As technology evolves, high-quality photography is increasingly gaining a global appeal. The emergence of smartphones and digital cameras; alongside image-focused social networks, our thirst for photography is unparalleled. Moreover, we all love capturing priceless and cherished moments with our loved ones. These photography ambitions can only be realized by upgrading to a digital camera.
In this article, we will go through the different features every newbie or expert photographer should consider before buying a digital camera. With the wide range of Digital SLRs available in the market, these tips will help you make the best decision and acquire a model that will serve you right.
1. Determine What You Need
Most digital camera buyers make their first mistake by not coming out clear on what exactly they need. Before you go shopping, ask yourself these questions and you will be in a position to make a better decision considering what will be on offer.
- Why do you need the camera?
- What type of photography (landscapes, macro, portraits, sports) will you be doing?
- What conditions (bright light, low light, indoors, outdoors,) will you be photographing in?
- Do you want to learn photography or will you be using auto mode all through?
- What features are you looking for? (Image stabilization, long zoom, large LCD display)
- What is your budget?
2. Megapixels are NOT Everything
Every photography enthusiast is always asking how many megapixels a camera has. However, it is important to understand that megapixels are not the only aspect that determines the camera’s quality. Most modern day cameras come with megapixels above 5. However, on the upper end, a higher range can be a disadvantage since the image size is directly proportional; resulting in very large images such that they end up using a lot of storage space.
3. Be Wary of the ‘Extras’
As you go shopping, remember that the quoted price will not be the final outlay, there are so many digital camera accessories including camera case, memory cards, lenses, external flashes, reflectors, spare batteries, tripods, and filters. However, there are some retailers who will bundle extra accessories and give a worthy discount in case you buy more than one item.
4. Examine Potential Compatibility with Third-Party Systems.
Camera manufacturers do not specify the exact accessories to use with your DSLR model. Nonetheless, you will realize that most of these popular systems support a variety of accessory options such as lens adapters for cross-system compatibility and camera grips for improved handling.
5. Understand both DSLR or Point and Shoot Cameras
Nowadays, digital SLRs are cheaper and easily available. However, DSLRs have some downsides; they are usually less portable, require greater maintenance and operating them can be more complicated as compared to point and shoot cameras. It is therefore imperative to conduct thorough research before deciding on which of the two cameras you should pick.
6. Optical Zooms are King
Most modern camera models allow zooming in either of two ways- the optical zoom and digital zoom. When making a decision about which digital camera to buy, consider the optical zoom. A camera with great optical zoom capability allows you to enlarge the subject at least three times, with a great array of super optical zoom cameras coming in the market at up to 10x. Digital zooms, on the other hand only enlarge the pixels but do not make the subject appear bigger.
7. Lenses Are Important
Cameras can come with either fixed or interchangeable lens. These lenses are not the same; they vary in focal length, aperture and quality of glass; therefore providing different functionalities. The lens choice depends on your image taste, which can be pretty subjective. Do not limit yourself to a specific brand like Nikon. Try Cannon, Zeiss, Pentax, Rokinon, Sony, Sigma, Tamron and many more.
The main thing you should consider when selecting a camera body is its compatibility with lenses, which are a key component. Additionally, if your ideal camera has a fixed lens, comparing the clarity and sharpness of every camera you try will help you acquire a great device.
Bonus Tip – Before purchasing a digital camera, do not rely on advice from the salesperson alone. Instead, read some reviews from online sources and digital camera magazines to get more insight into the device you wish to buy. These are wonderful and free resources that will give you an idea of what experience to expect from a particular camera model. Finally, always test before buying.