A Guide to Choosing a Camera That Meets Your Needs and Budget

Camera store

No matter what information digital cameras claim on their box, there is actually no such thing as a digital camera that does everything. If there were such a camera, every single person in the photography industry would have it. The “do everything” camera would corner the market, the price would be exorbitant, and all other digital camera stores would go out of business.

If you are shopping for a new digital camera, the best thing you can do is determine what function is most important to you, and then gather all the information digital cameras offer on that specific function. An entire set of Encyclopedia Britannica’s would not include all the information digital cameras have on all of the possible features, but here is a short overview of different types of digital cameras, and which is best for which type of user:

Point-and-Shoot Cameras
Best for: Photography beginners; people who want presentable photos while spending as little as possible.

Approximate cost: As little as $200
Overview: Point-and-shoot cameras makes most of the photography decisions automatically. This means that the white balancing, the exposure, and the focusing are automatically determined by the camera instead of the photographer. This is great for simple photo taking, but photographers who want to be able to play with these features to create unique photo effects will want camera with greater capabilities. Point-and-shoot cameras are typically the least expensive camera on the market.

Megazoom Cameras
Best for: Hobby photographers. Megazooms take better landscape and closeup pictures than point-and-shoot cameras.
Approximate cost: About $200-500
Overview: While it can be said that point-and-shoot cameras are essentially glorified phone cameras, megazooms are similar to point-and-shoot but offer optical zoom; which most smart phones have no capacity to do. Most point-and-shoot and smart phone camera zoom in digitally; this means they basically just make the pixel dimensions bigger, decreasing quality. Megazoom cameras typically have an optical zoom capacity of 10X or more. Optical zoom uses magnifying lenses to actually capture clear, more detailed pictures in zoom.

Mirrorless Cameras
Best for: Semi-professional photographers who want more control over the photo features.
Approximate cost: About $500-600
Overview: Mirrorless cameras allow lens add-ons, which the previous cameras mentioned generally do not, giving them greater capacity for professional-looking photos. While many of the features can be made automatic, they also give the photographer the option for manual feature changing.

Digital Single?Lens Reflex (DSLR) Cameras
Best for: Photographers who are willing to make the investment in a great camera, who have the knowledge to manually set all of the features for each photo.
Approximate cost: $600 and up; plus at least double that for lenses
Overview: DSLR cameras are quickly becoming the go-to for professional photographers. The photos taken with the DSL our camera are far better than any other camera on the market, if you understand how to use them. However, in addition to needing broad knowledge of the camera features as they relate to every photo opportunity, DSLRs require supporting equipment and lenses, making them a hefty investment for people who are in the profession.

What kind of camera do you use? What do you love and hate about it? Please share with us in the comment section below!

Leave a Reply