Digital cameras have become extremely popular over recent years. In fact, shooting on film has all but died out amongst the general public, most likely because this new breed of point-and-click cameras allow you to take hundreds of photos very easily and then just delete them if they didn’t turn out quite right – no film wasted!
When it comes to buying a cheap but good quality digital camera for those holiday snaps to stick in the family album, you want one that covers your basic needs but nothing else – there’s no point paying out for fancy features you won’t be using.
Here’s my guide to choosing the right digital camera for you…
- Photo Quality
Consider the resolution of the camera. This is measured in pixels, which are the tiny, individual dots which form one photo. A higher resolution will mean more dots per square inch, and hence a higher quality photo – most people will want to choose a digital camera with quite a high resolution, but don’t go crazy if you only plan to print out small sized copies for your album as you won’t notice the difference. I recommend that you select a camera with two megapixels or more. A six megapixel camera will provide you will excellent, high quality photos for when you plan to blow them up onto an A1 canvas!
- Zoom Quality
There are two different types of zoom which are digital zoom and optical zoom. Cameras with a digital zoom will electronically enlarge individual pixels, in other words making the image appear larger but not actually seeing an extra detail or quality, and cameras with optical zoom will magnify the image you wish to capture with the lens. Optical zoom tends to be more popular as digital zoom can sometimes leave photos quite blurry and pixelated once they have been printed.
- Battery options
Digital cameras require good batteries in order to power them efficiently, so look for cameras which have rechargeable batteries rather than disposable ones. Rechargeable batteries are easier to maintain and they will be cheaper as they won’t need replacing for ages, possibly a year or more!
- Point and shoot vs professional cameras
A point and shoot camera is exactly that – point it at what you want to take a photo of and press the shutter! If you’re just after getting a few family shots or just fancy a spot of amateur photography, Windsor castle snaps and the like when you’re on holiday, this is all you need. There are cheaper and more expensive cameras, but they’re all equally easy to use.
Professional cameras on the other hand come in all shapes and sizes and are a must for anyone who wishes to indulge in some more thought-out, professional quality photography. These cameras will let you change the focus and aperture for each image, focusing in on a particular item in the image for example rather than leaving it to the auto-focus of a point and shoot camera.
- Consider price
In an ideal world you could have any camera you want! Unfortunately, for most of us that’s not an option. So when you go camera shopping you’ll need to work out what budget you can afford and then shop around to make sure you’re getting the very best you can for your money.
Check the features of each camera and work out which are most important to you, then splurge on this – for example, if you’ll be photographing jewellery close up regularly get the best zoom you can for your money, but if you plan to do lots of landscape photography it might be better to look for a digital camera with a great wide-angle option.
I hope you’ve found these tips useful, do you have any more to add?
Michelle Star blogs for Syl Ojalla Photography, a Windsor based photographer who offers everything from wedding to corporate photography!