Camera technology has come a long way in recent years. Not just in quality improvements for the average amateur photographer. But, the technology to share and display your images has changed.
No longer are photos hidden in dusty photo albums or in a box. But, they can easily be displayed in computer photo albums or shared over the web. Memories captured in your pictures are now a part of your everyday life. Of course, all of this new technology can be confusing. How do you get the most out of it?
You’ve got to pick the right camera, know how to take great pictures with it, and then share it with friends and family. It can all be confusing. You just want to take great pictures and get the best deal. Not worry about the technical details. So, inside this guide we’re going to cover all of the basics to get you off to the right start. But, first things first. Before you can get started, you need a camera.
Let’s begin by covering how to get the best camera for your money. The first step to picking a great camera is to determine your needs. How are you going to use it?
You’ve got to decide if convenience and cost are most important or if you want a camera with higher quality images and advanced features. Typically, smaller cameras take lower quality images and are cheaper. Yet, this may be fine for many. High-quality is more important if you travel a lot (you want to capture scenery) or you take lots of shots where your target is moving. If you’re just taking pictures here and there, then smaller and lower quality maybe the ideal choice for you. Just pop-it open, snap, and you’re done. Where as,with more advanced cameras, you’ve got a lot more features you can play with.
So, what are some of these features you should consider?
Let’s talk about the most important ones:
How close you can zoom-in.
Cheap cameras usually are lacking in this area. A good zoom may be important when you want to take pictures of scenery or will be taking pictures of people at a distance. It’s also very helpful for taking pictures of kids. For group pictures or posed shots in a closed setting, then it may not be as important.
Resolution or picture quality.
This is represented in mega pixels. The higher your resolution (the more mega pixels), the more memory you take up. This means lower cost cameras tend to have much lower quality images. Generally, you want to get above 7 mega pixels for solid quality.Below this amount, the change in reduced quality becomes more noticeable.
How well does the camera take pictures when you’re moving? This can be important when you’re traveling, if you have moving kids as your subjects, or are taking a lot of action shots. However,you may not need it as much if you have a tripod to hold your camera for you or if you’re not moving a lot.
Raw versus jpeg only.
More expensive cameras allow you to take pictures in raw format. Raw format is simply a more detailed image. The image is processed to a minimum. The advantage of raw format is that it allows you to do far more in editing later on. The downside of raw format is that it takes up a huge amount of memory. So, this feature is not important for most amateur photographers.
The ability to select built-in settings, such as “Landscapes” or“Portraiture.”
Many cameras allow you to select the type of picture you want to take and it makes sure you have the right settings automatically.This is important if you want to do a lot with your camera in easiest possible way.
Point and shoot versus manual.
Lower priced cameras only allow you to point, click, and shoot. This is great if you just want to take family or vacation pictures fast. However, if you’re interested in doing more professional portraiture or landscape photography, then you will want a camera with the option to manually select your settings. You can then adjust shutter speeds and better adapt to changing lighting situations.
Simply put, you have two routes you can go:
Get an advanced camera with lots of features to get the “professional polish.” Or, you can go for price,convenience, and ease.
It all depends on how much learning you want to do and your intended use. Keep in mind, that even many lower-end cameras have a lot of great features to give you the results you want.
Alright, once you know what features you’re looking for, it’s time to shop for just the right model. One of the best places to search is Amazon.com. You can look through hundreds of reviews from users to see exactly the limitations and benefits of each model. Once you have chosen a camera then you can look for the best deal. There are some great online specialty camera shops and Ebay is definitely worth a look.
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