Digital Camera Buying Guide — How To Choose And Buy A DigiCam

What matters the most when buying a digital camera? Is it the image quality, the brand name or the features offered by the camera? Here are 10 things you must consider when planning to buy a photo-gear. It’s not just the brand name or the fancy features provided by the camera that should influence your decision, it should be your preference in the purview of the following buying guide.

  1. How Much Would You Like To Spend

    The primary consideration while buying a camera is your budget. Decide on how much you are willing to pay for the possession of the photo-gear. The digital camera market is flooded with a variety of cameras in all ranges. All the major brands (Nikon, Canon, Sony, Samsung, Olympus) are set to serve the customers and the potential buyers with scores of features at competitive prices. All you need to do is to first decide the amount you would like to spend and thereafter search for the photo-gears as per the budget. If you are a beginner and want to try your hand on photographic excursion, Nikon Coolpix L22 (or even a camera phone) is a good option.

  2. What Is Your Primary Objective For Investing In A Digital Camera

    Getting to know why you want to buy a camera helps in discovering the camera that suits your requirements. Answer the basic questions for yourself, like:

    • Why do you need the camera? Only for photographing family, friends and groups or getting down to the serious stuff (like shooting landscapes or wildlife or macro subjects).
    • How frequently you will be using the camera? Every now and then or will wait for some family events or a get together or may be only once a while.
    • Will you click the photographs for online sharing alone or would like to retain the prints as well. Large prints call for a high resolution and you may want to invest in a DSLR to keep up the picture quality.
    • Do you already own a camera or this one is going to be the very first possession?
    • Determine your experience level.

    Knowing the above will help you draw a clear picture as to what exactly are you looking for — a simple point and shoot or a compact camera, an entry level digital SLR or a professional photo-gear (with flexibility of accessorizing and extending its basic capabilities).

  3. Your Level As A Photographer

    Jumping Over The 3rd Largest Pyramid In The World
    Jumping Over The 3rd Largest Pyramid In The World by Anirudh Koul

    Assessing your photographing skills before buying a camera is like setting the goals before reaching the destination. This parameter helps in identifying the basic features which should be offered by the camera. The camera for a newbie or a beginner should be loaded with the automatic settings (requiring minimal user interference for essential settings). Mostly all the entry level cameras and compacts do that for you (auto WB settings and flash mode selections, etc). Whereas being a skilled photographer, you would probably like to own a camera which offers a wide variety of settings to control what your camera sees and captures. Opt for a DSLR if you like to play around with various settings to generate outstanding results.

  4. Features, Bells & Whistles

    There is a stiff competition in the digital camera market, with each manufacturer striving for offering the best at the most competitive prices. If you are looking for an equipment loaded with fancy features and bells & whistles, there is nothing like the compacts. They offer features like face detection, self-portrait mode, smile detection and so on. DSLRs and prosumers on the other hand focus on providing useful features like better image processing engine, bigger image sensor, option to shoot in RAW, etc which ultimately helps in capturing the fine and accurate details of the scene or the subject.

  5. Lens Zoom Range Of The Camera

    Almost all the cameras today feature optical zoom starting at a bare minimum of 3x. The camera phones are an exception to it, they feature the digital zoom. Zooming in helps in getting up, close and personal with the subject (without physically moving closer) and fill the frame with tightly cropped scene. The better the zooming range of the camera’s lens, more is the possibility of capturing the distant and far-off objects.

  6. Consider The Auto Modes Offered By Digital Cameras

    All the cameras provide a certain auto modes for specific scene and subject. The camera automatically takes care of all the other settings. The compacts and point & shoot cameras are good at providing the various modes like landscape mode, night mode, auto mode and so on but fails to provide control over the aperture, shutter speed and the ISO settings. If you are interested in capturing motion & movement and like to create beautiful blurs and bokeh effect, there is no match to a DSLR.

  7. Ease Of Use

    Everyone Needs A Getaway
    Everyone Needs A Getaway by Kennymatic

    The next big factor while deciding on which camera to buy is the ease of using the equipment. The equipment you are planning to buy should offer you the flexibility of easily sifting through the various modes suitable for specific scenes (or subjects). It should also be able to offer simplified access to various settings so as to quickly tune the camera and get ready for capturing the spontaneous action. Ease of use is also related with the flexibility of accessorizing the equipment with filters, lenses, additional flash units, etc to put forth your creative skills at photographing the scene.

  8. Don’t Forget To Examine The Processing Speed

    Some digital cameras, especially the compacts and point and shoot types pose a time-barrier in photographing spontaneous actions and activities. This is so because these cameras take a long time to process the image and save it to the memory and return back to the shooting mode. If you are planning to photograph kids, pets or sports action, it is better to consider a DSLR over other cameras.

  9. Pick Up The Camera Which Suits Your Style

    Looking for something which suits your style and compliments your style and personality? You can choose the equipment on basis of factors like size, shape, color, brand and overall look and feel. You can choose from multiple color offerings by Nikon Coolpix and Sony Cybershot, sleek and slim designs offered by various compact camera manufacturers, look out for weatherproof and waterproof photo-gear (if you hate to be too possessive about your belongings) or plan to buy a DSLR to justify your passion for photography.

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    Camera LCDs by Hamed
  10. Compare & Review The Strong Contenders

    Shortlist the cameras on the basis of features, price, storage capacity, battery types and so on. Compare the various aspects and read the reviews to arrive at the final conclusion.

Which camera is on your wish list?

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