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TIPS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A CAMERA
I am often asked to recommend a good camera. Everyone's needs and experience levels are different, therefore each camera will be different.
However if you are thinking of buying a digital SLR here are some tips you should consider before buying one.
There is a major difference between a compact digital and the digital SLR and that is the later allows to change lens' so you can get a better results with a specialised lens then a standard lens.
1 The most important factor for people is the cost, so you need to set your budget and stick to it. (Note the most expensive cameras do not take the best photos it's the person behind the camera and knowing what to do with your settings.)
Other costs to take into consideration: are that some models will come with a standard lens and batteries the others may have to be bought separately. (Check with each retailer)
Additional costs to bear in mind:
Tripod (this is not essential)
2 You need to ask yourself what you will be using the camera for.?
Are you just looking to take holiday snaps and photos of family and friends?
Are you using it underwater?
Are you looking to learn more about photography and want to move away from shooting in automatic mode?
Will you being using it for sports or shooting in low light?
3 Think about the size there are four types of cameras: these are compact, super zoom bridge, compact system and digital SLR.
Compact cameras are the slimmest and smallest and will fit into your pocket or handbag and have many features. They are great for simple point and shoot.
Super Zoom Bridge: these cameras have bigger lenses and they can handle images from landscape to close up and also have manual controls, which lack in the compact. Lens' can't be changed on this super zoom bridge. They are ideal for travelling and not very bulky, a good option if you are want to upgrade from a compact.
Compact System Cameras: These cameras will give an outstanding image quality and give the versatility of a digital SLR and without the bulk. The larger sensor in these cameras means they will capture amazing detail images compared to the two above.
Digital SLR: These cameras will give you by far best image quality then all of the above three. They are heavier; you will be able to change the lens, add external flash guns to them and are very fast in shooting terms. HD video is increasingly more popular in these camera's and if you are a beginner or looking to improve your photography skills there are many on the market, which won't break your bank balance.
4 Think about the features of the camera. Many DSLR cameras have many features and manual control, which allow you to shoot out of automatic mode and take more control of your images. Other features to consider are White Balance and ISO settings, as well as megapixels.
5 Many people think the more megapixels the better, however this also comes down to how you wish to use your images. If you are looking to print enlargements then a higher resolution would be more effective. If you are only looking for standard size images to be emailed or shared on line with family and friends then this is not one of the main deciding factors. Do not spend over your budget if you have no intention to have your images enlarged
Resolution needed for various print sizes see the link
6 Check your PC or Laptop: the newer models of your computer should not give you any problems connecting and downloading your images to your PC. If you have a Macintosh or an older windows computer you will want to make sure that you are able to connect your camera to it and download your photos.
7 If price is not a consideration and you intend to shoot a lot at night and in low light conditions then opting for a camera with a high ISO is a good option. If you are shooting without a tripod, increasing the ISO and having a faster film speed should allow you to get very good results.
My camera is a Nikon D7000 and I mainly shoot at events and in cases like this I never know what sort of lighting I am going to be faced with at the event venue. The Nikon gives some very good results in low light conditions where I have taken hand held images without the use of a flash.
8 In order to get crisp clear images at lower speed levels you need to have a very steady hand or use a tripod. However a lot of the SLR now come with what is known as a VR lens. VR means Vibration Reduction which allows you to shoot hand held images at lower shutter speeds without getting a blur due to camera shake.
9 Before the invention of digital photography there was film. When these films were exposed to light the image was formed. So now today all cameras have sensors and if you take out the sensor then you can no longer call it a camera, since without the sensor the image cannot be produced.
As you can now see this is the most important part of the camera body. And the larger the sensor the more light can pass through. This is an important factor for determining image quality. So the larger sensor is good for taking photos in low light conditions.
The smaller digital compacts will make a big hype about the number of megapixels, however you will find that these smaller cameras have smaller sensors. Therefore it all depends on your budget.
So the higher the ISO in the camera the larger the sensor.
10 Check what your refund policies, warranty cover, and after care service with your retailer are, these all add to the cost. Some come with free policies and cover.
11 Last of all you can rent cameras today and try them out before you decide to buy if you are still unsure.
Here are a few good rental websites: