re narrowing down. Think about how big the camera is – if you want to keep it in your handbag/back pocket, make sure it’s small and durable. Also, make sure it’s comfortable to hold and you can understand the menu easy enough. Finally, it obviously needs to be within your budget. There is literally something for everyone, so work out what you can afford there will no doubt be some options to suit. Remember though, that it’s going to be far better to spend a little more and get something that’s more fitted for you, rather than scrimp and get frustrated down the track.
Have a think what you want to achieve before you dive in – it will honestly make the hunt for your next camera a lot less stressful and hopefully much more fun. As always, we’re happy to help if you do have any questions so call us on 1300 VIDEOPRO, email us or jump on LiveChat if you have any questions.