Buying Guide: How To Choose The Best Digital Camera?

Cameras Buying Guide

Here we help you to choose the best digital camera and understand its terms or uses. With the plethora of options available in the market, it can be challenging to select a suitable model, so you must know some essential facts by which you can move in the right direction. These can include aspects such as focal length, aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. These characteristics determine the position of your camera.

This camera buying guide assists you in making the right decision in picking the right Digital Camera.


Types of Cameras

1. Compact Digital Camera

Pont and Shoot Cameras

The light digital camera captures beautiful images by pointing the camera at the subject and clicking the shutter. This user-friendly camera is also known as Point and Shoot Camera. It is smaller and lighter that doesn’t require film or extra lenses. All of the settings are automatically adjusted and delivers well-exposed photos.

It doesn’t give you the freedom to adjust the settings, but with exemplary artistic skills and a knack for composition, you produce a great photo without having a problem. Users can take around this convenient and durable camera. It fits right in your pockets and a perfect choice for enthusiasts photographers. It has the convenience of being able to take high-resolution shots anywhere and anytime.

2. DSLR Camera

DSLR Camera

The full form for DSLR is Digital Single Lens Reflex, which uses the same lens for framing, focusing, and photos. The DSLR cameras are the most popular camera for amateurs and professional photographers. It is versatile, has great ergonomics, excellent battery life.

This kind of camera is known for delivering remarkable sharp and spectacular images. It can create a beautiful background, high-resolution videos using advanced sensors, a wide range of interchangeable lenses.

There are two varieties of DSLR cameras: the full-frame or 35mm and the crop sensor or APS-C.

The full-frame DSLR camera has a 36x24mm sensor that yields better image quality with low light capability. It is more expensive than the crop sensor because it covers less of the lends’ image due to the smaller sensor.

3. Mirrorless Camera

Mirrorless Cameras

The latest professional cameras are Mirrorless cameras that are more compact than DSLRs. They are without the internal mirror that reflects light onto the sensor.

The interesting part about this compact camera is that it is capable of capturing incredible high-resolution images. It takes pictures at faster shutter speeds and records ultra HD videos like the higher-end DSLRs can produce.

Overall, it’s a combination of two popular digital cameras- a point and shoot and DSLR. Both provide their attributes like the compact size and simple control plus interchangeable lenses with impressive output. It also comes in two types: full-frame and crop sensor.

4. Action Camera

Action Camera

From the last few years, there is the rising popularity of action cameras. The main reason for this, it can fit in the palm of your hand. They are the most durable and versatile type of digital cameras that offer very high-resolution output.

A wide range of accessories like waterproof mount allows the user to attach action cameras to helmets, bicycles and drones. It enables hands-free shooting in various types of situations. This compact and rugged camera offers comparable image quality to modern smartphones.


Types of Lens

Lenses

The foremost decision you have to make at this stage is whether you are happy with a fixed lens or if you want the flexibility of interchangeable lenses. Undoubtedly, interchangeable lenses provide creativity and dun but sometimes, it unnecessary to photographers.

Fixed Lens Cameras

Many points and shoot cameras have fixed lenses. They feature either zoom or a fixed focal length. It is also known as prime lenses and less flexible due to fixed focal length. They are fast and lightweight, and easy to travel around. Its fixed focal length makes them quicker and sharper.

Interchangeable Lenses

It is essential to check the availability and price of the lenses while buying the camera for the first time. There are usually the most expensive but the best quality options. They are known for zoom lenses that allow different focal length and make them more flexible. This type of lenses contains more glass that helps in its versatility. However, they tend to bigger and heavier than prime lenses.

Camera Lens Characteristics

Lenses focus and filter light so that it hits the sensor or film strip. Various features decide how a camera lens affects the look and quality of the final.

  • Focal Length: It is the measurement of the distance between the point of convergence of the lens and the sensor that records the image. The range of focal length expressed by a number tells you how much of the scene can be captured by the camera. If the count is smaller, you have a wider angle of view of the show’s set. In contrast, the larger numbers have a narrow-angle of view.
    There are many things to consider with lenses, and it all depends on the type of photography. If it’s about portraits, you want the focal length something around the 50mm or 75mm mark. If you seek to snap that lion on the Savannah and don’t want to get eaten, you want something with a long zoom and closer to 300mm or higher.
  • Aperture: Most lenses can constrict the light that passes through them using an internal element or called a diaphragm that can extend and retract using controls on the camera. If you want more light in the photo, you pull that diaphragm back as far as it goes. Additionally, if you need less, you extend it and limit the incoming rays to a thinner, more focused hole. It is how big the opening let light in and expressed in f-stops or a relative measure of the diameter of the opening. Lower f-numbers indicate a wider aperture, with f/2.8 and below being the extremes, while higher ones imply that more light is blocked.
  • Maximum Aperture: It indicates the full width a lens aperture can open. The maximum aperture will list on the lenses’ barrel. The lenses of the wider maximum aperture charge more cost. It is excellent for low light conditions and a good investment for considering it in night photography.
  • Depth of Field: It is determined by aperture, the focal length of the lens and distance of the subject. It allows you to manage the amount of the photo that is under focus. The depth of field varies with the type of lens due to maximum aperture.
  • Lens mount: First of all, things keep in mind is that cameras don’t work in a one-size-fits-all way. Brands like to keep their heritage, and, as such, each manufacturer has its lens mount. For Canon, it’s EF-mount (including EF-S); for Pentax, it’s K-mount; for Nikon, it’s F-mount; and Sony has A-mount. Also, there are some extensions and differences, but those are the current main four. Don’t fall into the trick by buying the wrong lenses due to the brand names match up.

