Camera Buying Guide

Camera Buying Guide


 What type of camera should you buy?

This is a loaded question, so bear with us. Firstly, ignore megapixels. Instead, focus on the physical size of the imaging sensor; this is what has the biggest impact on image quality and, yes, bigger is better in that regard. With that in mind, there has never been a more diverse landscape of cameras, which is great news provided you can sift through all the noise and find the one you really need. For the sake of simplicity, let’s look at two broad categories: compact and interchangeable lens.

Compact cameras (or point-and-shoots) are a good choice if you want something that’s easy to keep on your person without bogging you down. While some larger-sensor models exist, most are built around small sensors and retractable zoom lenses. If the size of a compact appeals to you but you want to make sure you’re getting better image quality than your phone, look for a camera with at least a 1-inch sensor (Sony RX100 series, Canon G7 X, Panasonic ZS100, etc.). As larger sensors “see” more light, they work much better in low-light situations, where smartphone cameras tend to be miserable. These higher-end compacts also offer full manual control and other advanced features not usually found on cheaper cameras. If beating your phone’s image quality isn’t your concern, then go for a camera with features that fit your needs, like a long zoom lens for shooting wildlife or waterproofing if you want to take a camera snorkeling, for example.

Speaking of zooms, a common misconception is that larger, interchangeable lens cameras can zoom in farther. In fact, the opposite is usually true. With a small sensor, a much longer zoom lens can be fit into a much smaller space. There are point-and-shoots with 20x, 30x, and even 60x zooms that are light enough to hold in one hand. To achieve that kind of zoom power in an interchangeable lens camera is completely infeasible; the longest telephoto lenses that do exist for such systems are fixed focal length (or prime), meaning they do not zoom. They are also huge, weigh many pounds, and cost thousands of dollars.

Digital SLR Cameras

     

Entry Level DSLR

The big benefit of a DSLR is its versatility, it is a great option for casual photographers looking to improve their photography skills and even parents who want a fast-acting, autofocusing, don't-want-to-miss-that-shot camera to capture their kid's big moments. For many photographers, there’s simply no substitute for a good all around  optical viewfinder. Optical viewfinders provide a clear view of your subject in any lighting conditions, and don’t have any image lag as do electronic viewfinders on mirrorless cameras. Again, this is especially handy when shooting fast-moving subjects.
 

Mid Level DSLR 

The differences are too many to list down among so many models, but the major difference between an entry level and a mid level DSLR would be the build quality, weather sealing, Autofocus module, viewfinder size ,faster frame per second and easy access controls like dual dials. The sensors are almost always the same.

The major difference between a mid level and a pro level cameras would be  the Sensor size. The low light performance and dynamic range in the Pro series Full frame cameras , would blow away the mid level cameras.

 

 

 

Professional Level DSLR

Full Frame Advantage is theLow-light performance,, a full frame camera sensors have larger pixels. this means they create images with less noise and all-round better image quality at high ISOs.,  It can accomplish more shallow apparent depth of field than an APS-C sized “crop frame” DSLR cameras.,  Pros have been using full-frame models for years, but even casual photographers can appreciate the improved performance these devices offer.  Photos are typically more detailed and remain sharp even when you enlarge them to fill a computer screen or make prints to hang on a wall.

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Professional DSLR


 DIGITAL POINT AND SHOOT CAMERAS

Available in a wide range of models, from basic to true professional-grade, point-and-shoot cameras aren't just for novices. From rugged cameras for adventure seekers to premium models that offer impressive performance in an ultracompact package, there's a point-and-shoot camera to fit almost any need.

The largest segment of the digital camera market, point-and-shoot models are compact, easy to use, and typically take great pictures with minimal effort. You simply press the shutter button, and the camera automatically adjusts shutter speed, aperture, focus, and light sensitivity to capture a clear image with optimal color. Unlike Digital SLRs which offer larger image sensors, more manual control and interchangeable lenses, point-and-shoot cameras can often slip into a pocket, and are typically less expensive.

