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Pro Tip: What Camera Should I Buy?

October 10th, 2007 · No Comments

Buying a camera shouldn’t be as stressful as buying a car, but sometimes it can feel like it! With all the recent leaps in technology over the past five years, it’s difficult to keep up on the latest trends. Plus, as your skills improve, your needs and desired feature sets may change, too, so you’ll need to ask yourself some questions before you buy. Review this handy guide and you should be able to find your next camera in a snap!

Do Your Homework
By reading this guide, you’re well on your way to “doing” your homework for buying a camera. In addition to researching different makes and models, be sure to check out a variety of retail options (brick-and-mortar stores as well as online) and keep in mind that the cheapest price may not always be the best option. If you’re buying online, be sure to read reviews about the site’s reputation for customer satisfaction.

We recommend checking out CNET Reviews and Digital Photography Review as both sites offer useful tools to narrow down your options.

Ask Yourself These Questions

Before you buy, make sure you know exactly what you want. This will make the process much easier and keep you research focused. Ask yourself these questions to get started:

  1. What types of photos, such as snapshots, landscapes or sports, do you mostly take?Do you prefer to have more or less control with the camera’s settings?
  2. How important is the size and weight of the camera to you?
  3. Do you like to crop and edit your images before printing?
  4. What’s the largest-size print you ever anticipate needing (i.e. 11×14)?
  5. Do you enjoy shooting video clips?
  6. Do you need a zoom lens?
  7. What’s your budget?

Get a Digital SLR If…
If you prefer more control over your camera’s settings, a quicker-responding shutter and more megapixels, then a larger Digital SLR (DSLR) would be the way to go.

Get a Compact Point-and-Shoot If…
If you prefer a small, somewhat-inexpensive camera that’s easy to use, then a compact point-and-shoot would be a good place to start. If more controls are desired and your budget is flexible but you don’t want to carry a lot of gear, then a mid-sized hybrid point-and-shoot/DSLR might be the best option.

Get a 7-Megapixel or Higher Camera If…
If you regularly crop your images, then you should consider a 7-megapixels or higher camera, which will give you more flexibility to reasonably crop your images using photo-editing software without seeing a dramatic visible loss of quality in your smaller- (4×6, 5×7) or medium-sized prints (8×10, 11×14).

If you have any tips for buying cameras, please share them with us in the comments section below. And remember, with the holidays fast approaching, be sure to share this guide with your friends and family!

Source: Penny Adams from Webshots Blog

Tags: Photography Tips

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