So you’ve decided the time has come to buy yourself a decent camera. You enjoy taking pictures on your smartphone but you want to be able to do a bit more than even the phone’s camera can allow. The biggest problem with buying a camera is that there are so many to choose from, all with enticing write ups that sell their benefits. So what are the top dos and don’ts of buying a camera?
Types of digital camera
There are three main categories of digital camera currently available – compact, bridge and DSLR. The compact is the beginner’s level and is small enough to pop into a handbag or a backpack, even a pocket sometimes. They have good basic features but watch the sturdiness of the camera as if it is too thin and flimsy, it might break while being used.
Bridge cameras are the middle ground and have more advanced features without being as advanced as DSLR. They have a fixed lens set up with good zoom and plenty of built in modes for different situations. There are some good priced models from big name brands as well.
DSLR are the professional grade cameras and can costs thousands of pounds. They have the flexibility with interchangeable lenses and manual settings to take the photos but also require plenty of knowledge to truly master.
Understanding a bit about camera basics is important before making a purchase as this allows you to narrow down the field based around what you want or what you don’t want. There’s no point going straight into buying a camera with multiple lenses and a million zoom that is going to frustrate you when you come to use it.
Do look at the megapixels and the zoom of the camera. Most decent cameras now have around 14 megapixels, which means 14 million little points that combine to make the picture. The more pixels, the more image and this also means it takes up more room on your computer so if you have space limits, you may want to keep the megapixels to a sensible range.
Zoom is something else that is easy to get carried away with. Don’t worry too much about it when you first start, a 5x optical zoom is a great option to have and will let you zoom in without needing to get overly complicated.
Features of the camera
There are some good features that are worth having on even your first camera and many of the start-up ranges include these. Image stabilisation is a great one as this helps to reduce the blurriness of a picture that can happen if you aren’t completely stationary when snapping.
Face detection is another benefit often seen on smartphone cameras that helps the camera realise there is a person in the shot and focus on their face. A good digital camera will be able to do this even in low light conditions.
Don’t worry too much about Wi-Fi connection on your camera but if it has it, then that’s an added benefit. Most cameras will connect with your computer via a USB cable to transfer images so you don’t have to worry about sending them via Wi-Fi.