Cameras on phones and smartphones that we use every day are becoming more powerful, but at least for now picture quality is not very close to that of a professional camera. However, when it comes to purchasing a dedicated camera, many of us are limited to superficial reading of the specifications that may easily be misleading. Before you study the offers available, you must limit your search field considering your personal preferences, how you want to use the camera and obviously the budget you can allocate.
As usual, we are her to help you make the best decision and show you the basic steps you need to follow before making a decision. So, here are ten things to consider before purchasing a camera.
1. Determine the type of camera you need
The most important thing is to understand what camera is right for you. If you are a beginner photographer and you look at photography as a hobby or you use only on your vacations, you need an entry-level camera, compact or with automatic settings. If you want quality pictures and want to play with more settings to get the best results, you need an entry-level camera in the DSLR range. If you are a professional photographer, you will almost certainly need a powerful DSLR that will squeeze a significant budget. Do not forget that camera price increases with your claims, which is why you have to find a balance between these two key elements.
2. Please note the sensor, not only the number of MP
A frequent mistake among beginners is the emphasis on the number of megapixels of the camera. It has its importance, but it is far from being a decisive factor to determine the quality of the photos. What matters most is the quality of the lens, such as, for example, a 5-megapixel sensor can produce better pictures than a 10-megapixel one.
Currently there are two types of sensors in cameras: CCD (Charge -Coupled Device) and CMOS (Complementary Metal – Oxide – Semiconductor). Of these, the best quality is offered by CCD sensors.
3. Optical zoom level
Another aspect that needs to be considered is the optical zoom. The higher the value, the better the performance. Be careful not to confuse optical zoom (which refers to the movement of the front lens closer to the subject) with digital zoom (which refers to the cutting of a part of the topic, resulting in a poor quality image).
4. ISO values
Sensitivity to light is reflected by the acronym ISO in the camera options. The higher this is, the brighter the image, but less clear. However, we should not exaggerate: an average sensitivity is good enough for quality photos.
5. Ease of use
No matter how good a camera is, it must be easy to use. We refer primarily to the simplicity of access features and options for the capture to be done in a short time interval and the ease with which you can add accessories such as lenses, filters and external flashes.
6. Secondary options
In some relation to the above mentioned point, secondary options refer to functions such as automatic face detection, smile detection, night shooting mode or landscape function. These functions are particularly found in compact cameras, while DSLRs usually rely on better technical equipment in terms of processor or the ability to shoot in RAW format. Many modern cameras can automatically detect which is the best option for a photo and in this case you just need to press the button to capture the event.
7. LCD Display
Modern cameras benefit from LCD displays, in some cases touchscreen, for viewing and even editing photos. Most have 3″ diagonal, but we recommend you to test the product first.
In cameras, things are a bit different from mobile phones. If possible, try to buy a device that works on AA cell (normal) or AAA thin). Some manufacturers use special batteries that are difficult to find and are more expensive than conventional batteries.
9. Storing pictures
Another criterion is how storing of photos is made. Since on the market there are over 20 types of memory cards, it is better to look at the format used by the camera you want to buy. Look mainly at cameras that support one of the following formats: Secure Digital (SD), SDHC, miniSD, microSD, microSDHC and miniSDHC. Do not forget miniSD and microSD can be used in SD slots with the help of converters, and the microSD and miniSDHC also with the help of converters. Although physically SD and SDHC cards look the same, the former may be used in SDHC slots, but the opposite is not available.
10. Construction and design
Finally, the camera you acquire should be visually pleasing and well-constructed. Analyze factors such as size, shape, color or weight.