Choosing the best Camera - Page 1
Whether you want a DSLR or a compact camera or a pocket camera, there are so many models to choose from, at a bewildering range of prices, where do you start? Well, the way I choose any new toy these days is to start at the end. What do you want it to do?
Err . . . take pictures. Yes but what kind of pictures and what are you going to do with them? The other burning question is how much are you prepared to learn? And, of course, how much are you prepared to pay?
As you are reading this and have actually made it to paragraph two, I think we can assume that you are prepared to learn at least a little. So what do you want to do? Do you want something that you can keep in your pocket at all times so you can snap the kids?
Do you want a camera that will allow you to take pictures in any lighting conditions from any distance (with the right gadget screwed on the front of course)? Is this going to be a hobby or just some quick snaps?
The Learning Curve
I haven't seen any cameras on sale in recent years that do not have a fully automatic 'point and shoot' mode, most will automatically switch on the flash for you when it is needed so you may wonder why we need all the other manual and semi automatic modes and an instruction book to make your head spin.
The answer is that, although the camera can produce good exposures most of the time, there are times when, to get the results we want, we have to apply a little know-how and select more appropriate settings than the camera would automatically choose.
Before choosing a camera with lots of knobs and dials it is a good idea to consider whether you are ever going to bother to learn what they are all for. I've been around cameras for many years now, and I'm still learning what all the settings on my latest camera actually do. I never bother to learn how to do something until I need to. So there are certain obscure settings that I have yet to find a use for. Of course it would be nice if we could choose just the buttons we need and have each camera custom made for us but in the real world all we can do is choose the level of control based on how much we think we might want to get involved. Generally speaking an SLR will have more knobs, dials and menus than a compact camera which will give you more control over your pictures but will have a much steeper learning curve.
If you enjoyed this page you might
be interested in my eBook
Learn Photography with Geoff Lawrence
Other tutorials in this section
A short introduction to the types of cameras available and a discussion on what you need to look out for when buying a camera.
What you need to know when choosing a new lens.
Confused comparing 35mm lens focal lengths to the new DSLRs? This will make it all clear.
What you need to know before you go shopping.
More of a 'why you need a tripod' than a buyers guide, but it does include some tips on buying and using a tripod.