Hundreds of options, features in today’s market
To say that deciding what camera to buy can be a little disorientating is a huge understatement! Today, there are absolutely hundreds of different cameras to choose from, with prices starting from just $50, and going up into the thousands of dollars. What’s more, most of us have probably never even heard of half of the features that these cameras offer, let alone understand them. To help you get over this confusion, read on.
Types of camera
Although it can be said that there are hundreds of different types of camera these days, they can actually be classified into just two categories: Basic cameras and advanced cameras.
Basic cameras come with the most basic of features to take routine photos. Most of them are of the point-and-shoot variety, which means they are easy to use. Included in this range are subcompact cameras, which are the lightest, smallest of the lot. They offer great portability, but the options and picture quality is somewhat limited.
Next up are compacts, which are usually a bit too big to simply be carried around in your pocket, though they can fit easily into a small bag. These are ideal for travelling or taking memorable photos in and around the home.
Superzooms are cameras with only the basic features, except they are designed with a greater zoom range than other basic cameras, making them a good choice for specialist photography, like snapping action scenes or nature shooting.
Moving up a level, we also have advanced cameras (which come at an ‘advanced price’), which are generally targeted at users who want to take more professional quality images. Advanced point-and-shoots are the cheapest in this category – they have a non-detachable lens but offer numerous controls. They are also the most portable in this category, as they are much lighter.
SLRs are the ultimate in camera technology. They have numerous features, interchangeable lenses and their light sensors are the best in the business, meaning you can take high quality photos in even the worst low light conditions. They also feature extensive controls. Naturally of course, these cameras are the heaviest and most expensive of them all.
There are a huge number of features available with digital cameras – far too many to discuss here. If you’re looking for an extensive description of all the different features, then check out the guide on Consumer Reports for more information.
There are several well known competitors. For basic point and shoot models, it’s hard to beat Canon’s extensive line up, which ranges from its budget A series up to its high end G and S series, which come with better zoom functions and more options. Canon also has a good line up of budget SLRs, including its EOS Rebel series.
Kodak is well known for their good quality budget cameras, but they don’t sell SLRs.
For the best SLR cameras, check out Nikon, Canon, Olympus, and Pentax.
Where to buy
It seems that everyone is offering a good deal on cameras these days, and competition is tight when it comes to finding the best prices online. It’s hard to choose between Bestbuy.com, Buy.com and Overstock.com, so we suggest you check out all three and see what you can find.