Today, the digital camera offer is impressive, there is a wide variety of cameras, models and functionalities for all kinds of needs and budgets, and this leads to frustration and confusion when wanting to buy a camera, which it leads us to the question that a person who wants to start in photography takes the most: what camera should I buy?
That is why in this article we focus on giving you the information you need to choose the camera that best suits your needs.
What kind of Digital Camera you should buy?
Before starting to see cameras, we must have sufficient clarity about the purposes and uses we wish to give our camera and our photography. As a first step I suggest that you reflect a bit on the answers to the following questions:
- What type of photography do I like or need to take?
- How often will I use the camera?
- In what environments and where do I want to use the camera?
- What is the final objective of the photographs I took?
- Where do I want to publish the photos?
- What budget am I willing to designate?
- Will I apply a post-processor edition to photography?
Once you have answered these questions now you are ready to see which camera is best suited to your budget and your needs.
The selection and disposal procedure must begin by choosing from one of the four major types of digital cameras: 1: Compact Cameras, 2: Bridge Cameras, 3: Mirrorless Cameras, and 4. DSRL Cameras (SLR Cameras) ).
The innovation that this type of cameras have suffered is impressive. Each time they are smaller, of better image quality and have more advanced and creative functions. The compact cameras, also known as “Point & Shoot” (point and shoot) are ideal for casual photography and have become indispensable for any trip, no matter how simple. They offer the ease that can be carried everywhere. They can be stored in the handbag or in the pants bag. In most cases, they provide high response speed for spontaneous photographs.
This type of camera is divided into two: low-end and mid-range.
LOW RANGE COMPACTS
These cameras are also known as compact basic range are the most economical, small and light on the market, have a very small sensor (1 / 2.3 inches), are very small format, some do not have an option to external memory (you must be downloading the photos and delete them constantly)
with internal memory only, its operation is completely automatic, most of these cameras have a very elegant design and very bright colors, lack of optical or electronic viewfinder, and usually have a digital zoom of 8 at 12x (magnification) equivalent to about 25-100 mm or 250 mm and with a number of megapixels ranging from 8 to 16 mega px.
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These cameras also have scene modes that are pre-defined modes to adapt to different types of photography and light conditions.
These cameras are ideal for people who are not interested in experimenting, they simply want to be able to take out their camera, frame, and shoot, without complications.
MEDIUM RANGE COMPACT
The mid-range compact cameras are those that already allow you to work a little more with semi-automatic controls. They are cameras a little more expensive than the low-end ones, they have 12 to 20 mega px, they have a digital zoom of 12 to 20x (magnifications) and they lack a viewfinder, just like the low-end ones. These cameras also have a small sensor (1 / 2.3 inches) but offer better image quality and mostly have a scene mode dial that allows you to access them faster.
In relation to quality/prices it is a worthwhile camera. For an affordable price, they offer good image quality and a series of creative options (exposure control, creative filters and a variety of specific programs for different scenes) that are more than sufficient for the requirements of an amateur interested in a compact camera versatile and efficient
These types of cameras are recommended for people who still do not want to complicate themselves in configuring the camera to adapt it to each type of photo they take but if they are interested in having more versatility, with a little more control and better image quality.
These types of cameras are ready to use from the start and do not need additional accessories, although it is always advisable to buy a hard case and a spare battery. In all models the “Live View” preview system is used in such a way that on the screen you can see what the sensor is currently capturing.
Among the disadvantages that we can find in these devices is the quality and size of the lenses. The smaller the diameter of the lens, the image quality tends to decrease. The price competition for these models is very strong so the quality of the optics is within a standard range for almost all producers, in addition, it gives you less control over the scene, and they have little flexibility in accessories.
The aperture range that these models handle is very small compared to DSLR cameras so the depth of field is also quite limited.
All cameras of this type have an integrated flash that rarely provides enough light for a good shot in low light conditions.
Advantages: Ease of handling, mobility, reliability, image quality, practicality, creative functions, integrated effects, very accessible price, “Live View”.
The price of these cameras ranges between 100 and 300 dollars.
