Feb 20, 2012

What Camera?

Having a hard time deciding what kind of camera to buy? I wrote this article a few months ago for my photography class, and decided to post it here.

There are four main types of cameras: Digital SLRs, Superzooms/Bridge Cameras, Point and Shoots, and Camera phones. They all have their pros and cons, and I’ll be comparing them here.

When you are considering buying a camera, cost is a huge factor. Can you afford a professional camera, or is your budget more suited to a point and shoot? Obviously, the nicer camera you get, the more expensive it will be. It all depends on how much you are willing to spend, and also what deals you can find! Sensor size is important to look at when you are buying a camera too. The larger the sensor size, the more pixels a camera takes in per photo. That results in (for the most part) a nicer photo, especially in extreme light conditions. But camera with a larger sensor size will be more expensive. There is always give and take!

Let’s also talk about audience…what cameras appeal to certain groups of people. What professional photographer is going to go buy a camera phone to take fancy portraits or landscape shots? Pretty much no one I know of. Professionals are out to buy professional cameras. And vice versa; if someone wants a camera to take a few casual photos on their vacation, are they going to go out and buy a professional SLR that costs a load of money? Probably not. Someone like that would be more likely to buy a point and shoot, or even a phone with a camera. Bridge Cameras (aka Superzooms) appeal to the amateur photography enthusiast who doesn’t want to invest in an SLR and a few lenses. So if you are a professional photographer, you will probably have a much nicer camera than someone who is an amateur. Also, professionals sell their work. They take photos for people and make money. That helps pay for what they are spending on their cameras and equipment.

Next is convenience. Probably the most convenient phone out there is built into your cellphone. It is a given that your phone’s camera will not take pictures as well as a SLR. But you probably have your cell phone with you most of the time. You will be much more likely to capture moments that don’t wait for you to run and get your camera. Of course, the quality won’t be as good. Every camera has pros and cons.

This table is a comparison of the pros and cons of the four different kinds of cameras I've mentioned here: (click on the image to enlarge, or open the table in Skydrive here!)

Click to enlarge

Hope this helps! 

I know I had a hard time deciding on my first camera, and it would have been helpful to read something like this. 

And my word of encouragement is: whatever camera you own, learn to use it. Often it is not camera that makes the picture good. I've had people ask me, "Does your camera take good photos?" and I have to say, "Only if you know how to use it!" Well, I guess if you put it on auto....but that's a different subject altogether. :)

Let me know what your thoughts on this are! I'd love to hear them.

| Disclaimer: This post is in no way affiliated with any company, and these are my opinions and my opinions only. Not to be mistaken for professional advice ;) |

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