The Blog

How Do We Buy the Best Camera for Our Needs?

When buying a camera we need to ask ourselves what kind of photographer are we? And what are our comfort zones when taking pictures? And how do we want to experience our photography?
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

We get questions like this from family and friends all the time, asking us how to buy a good camera or "which one takes the best shot". Or if it has the most Megapixels, is that the best one? Or good cameras should cost more...etc., etc.

And camera commercials today just express a "glossy" sensation to cameras using celebrities to sell them, to lead us to consider them when buying and to get their latest version into our minds; and so we ask each other... what do you think of (fill in the blank)?

But do we ask, if that's really right for us?

So let's ask ourselves... what kind of photographer are we? And what are our comfort zones when taking pictures? And how do we want to experience our photography?

If we are more attracted to comfort, style and ease, then "Point and Shoot" cameras may be a better choice for us. Otherwise, we're most likely going to be attracted to more professional equipment. Yet at times we can actually be "over-buying" our real photographic needs just because a DSLR looks good to own. And we may fail to understand the detailed and complicated features that a professional camera contains.

Understanding our comfort level is one way that will help us make a better choice. The difference being is that we acknowledge ourselves with our camera's features. Match them to who we are and allow them to become an extension of our vision. Then use this knowledge with our choice cameras.

Start by asking:

  • How does a camera, feels in our hands?
  • Is portability important?
  • Do we want control over every feature of our camera or do we prefer the camera to make the decisions for us?
  • How creative do we want to be with our photography?
  • What's our budget?

Then take these answers and apply them to the models we now find interesting and then ask:

  • What kind of batteries do they take?
  • Do we want to use regular batteries or a rechargeable battery unit that comes with the camera?
  • How much performance of that camera is important to us? Is shooting in low-light situations going to be common? Or how fast is the focus response?
  • What controls are readily available "physically" on the camera buttons that we may want to use often?
  • Is there a Viewfinder or not?
  • How much optical zoom does our camera have?

Ask us what our best choices are...

We feel that any camera that allows you to fully experience taking a picture that you can become proud of is key. We suggest that you know your camera's features and not to rely only on the Auto Mode. Things like having a better optical zoom as opposed to a digital zoom is also a good choice.

And finally we like viewfinders on our camera, even on the Point and Shoots.

Why, because a viewfinder allows us that extra edge of stability when using our telephoto portion of our Zoom lens. We risk more movement at this focal length if we're holding the camera away from us to see the screen. A viewfinder forces us to keep the camera steady against heads thus decreasing our chances of blur. It also is a great way to see our image first on very sunny days when we have too much glare on our screens.

So take a moment and follow this path of questions and you will find a camera that works best for your needs.

For more tips about digital photography go to:

by Ken and Santino - The "Photo Guys"

Digital Photography Made Simple™

Popular in the Community