The Best Bridge Camera is called that precisely because they are between the compact and the SLR, we could say that they are the bridge between them both in price and in dimensions. These cameras apparently have the shape of an SLR camera but with the inside of a compact one (although today there are already bridging cameras with more compact bodies).
They have lenses that are not interchangeable and with a zoom of great approach (around 25x or higher), some models can reach up to 60x of approach. These cameras are lighter than SLRs but heavier than compact cameras, they usually have small sensors, although some advanced bridges may have larger sensors, they have electronic viewfinders. These cameras offer manual (M), speed (S or Tv), aperture (A), ISO sensitivity and white balance controls.
A very interesting advantage of these cameras is that they allow you to record the files in RAW format, which saves much larger image information, which makes it easier to edit the photographs in a program like Lightroom and they mostly have shoe to adapt an external flash.
A bridge would be the ideal camera for a photographer who wants an “all-in-one” camera, that provides the widest possible range of approach with a manageable weight and volume, that visually looks like you have a more advanced camera (than a compact one) and that allows you to take it without much effort anywhere.
The price of these cameras ranges between 200 and 350 dollars.
MIRRORLESS CAMERAS (WITHOUT MIRROR)
This category is relatively new (approximately since 2005) but has been gaining fame in the last year. Camera manufacturers realized that today’s photographers are looking for a camera that gives you all the control of the camera but is also smaller and lighter than an SLR and that’s why they took on the task of manufacturing this type of camera.
Interchangeable lenses with “Mirrorless” cameras or mirrorless cameras allow you to have full control of the camera, they have manual controls (M), speed (S or Tv) and aperture (A).
They are cameras that can cost an SLR and even some even more, they have the option of interchangeable lenses, although depending on the model and brand of the camera these lenses may be smaller than those of an SLR, these cameras It also allows you to record files in RAW format, some cameras have a shoe on the top that allows you to integrate an external flash. They are cameras with a very advanced technology, some have an impressive approach and fantastic clarity.
They are more specialized cameras, with better features and more control and configuration possibilities, and also, they are faster in focus and respond better in low light conditions.
These cameras are suitable for photographers interested in a small camera, light but capable of offering excellent image quality, with a better approach, versatile, with a better response in low light conditions and above all that offers greater control. They are also a perfect alternative option to SLR cameras.
The price of these cameras ranges from 500 to 2600 dollars.
DIGITAL SINGLE LENS REFLEX (DSLR Cameras)
Cameras in this genre have become more accessible to the casual amateur market. The system of mirrors and lenses that these cameras use allows greater flexibility in the scene becoming essential for professional photography
It would be wrong to call this type of camera “professional” since within the same genre the teams can be divided into amateur, semi-professional and professional.
The advantages of a DSLR camera with flip screen over a P&S or a Bridge are many but not only depend on the camera you buy, but they also have a lot to do with the lenses and accessories you use.
The flexibility that a DSLR team gives you allows you to capture creative scenes with greater impact, the limits will depend on the skills and creativity of the photographer and, obviously, on your budget.
Additionally, most DSLR cameras have an integrated flash that, although it may be of higher quality and intensity, also does not meet the requirements to obtain a good scene in low light conditions, however, they offer the ease of integrating an external flash to the team.
Finally, the dimensions and weight of a DSLR camera is a very important aspect to consider since they can considerably limit the mobility and use that is given to the equipment.
In the next post, I will explain the differences between the three groups of DSLR cameras that exist, however, it is highly recommended that if you have never used a camera of this type and you want to venture into this adventure you opt for an amateur type camera or “entry level ”
- Flexibility in lenses
- Flexibility in functionality
- Larger sensor (higher image quality)
- Optical viewfinder
- Advanced anti-vibration systems
- Possibility of storage in different formats
- The range of accessories is very wide
- Low mobility
- Complex functions
- Needs more care and maintenance.
The prices of these cameras range between 350 and 4 thousand dollars.
The cost of the lenses can range from 115 to 15 thousand dollars.
These cameras are designed for demanding photographers and are interested in entering the world of photography as much as a hobby or as a profession, they have the greatest versatility, it allows you to buy lenses that adapt to the type of photography you would like to take, they give you Total control of your camera.
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