|Determine what you need|
|Consider how you’ll use your camera.
Ask yourself these questions before you go to buy a camera and you’ll be in a much better position to make a decision when you see what’s on offer. You’ll probably find the sales person asks you this question anyway – so to have thought about it before hand will help them help you get the right digital camera.
|One of the features that you’ll see used to sell digital cameras is how many megapixels a digital camera has.One of the main questions to ask when it comes to megapixels is ‘Will you be printing shots’? If so – how large will you be going with them? If you’re only printing images at a normal size then anything over 4 or so megapixels will be fine. If you’re going to start blowing your images up you might want to pay the extra money for something at the upper end of what’s on offer today.|
|Keep in mind the ‘extras’|
|Keep in mind as you look at cameras that the price quoted may not be the final outlay that you need to make as there are a variety of other extras that you might want (or need) to fork out for including:Camera Case
Lenses (if you are getting a DSLR)
Filters (and other lens attachments)
ReflectorsSome retailers will bundle such extras with cameras or will at least give a discount when buying more than one item at once. Keep in mind though that what they offer in bundles might not meet you needs. For example it’s common to get a 16 or 32 megabyte memory card with cameras – however these days you’ll probably want something at least of 500 megabytes (if not a gigabyte or two).
|DSLR or Point and Shoot?|
|While digital SLRs are getting more affordable they are not for everyone. Keep in mind that they are usually bigger, heavier, harder to keep clean (if you’re changing lenses) and can be more complicated to operate than point and shoot. Of course there are some upsides also.|
|Optical Zooms are King|
|Not all ‘zooms’ are created equal. When you’re looking at different models of digital cameras you’ll often hear their zooms talked about in two ways. Firstly there’s the ‘optical zoom’ and then there’s the ‘digital zoom’.
If you’re looking for a zoom lens make sure it’s an optical zoom (most modern cameras have them of at least 3x in length – ie they’ll make your subject three times as big – with an increasing array of ‘super zooms’ coming onto the market at up to 12x Optical Zoom).
Digital zooms simply enlarge the pixels in your shot which does make your subject look bigger, but it also makes it look more pixelated and your picture ‘noisier’ (like when you go up close to your TV).
|This is one of the most important factors when purchasing a camera – the larger the sensor, the more light it can let in, which results in more detailed photos and video. Of all the camera types, DSLRs have the largest sensor size and, typically, better image quality.|
|Some digital cameras may be pocket-sized and lightweight, but you shouldn’t have to settle for one that feels flimsy. Be sure to choose a camera with a metal or high-density plastic casing. Also look for solid, well-placed buttons. Additionally, if you plan to use your camera out in the elements, look for a model that has weather-resistant casing (also called weather sealing).|
|Just like still image quality, video recording depends on the camera type and the type of subjects you’ll be recording the most. Compact and bridge cameras are great for recording everyday activities, such as birthdays and holidays but, for best results, consider a mirrorless (compact system) or DSLR camera that provides professional-quality 4K Ultra-HD and even 6K video.|
|What type of warranty does the camera have? How long is it? Does it cover both parts and labor for the entire time? Does the warranty cover both parts and labor? Does it cover anything beyond mechanical and electrical failures and defects in workmanship and/or materials? Can it be renewed or transferred to a new owner? Does it have a “no lemon” policy? Can it be canceled and, if so, will I receive a pro-rated refund?|
|Before buying a digital camera take the time to do a little research. Don’t JUST rely upon the advice of the helpful sales person (who may or may not know anything about cameras and who may or may not have sales incentives for the camera they are recommending).
Read some reviews in digital camera magazines or online to help you narrow down the field. There are some great websites around that give expert and user reviews on virtually every camera on the market – use this wonderful and free resource.
|Hands On Experience|
|Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a handful of cameras head into your local digital camera shop and ask to see and play with them. There’s nothing like having the camera in your hands to work out whether it suits your needs.|
|After you’ve selected the right digital camera for you it’s time to find the best price.
Start online and do some searches to find the most competitive prices on the models you are interested in. Online stores are more difficult – most bigger ones don’t give you the ability to negotiate but smaller ones often will if you email them.
Don’t forget to ask for free or discounted bonuses including camera cases, memory cards, extra batteries, filters, free prints, cases etc. I even know of a couple of stores that offer camera lessons that you can ask to be included. Some stores will also consider giving you a trade in on older gear.