How to Buy a Digital Camera: Follow these 6 Tips
Published: April 25 2014
When going for a digital camera, you may have zeroed down upon the latest cameras from the big guns of the photography industry. But before deciding on the final choice, there are certain aspects that you need to consider - aspects that can be the deciding factors in making your purchase well worth your money. Although a major chunk of your decision will be influenced by the way you intend to use the camera, here are some tips that will help you make an informed decision.
Photo Quality Settings
Rather than putting something like the megapixels of a camera at the top, we choose image quality settings. Because a compact digital camera has been designed for convenience of use rather that out and out power and sharpness. Some cameras provide you with a variety of options - from clear and sharp Full HD images to lower resolution photos with less image detail. While the Full HD images look great, their file size is generally very large, which makes it difficult for you to edit them or share them via emails or social networking websites. The lower resolution images offer decent quality in lower file sizes, which means you can quickly attach them to emails or upload them over the Internet. It is best to look for a camera that offers the best of both worlds, providing you with good shooting flexibility.
A camera with good zoom can go a long way in increasing your shooting range. A camera typically provides two types of zooms - optical and digital. When selecting a camera, go the one that offers a good optical zoom, ideally above 10x. The problem with the digital zoom is that it simply enlarges the pixels of an image you have already captured. This can results in grainy and pixilated images. On the other hand, the optical zoom lets you zoom into the actual photography scene to capture greater detail. The zooming capability also makes the camera suitable for capturing stunning portrait photos. With optical zoom, you do not lose any image clarity when you enlarge the picture.
Wide Angle Lens
The benefit of having a camera lens with a wide angle of view is that you can fit more scene in a single shot. The lower the focal length, the wider the angle of view. With a wide angle of view, you can effortlessly capture large group shots or mesmerizing landscape photos. A focal length of 25 mm or lower is recommended.
It is not necessary that a camera with a high-megapixel sensor will capture better images that the one with a low-megapixel sensor. A high number of pixels can result in good images only if the sensor is large enough to accommodate all of them comfortably. When a large number of pixels are cramped in a small space (most cameras typically use a 1/2.3 inch sensor), each pixel cannot capture the light efficiently. If your camera has a sensor with a moderate number of pixels, each pixel can capture light efficiently, which in turn helps capture detailed and vivid images.
The size of the camera plays a vital role in its functionality. If your camera is going to travel places with you, make sure that it is as compact and lightweight as possible. An ultra compact camera is something that would suit you. Although you get everything in a small package, there would not be many buttons on the main body for making quick adjustments to the camera settings. A larger camera, which would be more cumbersome to carry, would offer an enhanced user experience and ease of control.
Since you cannot attach a flash to a compact digital camera, unlike an SLR, make sure that the range of the built-in flash unit is good enough, preferably over 5m. A powerful flash helps you capture well illuminated images in the absence of lighting or in situations where there is excessive backlight.
Although the list of above features is extensive, it is not all inclusive. This list will give you a general idea of what to expect from a camera based on its specifications. When taken into consideration, this list will help you choose something that is more suited for your individual needs.