Choosing a new digital camera today can be a daunting task. There are so many things to consider and so much marketing hype that choosing a digital camera can get frustrating. I’m going to explain to you the 5 most important things you should look at when choosing you next digital camera. I’m not going to get into the technical details, too many of those. I’m going to keep it simple and logical, so when you do go out to buy your new camera you’ll be prepared.
- Budget – I know, I know. This always makes it to the number one position, but for good reason. You can’t spend more than you have. Right? Don’t let a sales person or a friend talk you into spending more than you want. There will always be features that are not available in your price range. Suck it up, cupcake! You probably can live without a feature or two. Buy the best camera you can afford!
- What and how are you going to be shooting – If you’re going to be taking snaps of the family, or vacation photos, you’re going to want something easy to carry and use. On the other hand, if you want your shots to be more creative or to shoot wildlife, you’ll probably want a digital SLR. If this is your first camera you should consider a compact digital camera, where as someone who’s been shooting for years might want a digital SLR.
- How does the camera feel in your hands – This one is probably the most overlooked. A lot of people are buying their cameras online now without ever trying or holding the camera first. This is a mistake. Go to a camera store and hold the cameras, play with the menus, change the settings, etc. This may seem basic, but what’s right for your next door neighbor might not be right for you. The last thing you want is to buy a digital camera that doesn’t feel right. It will probably start gathering dust somewhere.
- Output – Are you going to be printing large wall murals, 13X19, 8X10, or only 4X6 inch prints? Are you going to be putting the images on the web, or sending them out in e-mails? I’m going to let you in on a little secret… If you’re only making small 4X6 inch prints, sending them in e-mails, and putting pictures on your facebook or myspace page. You don’t need more than a 6 megapixel camera. Really! However, making larger prints and submitting images to contests, you definitely need more than 6 megapixels. 10-12 megapixel cameras are now considered the higher range compact cameras.
- Software – Software? Really? Yup! If you’re already familiar with image editing software… Great! You don’t need to worry about this. If you have never used image editing software this is a huge thing to consider. Make sure you ask the camera store to see the software on one of their computers that comes with the camera. Or at least find out what software comes with camera and download the trial version before you buy the camera. There are so many people that don’t know how to resize an image to e-mail to friends, or never download images to their computer because it’s too difficult or they don’t know how. The software that comes with the camera should be simple to use and fun. The other option is to buy 3rd party image editing software and that usually throws your budget out the window.
What have we learned? Don’t exceed your budget. Figure out what and how you’re going to shoot and buy the camera to fill your needx. Make sure the camera feels good in your hand and is easy for you to use. Choose a camera that is appropriate for your desired output. And, make sure the software that comes with camera is easy for you to use.
Is ther anything you consider important when buying a digital camera? Give us your comments.