There is no doubt that a picture is worth 1,000 words, and taking a great one can preserve a place in time forever. This is why so many people love photography and photographs. By freezing time in a photograph, we hold on to moments that would otherwise be lost.
In order to take great shots, however, you need to be in possession of a good quality digital camera. You should bear in mind that different digital cameras are better suited for different kinds of photo-taking. You might just want a little point-and-shoot to whip you spontaneously if the moment strikes, or you might want something professional-grade that requires more time and planning. The below guide will help you, regardless of your intentions.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The best digital cameras: Our Picks
- 4 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about digital cameras
- 4.1 What is a digital camera and what is it used for?
- 4.2 What types of digital cameras are there?
- 4.3 What are the lenses of a digital camera?
- 4.4 What are the sensor size and ISO sensitivity of a digital camera?
- 4.5 What is the viewfinder and image stabiliser of a digital camera?
- 4.6 What kind of batteries can a digital camera have?
- 4.7 What are the continuous shooting rate and video option of a digital camera?
- 5 Shopping Criteria
- 6 Summary
- Never spend your entire budget on just the housing. Always consider that you are going to need accessories as well, and that these cost money. A lens, for instance, can be almost as expensive, if not more so, than the camera itself if you are buying a DSLR.
- Buying a reflex camera is only a good idea if you really want to get into the technical world of photography. If you just want something high quality to take travel photos with, a compact digital camera is a better choice.
- Also factor in body design, battery life, and if a camera has video capabilities. If you want something that is good for sports (especially extreme sports), you will want a specific kind of digital camera for that.
The best digital cameras: Our Picks
At first glance, it might seem like the digital camera market has died a bit. The reason for this is obvious: smartphones. The cameras built into new phones can be astonishingly high quality, but they come with one fatal flaw: they don't deal with light. No matter how far the technology has progressed, the camera on your phone will never be able to provide you with the same kind quality as a good digital camera can. But you have to know what to look for to buy the right one. Below is a list of some of the best and most popular digital cameras on the market.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about digital cameras
To capture the present and preserve it for the future, you need a good digital camera. In addition to knowing how to use one of these devices, you also need to know how to go about choosing the right one. How do you know which one to buy? What do different types offer? To find out more, continue reading.
What is a digital camera and what is it used for?
Increasingly modern and sophisticated digital cameras make it possible to manage high-quality photographs and videos quickly and easily. Because there is such a wide variety of digital cameras out there, anyone can get something that works for them and their needs. Digital cameras can be compact and inexpensive, or bulkier and professional-grade
What types of digital cameras are there?
|EVIL vs. Compact||Generally, EVIL is a better choice than compact because of their larger sensors||They are not as manageable. Lenses can cost a lot of money|
|DSLR vs. EVIL||Reflex or DSLR models feature very long battery life a have a high shutter speeds. Inexpensive DSLRs are cheaper than their EVIL counterparts||DSLRs usually have lower quality video modes|
What are the lenses of a digital camera?
The focal length is measured in millimetres. It indicates the angle of vision (how much the lens is able to cover) and the magnification of the image. The longer a focal length, the larger an object looks and the more space in the photo it occupies. A lens capable of covering multiple focal lengths is known as a zoom lens. The lens of a camera is classified as follows:
- Ultra wide angle (less than 18 mm). A great option for capturing landscapes and panoramas.
- Wide-angle (between 18 and 30 mm). A great option for shooting landscapes and most street scenes.
- Normal (between 30 and 70 mm). A really nice option for shooting portraits
- Telephoto lens (between 70 and 300 mm). Very good choice for shooting sporting events and portraits.
- Super-telephoto (more than 300 mm). The best for capturing high-speed sports scenes, or minute details in nature.
As for the lens opening, this refers to the size of the opening that allows light to pass through and is measured as a number. The smaller the number, the wider the opening. The wider lens allows more light in, which gives you more control over your depth of field. Depending on the aperture there are two types of lenses:
- Wide opening: a quick lens
- Narrow opening: a slow lens
What are the sensor size and ISO sensitivity of a digital camera?
On today's market, there are two kinds of sensors to be found. CMOS is the most common and is most often found in high-quality, compact digital cameras because you get really nice sensitivity in lower light settings. Cheaper cameras, on the other hand, tend to use CCD technology. While pricier CCDs can still take great shots, they tend to not be as good as cameras with CMOS sensors.
