How to Choose a new Camera

Shopping for a new camera?   

1. Determine what you need

A mistake I see some digital camera buyers making is that they buy a camera beyond what they really need. Some questions to consider before you shop; What do you need the camera for? What type of photography will you be doing? (portraits, landscapes, macro, sports) What conditions are you largely photographing in? (indoors, outdoors, low light, bright light) Will you mainly stay in auto mode or do you want to learn the art of photography? What experience level do you have with cameras? What type of features are you looking for? (long zoom, image stabilisation, large LCD display) How important is size and portability to you? What is your budget?

2. Megapixels are not everything

A few years back, the megapixel rating of cameras was quite important as most cameras were at the lower end of today’s range and even a one megapixel increase was significant. Today, with most cameras coming out with at least five megapixels, it is not so crucial.  At the upper end of the range, it can actually be a disadvantage to have images that are so large that they take up enormous amounts of space on memory cards and computers. One of the main questions to consider when it comes to megapixels is ‘Will you be printing shots’? If so, how large will you be going with them? If you are only making images at normal size, then anything over four megapixels or so will be fine. If you are going to start blowing your images up you might want to pay extra money for something at the upper end.

3. Keep in mind the ‘extras’

From a budget point of view, keep in mind, as you look at cameras, that the price quoted may not be the final amount that you need to spend, as there are a variety of extras that you might want(or need) to spend, including; Camera Case Memory Cards Spare batteries/Recharger Lenses (if you are getting a DSLR) Filters (and other lens attachments) Tripods/Monopods External Flashes Reflectors For example, it is common to get a 16 or 32 megabyte memory card with your new camera – however you will probably want something at least 500 megabytes(if not a gigabyte or two)

4. Do you already own any potentially compatible camera equipment?

Save yourself some cash if you have accessories from previous digital cameras that are compatible with your new one

5. DSLR or Point and Shoot?

While digital SLR’s (single lens reflexive) cameras are getting more affordable, they are not for everyone. Keep in mind that they are usually bigger, heavier, harder to keep clean (if you are changing lenses) and can be more complicated to operate than point and shoot.  Of course, there are many advantages too.

6 Optical Zooms are King

Not all ‘zooms’ are created equal. When you are looking at different models of digital cameras, you will often hear their zooms talked about in two ways. Firstly, there is the ‘optical zoom’ and there is the ‘digital zoom’. I recommend you only take into consideration the ‘optical’ zoom when making a decision about which camera to buy. Digital zooms simply enlarge the pixels in your shot which does make your subject look bigger, but it also makes it look more pixelated and your picture ‘noisier’ (like when you go up close to the TV). If you are looking for a zoom lens, make sure it is an optical zoom (most modern cameras have them of at least 3x in length – ie. They will make your subject three times as big, with an increasing array of ‘super zooms’ coming onto the market at up to 12x optical zoom.

7. Read reviews

Before buying a digital camera, please take time to do a little research. Read some reviews in digital camera magazines and online

8. Contact me

When you have heaps of information and a good idea of what you need, feel free to contact me to get the best value and additional advice on what to buy.