As a professional photographer and tutor, I often get asked, “which camera should I buy?” This is a really big question with a myriad of answers. Here’s an overview of what’s on the market and some considerations for making a purchase.
For a lot of people their first criteria will be money, and on the back of that I would say weigh up the costs with how often you will use it and what for. If it’s for family snaps & holidays then a compact camera will be just fine. If you want to show off your pictures to fellow enthusiasts or make large prints you might want to consider an entry-level DSLR or beyond. So what’s the difference?
Compact Cameras started out as small, lightweight cameras with one fixed lens and barely any attributes. They are still small and light, but the list of features now on offer can be overwhelming. One thing I love about compact cameras is the variety of ‘scene modes’ at your fingertips. These are settings such as sport or macro; popular settings optimised for use.
Still coming under the banner of compact camera is the ‘Bridge camera’, which is a high-spec compact camera with a good quality lens, full manual control and better image quality than most compacts.
SLR (Single Lens Reflex)
This type of camera gives you full control over your image production. They come with bigger bodies, masses of lens choice, superior image quality and of course bigger budgets. With an array of controls at your fingertips, all you need to do is learn how to use them!
Mega pixels: They need to be considered, but are not the be all and end all when it comes to producing good quality images.
Batteries: LCD screens zap a lot of power, so does heavy flash use. To cover all requirements a camera that interchangeably supports rechargeable and long-life disposable batteries is best.
Ergonomics: if you’ve got big hands then a small compact camera may be too fiddly, and if you have the delicacy of a pianist you may not want to stretch your paws around a monstrous machine!
Other things to look out for in reviews are; does the camera have good low-light capability? Does it provide even, consistent colours and contrast? Does it have fast auto-focus?
As a guideline you can expect to pay from £100 to £300 for a compact camera, £200 to £600 for a bridge camera and between £400 and £3000 for a digital SLR.
If you intend to take your photography seriously I would always recommend buying a camera with as many manual features as possible. The more in control of your images you are, the better your pictures will be, regardless of how much you have paid for your kit!
Amanda can provide one-to-one or small group tuition locally. Contact details are:
07798 837969 www.ajephotography.com