Buying a new camera can seem like an arduous task. Unless you're really into photography, a lot of camera features will just sound like gibberish. So, instead of purchasing a camera without really understanding what it offers, use this guide to decide what really matters to you. By considering these four details, you can purchase a camera that's right for you.
The Camera’s Portability
If you plan to use your camera while traveling or attending fun events, you should look for a compact, lightweight design that you can carry easily. There are several types of camera that could potentially fall into this category. More often than not, though, people who are concerned about portability will want to buy point-and-shoot cameras.
Another benefit of having a point-and-shoot camera is that you will not have to worry about focusing. The cameras do it automatically so you can literally just point it at the intended subject and click the button.
While there are some very good point-and-shoot cameras, the optimal image quality is achieved with a more professional option.
The Level of Quality You Expect
Image: Flickr / acidpix
If you're primarily interested in taking good pictures, you will want a digital single-lens reflex camera, also known as a DSLR camera. DSLR cameras almost always capture lights and shadows better than point-and-shoot designs, so you will get a more pleasing image that doesn't look faded or distorted.
You also get more flexibility from DSLR cameras. For instance, some of the best cameras from Sony have interchangeable lenses. If you want to take a picture of something in the distance, then you can use a zoom lens. If you want to take a picture of something that's very close to you, then you can use a macro lens. Choosing the right lens will immediately improve the quality of your pictures. Unfortunately, that's not an option with point-and-shoot cameras.
Many DSLR cameras have autofocus features that work rather well. To really take control of your images, though, you should learn how to focus manually. Doing this well takes some practice, but you'll find that you can take better pictures, especially in low-light environments and crowded settings.
The Size of the Viewfinder
Since most of today's cameras are digital, they use small video screens to show you what your photo will look like. Some companies still make analog cameras that use mirrors in their viewfinders. Unless you're looking for a low-tech option, though, you will want to stay with digital cameras.
There isn't a rule of thumb for choosing a viewfinder. A larger one isn't necessarily better than a small one. After all, a large screen can get in the way and make your camera difficult to use and carry. It's perfectly fine to like one size over another. Just try a few to help you decide what size feels right for your purposes. If you're purchasing a camera that's unsuitable for you, you're not likely to use it as often.
Your Price Range
It's not difficult to spend thousands of dollars on a professional camera. Chances are strong, though, that you don't want to do this when purchasing a camera. In order to get a great camera, you can expect to spend between $1,000 and $2,000. If a camera costs more than that, then it's probably too advanced for a casual user.
There are some decent options in the $300 to $400 range. Most of these are high-quality point-and-shoot cameras that are perfect for casual photography.
The more you learn about cameras, the easier it is for you to buy one that's right for you. In the end, if you're purchasing a camera, you need to like it. Thinking about these factors, however, should make the decision easier.