Choosing a new camera is a big decision. There are so many features to consider, and you want to make sure that the one you choose will do everything you need it to do.
In this article, we will answer some of the most common questions about buying a new camera so that you can find your perfect match!
Before You Buy a New Camera
There are 8 important things that you should consider before buying a new camera. You should take them into account before making any final decisions.
Types of Cameras
There are different types of cameras on the market that you may be interested in. It’s important to know the difference between them and what you need.
DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex. It’s a type of camera that uses a mirror and prism system to look through the lens with your eye or use a viewfinder on top for composing photographs. It has interchangeable lenses, which means it takes different types of photography like telephoto, wide-angle, and macro.
Compact cameras come with a fixed lens, but they are still able to take great photos because of their large sensors that capture more light compared to your phone’s camera sensor. They have big optical zoom lenses which let you get closer without losing image quality.
Mirrorless cameras are not only smaller and lighter than DSLRs, but they are also more affordable. They’re easy to carry around with you all day long without any hassle, making them great for travel photography, especially when traveling light is important.
Action cameras are specifically designed for capturing activities like biking, surfing, or any other sports activity because they come waterproof without requiring additional housing to protect them from water damage. This is an important feature if you want to take underwater pictures.
DSLR vs Mirrorless Cameras
Many people are confused about the difference between a DSLR and a mirrorless camera. The simple answer is that they take photos differently, but both have their pros and cons.
A DSLR has an optical viewfinder through which you can see exactly what your lens sees — it’s basically like looking through a telescope to see the world.
In a mirrorless camera, there is no direct view of the outside world — instead, you see an electronic display that shows your photo before it takes it. This allows for much smaller and lighter cameras than DSLRs but means they don’t have optical zoom or autofocus lenses (unless, of course, you buy another lens).
- Optical zoom and autofocus lenses;
- The viewfinder is easier to see what you’re taking a photo of.
- Bulky and heavy (usually around 500 grams or more), but this can vary from camera to camera. For example, the Sony Alpha A6000 mirrorless DSLR weighs only 404 grams, while an older Nikon D90 DSLR weighs 760 grams.
- Lighter and smaller (usually less than 500 grams);
- Cheaper than DSLRs (can be purchased camera under 200).
- No optical zoom lenses or autofocus lenses (unless bought separately) — this means that if you want to take photos of faraway objects, like the Moon, for example, it will be difficult because there is no telephoto.
- Not as good quality photos as DSLRs — this can be very subjective, though, because some people don’t even notice it or mind it. However, at times you will see people taking better photos on their SLR cameras than mirrorless cameras.
Speed and Performance
The camera’s frame rate is one of the most important things to consider. You want a fast enough frame rate so that you can capture all high-speed moments with ease, but not too slow where it will cause your footage to be full of glitches and blurs. The frame rate is measured in frames per second (fps). The industry standard for a smooth camera is 60 fps or higher, but anything above 30 fps will do.
Take note of the image quality you want. If you’re not keen on shooting with high-definition footage, then your best bet would be to go for something that shoots in standard definition.
The Megapixel Myth and Reality
The idea that more megapixels mean better photos is a myth. You can’t just look at the number of pixels on the camera to determine what images you will get out of it. A higher pixel count doesn’t always mean “better quality,” and sometimes even lower numbers are enough for excellent photos.
Different factors determine what kind of photos you can get out of your camera. The sensor size, for example, is much more important than the number of pixels when it comes to image quality and low-light performance. A larger sensor will capture better details in both highlights and shadows since each pixel can collect more light.
Lens Quality (and Lens Selection)
The lens is the most important factor in getting a nice picture. A good glass will do wonders, and it’s better to spend money on that than on anything else. You can’t upgrade your lenses later!
- If you want to take pictures of moving objects, like kids or pets — a telephoto lens will be a good choice for you (longer lenses that let you get closer without physically doing so). It has the effect of making things appear further away and larger than they are. Also, remember that the longer your lens is, the darker your pictures will be.
- If you want to take great portrait pictures, look for a camera with a wide aperture (f/stop number — the smaller the number is, the bigger is the opening of the lens diaphragm). A low f/stop means that more light enters into your camera through its lenses and shows up on your image as a better exposure.
- If you want to take pictures in very low light conditions, look for the ISO number (the higher it is, the less light the camera needs). The same applies to taking long exposures — small aperture and high ISO will be your best friends here.
Image stabilization is a great feature to have when you are photographing moving subjects. Whether it’s your kids or animals, image stabilization can be very useful for capturing slow shutter speeds while staying steady. This is especially true if you are trying to shoot in low light.
Autofocus and Drive Speeds
The autofocus system that comes with the camera will have a big impact on how well it works. For example, entry-level cameras often use contrast-detection systems, which are slower than more expensive DSLR models.
More advanced DSLRs can focus in as little as 0.05 seconds, making them excellent at capturing fast-moving subjects or photographing in low light.
For fast-moving subjects, it is still possible to capture a sharp shot using burst mode, which will enable you to take several photos in succession when the subject is not moving much. This helps ensure that at least one photo from the series has properly exposed and focused on your subject. It can also be used for stationary shots.
These days, the standard for HD videos is 1080p or 720p pixels, which means that there will be 1920×1080 pixels (for a full-HD image) or 1280×720 pixels per frame/image of your recording.
If you want higher-resolution videos, you should consider cameras that record in the UHD/‘Ultra High Definition’ category. With a resolution of 3840×216 and an aspect ratio of 16:09, these types of recording offer better clarity than traditional HD recordings.
Of course, people have different opinions on what makes a camera ergonomic and comfortable to hold. For the average person who is not shooting sports or wildlife photography every day of their lives, comfortability will vary based on hand size and shape – how they feel about holding something in their hands for an extended time.
Guide to Buying a Camera: Final Words
There are many choices, and it can be difficult or overwhelming to choose the right one for you. That’s why we have developed this step-by-step process that should take away some of the stress associated with buying a new camera.
We hope you have found the information provided in this guide helpful, and we wish you luck on your photographic journey!