Sensor Size

In a digital camera, the sensor is much more important for determining the image size, resolution, low-light performance, depth of field, dynamic range, lens, and even the physical size of the camera.

It uses to record images in digital cameras. It determines how good your pictures look and how big or large you can print them.

Sensor

The most common types of these are CCD and CMOS. CCD is one of the oldest image capture technologies for digital cameras and has long offered superior image quality compared to CMOS with better dynamic range and noise control. CMOS is considered an inferior competitor of CCDs, as they operate more efficiently with more inherent functionality than CCDs.

You need to understand – the bigger the sensor, the better the image quality in low light and the more excellent the ability to blur the background. It highly depends on the lens that you attach to your camera.

Here are three primary sensor size that you came across while buying digital cameras. 1-inch or smaller size commonly found in budget cameras. APS-C and full-frame found in advanced, Mirrorless and DSLRs.


Resolution / Megapixels

Resolution

Resolution is the most noted feature in a camera, and as of now, we all know the measuring unit is in megapixels. A pixel is the essential unit of a photo.

Every digital camera you have owned contains a sensor to click an image, and these sensors are made up of small photosites. A photosite is nothing but a sensor for each unique pixel. When the sensor exposes, each little photosite receives light that translates as colour in your final picture.

The more the no. of photosites on camera, the better the resolution. Therefore, a sensor with 1000000 photosites has a million pixels to capture the detail in the form of colour. So if the camera has a 13-megapixel, it means that the sensor has 13000000 photosites on it.


Shutter Speed

Shutter Speed

The shutter acts as the gatekeeper who controls the amount of light that can enter the camera. If the shutter is open for longer means slow shutter speed, it allows more light and introduces the possibility of a more massive photo blur.

You can control the amount of light that can enter the Mirrorless and DSLR Camera. In a particular situation where light is low, increase its exposure time so that more light can come in. You can freeze the frame in fast-pace work, most in sports, to avoid the blur.


Image Processor

Image processor

It is responsible for preparing an image that carries on several activities. It is a dedicated processor that receives the raw data from a camera sensor and turns it into a useful image. This chip evaluates the colour and depth of data of a given picture for the correct contrast distribution. It aids in the separation of noise from image information.

While buying a camera, you will come across these three processors – DIGIC, Expeed, and Binoz X come across. The image processing engine helps to fix the lighting issues. It also adjusts the other settings that make the picture look nice.


Ergonomics

It is a big thing to consider when purchasing a camera is how it feels in the hands. You hold a camera a lot, so get a good feel for it before deciding to buy.

Size: In this factor, you must be aware that you can reach all the buttons. You should feel comfortable while holding the camera in your hands—the last thing to know the feeling when the camera is close up to your face.

Weight: If you’re starting with photography, consider getting a camera that you can carry everywhere. You’re more likely to take around a smaller, lighter camera than a full size bulkier camera. It might mean a trade-off in picture quality, but at least you can take shots. If your camera is so hefty that you’re inclined to leave it at home, you’re not going to bring anywhere with your photography very fast.

Durability: Amazing cameras are more rugged than others, featuring sturdy magnesium alloy internal frames and weather sealing. These may or may not feature particularly to you, depending on what crazy things you’re planning to photograph.

Menu System: Ensure that the menu system is straightforward and easy to use. Every camera is different, but you should figure out how to navigate the menu system. The camera’s menu should not be so complicated that it stops you from using the camera.

Battery Life: An important factor you can’t ignore. Some cameras come with their rechargeable lithium-ion batteries so that you use them for more time. Whereas some models operate by regular AA batteries, that is beneficial for those who don’t have access to an outlet.

Image Stabilization(IS): Another feature is worth considering while clicking pictures in low light. IS helps you when your camera sometimes selects a slower shutter rate to get better exposure. At the same time, this product ends up with a blurred effect even with a secure grip.

Connectivity: You find several compact cameras that come with excellent Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity. Why this feature so important for your point & shoot camera as it gives you the freedom to control your camera remotely. It allows you to share your videos and photos on your smartphone or computers with great ease. Hence you don’t need to use the camera cable or remove the SD card.

Face Recognition: It helps to detect your subject in a scene. The camera senses a face and locks focus and exposure suitable for the photo.

Viewfinder: One thing to make when comparing viewfinders is their frame coverage within a range of 95 to 100%. 100% is the ideal choice to see everything within the frame during compositions. Some cameras lose a small portion of the photo due to design limitations. Therefore they have less than 100% frame coverage.

Touchscreen LCD: Many displays feature a touchscreen design. It allows direct control for both menu navigation and focuses powers from the screen. Further, it helps focus and meter with a touch-enabled system. User can pinpoint specific areas for critical focus and spot exposure metering. It has greater control than the focusing system.



Varun Sharma

About the author

Varun is a Founder & Chief Content Strategist at Best Deal. He is a Award-Winning Tech-Savvy Serial Entrepreneur, Content Marketer with 14+ years of experience in the Internet Industry. A noteworthy leader in the Technology space, he can also be credited with contributions at various International Forums and Conferences as a keynote speaker, writer and even moderated debates. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Technology from Chitkara University.