Do you bring your camera everywhere?
Even if don’t count yourself amongst the pros, you do bring a powerful tool with you most places if you carry a smartphone. This is actually a great way to start getting the hang of composition and timing as a novice. But to take serious photos, you’ll need to develop an understanding of the sometimes daunting specs such as ISO and f-numbers.
Once you gain at least a peripheral understanding of what these descriptors mean, you’re better equipped to manage the array of choices as your venture to buy a new toy.
Let’s dive into details.
1. How much are you willing to spend?
This should be the first question you answer before you make a responsible decision about your camera. Are you an amateur photographer? Do you just want to snap pictures of friends when you’re hanging out? Then there are great cameras under $300; in fact consider learning how to use your phone as camera if you’re not ready to invest in a new professional camera.
The best cameras, DSLRs (digital single lens reflex), will set you back a few thousand dollars, but are a smart investment if you’re planning to get into photography professionally.
2. Do you need all these megapixels?
A megapixel is composed of the millions of tiny squares of colors (pixels) that line your image, horizontally and vertically (think of square footage), that compute to give you the square pixelage of the picture. Up to a certain point, megapixels do matter. But only to a certain extent. The highest megapixels only matter if you plan to blow up your photo to huge proportions and need to maintain the quality of the original shot.
3. What are you willing to carry with you?
Some high-end cameras are bulky and require complicated set-up; such as tripods. However, this gear often gets you images with great quality. The camera really has to fit your style and your lifestyle. If you aren’t going to be proud showing off that camera every time you pull it out of the bag, then chances are you won’t use it as often as you’d like.
4. Do you hate asking, “Can I charge this here?”
Most cameras have rechargeable batteries and you’ll want to know how often you’ll have to glue yourself to an outlet.
5. Which features are essential?
Cameras nowadays have tons of figures; some have dozens of specific details that will alter the outcome of your shot. Image stabilization, fast focus, easy manual override and even wifi and printer connectivity are just several options. If you’re trying to shoot action photos, you’ll need features for fast focus and stabilization. Are you freelancing and need to print often? Consider portable wifi and printer models.
These are just a snapshot of the questions to ask yourself when buying a new camera. Make the right investment for your lifestyle! Check out my Twitter @brendan_filice for the latest.