In terms of ISO sensitivity, the higher the number, the better the camera will perform in low-light situations. The tradeoff is that the more sensitive your ISO settings, the more noise, or additional light you let in. The decision is this: do you want a camera that allows you to capture the finer details or something simple for general photo-taking?
What is the viewfinder and image stabiliser of a digital camera?
|If I want||You must have|
|To capture video and see what you're recording||An EVF viewer|
|To capture action scenes with a lot of movement||An optical viewer, as it shows the action while it is in progress|
|To have total control over what I'm recording||A viewer with a coverage close to 100%|
As its name indicates, the image stabiliser tries to cut down on camera shake so your photos don't turn out blurry. There are two options here: optical image stabilisers which are located inside the camera housing; and stabilizers on the lens. In general terms, they are pretty similar, but lens stabilisers tend to do a better job.
What kind of batteries can a digital camera have?
You can still find models that use AA batteries, but these are not typically the ones that you would consider to be high-quality. It's best to get a digital camera that uses rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. They are better for the environment, and much cheaper over the long-run.
What are the continuous shooting rate and video option of a digital camera?
Thanks to major technological advances over the last few decades, virtually every modern digital camera also gives you the capability to record video. Some of them even let you record in HD and even 4K. Some cameras offer frame rates over 60fps. In this event, you can record video in slow motion.
Now that you know more about the world of digital cameras, it's time to assess which camera is right for you. To accomplish this, you need to know not only about the technical specs but which type of camera best suits your needs.
If you are buying a good quality digital camera, you are going to be spending a considerable amount of money regardless. Spending all of it on the camera itself, however, is a big mistake. The camera itself doesn't guarantee you are going to be taking professional-grade photos, and many types of shooting require specialized accessories and equipment anyways.
When buying a camera, you should divide your budget into two parts: the camera part, and the accessory part. You can buy a cheaper camera, but get great accessories and still take amazing photos.
Ask yourself what you are going to use your camera for. Do you want something durable to take travelling? Then a giant reflex camera with enormous lenses is not ideal. Do you want to learn as much about photography as possible and maybe even dedicate your life to photography? Then the most sophisticated product you can afford is a worthwhile purchase.
You should take some time getting to know more about the various functions and features of the camera you are interested in. You might not even know what some of them are, and therefore, don't know if they are even worth paying for.
Your camera's lens is one of, if not the most important features. Good quality digital cameras let you use a wide range of different lenses to tailor your photography accordingly. People who are just getting into photography often overlook this.
This is quite obvious when you consider that many people buy reflex cameras that have built-in lenses. Lenses, however, go far beyond this. Do some research on the kinds of lenses that are compatible with your camera of choice, and which lenses you plan on using. Different lenses will completely change your photos.
More and more users of digital cameras are looking for models that allow them to record videos. This is why it's hard to find one that doesn't shoot video too. Years ago, only compact digital cameras could do this, but almost all high-end cameras now have that functionality too.
If the digital camera you want to buy is going to be used frequently to record videos, you should pay close attention to this aspect of the camera. Pay close attention to the kind of video quality you want, and if you want to be able to shoot video in slow-motion or extreme activities.
Manual control and retouching
If you are looking for a digital camera that is professional-grade, make sure you get one that lets you edit your photos in RAW format. This format makes editing in Adobe applications easier. While they look slightly less natural, they will still look incredible. Everything depends on what you want as a photographer.
If you want to make the most of your camera and take truly original photos, look for a camera with a high level of manual control. Having complete control over all your settings is how you learn the art of photography. Understanding all of the different functionalities and capabilities will also help you develop your own style.
The best digital cameras allow you to shoot truly impressive images. Always keep in mind, however, that it is the photographer that creates the image. You need a mind like a lens, and an eye like a shutter to really see and capture beauty. It is also important to keep in mind that getting something that suits your needs is paramount.
You also need to think about what you want the camera for and study the different features of each camera, such as: lenses, ISO sensitivity, battery type, viewfinder or whether it offers the possibility to record videos. Get something you think you will use and that fits your needs; don't rush to buy the best, most expensive item on the market.
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(Source of featured image: stokkete: 43015990/ 123rf.com)