Deciding to buy a point-and-shoot camera is the simple part, but with hundreds of models with varying price points and feature sets to choose from, selecting the best one is no easy feat. Follow these rules to find the right compact digital camera

When cameras were making the jump from 2-3 megapixels to 4-5, it was a matter of discussion. But now, with point-and-shoots starting in the 10-megapixel range and climbing as high as 16 megapixels, it's a moot point. Very few of us are going to make prints large enough to take advantage of all those extra pixels.

Sensor size is much more important. Putting too many pixels on the smaller image sensors (which are generally 1/2.3" when measured diagonally) found in compact cameras, can actually hurt camera a camera's low-light shooting performance.

Some compact cameras have larger image sensors, in the 1/1.7" range, but these are usually aimed at enthusiasts and are priced accordingly. If top-notch image quality in a compact package is an absolute need, no matter the cost, consider one of these larger-sensor compacts like Canon G series Cameras.

 

 

PS simple

Point and Shoot Cameras

Slim, lightweight and pocket-friendly, these cameras offer a step up in image quality compared to most smartphones. Optical zoom lets you capture more detailed close-up photos, and faster shutter speed reduces blur on action shots. The larger image sensor and lens of a point-and-shoot also capture better photos in low light. Some of these cameras offer built-in Wi-Fi for easy sharing.

Benefits:

  • Faster and more versatile than a camera phone
  • Ultracompact models are the slimmest, lightest available
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, available on some models, makes it easy to share photos and videos on the go                    
Recommended for:
  •  Casual social events and everyday photos
  •  Beginners and casual photographers
  •  People who already own a camera but need something lighter and smaller for all-day trips and events

Point and shoot Waterproof Cameras

If you need a camera that can withstand shock from drops or freezing temperatures, invest in a shockproof or freezeproof camera. Although the toughness and durability of these cameras makes for a slight increase in size and weight, the payoff is a camera you can take almost anywhere, without worrying about accidental damage.

For the best all-terrain protection, get a camera that boasts all three of these features together – waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof. A camera this rugged will be tough enough for almost any adventure.

Benefits:

  • Waterproof, shockproof and/or freezeproof cameras thrive in almost any environment
  • Often include built-in GPS, depth meter and compass
  • Simple and easy to use while on the go
  • Large buttons and controls for easy use with gloves or underwater

Recommended for:

  • Outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers
  • Vacations at the beach or water park, ski, fishing and more.
waterproof PS
Long zoom PS

Long-zoom cameras Point and shoot

If you want to get close to the action or zoom in on distant subjects while traveling, a long-zoom camera gives you the flexibility you need for shots at almost any distance. Long-zoom cameras feature at least 10x or greater optical zoom, with some models featuring 20x or greater optical zoom. The longer the zoom range, the closer you can zoom in on details from far away. For example, a camera with 10x optical zoom might allow you to frame the silhouette of an old barn from a distant hillside, while a camera with 30x optical zoom would allow you to frame the weather vane on the barn's roof.
Long-zoom cameras sometimes include an electronic viewfinder (EVF) for easier shooting outdoors, where bright light can obscure the LCD screen. The electronic viewfinder also enables precise framing of the exact shot you want to capture and reduces blurring as a result of holding the camera close to your body as you peer through the viewfinder. Holding the camera away from your body increases camera shake, especially at longer zoom ranges. Look for a camera with image stabilization to further reduce blurring when taking pictures with the zoom extended.

Benefits:

  • Allows you to zoom in close when you can't physically get closer
  • Often includes an electronic viewfinder for outdoor shooting, stability and precision
  • Larger, more secure grip
  • Fast shooting speed and quick response for action shots

Recommended for:

  • Travel, sports and wildlife
  •  Everyday versatility in a single camera.


 Advance Point and Shoot.

 

Advance Point And Shoot Cameras


Point-and-shoot cameras span a wide range of options, from basic entry level to high-end models. Premium models offer the best of the best when it comes to point-and-shoot, including sharper lens quality, more durable construction and advanced features. Even though they may look the same as a basic model, the technology and features packed inside are what set these cameras apart.
A larger aperture allows for excellent low-light performance, and, with a faster shooting speed and quick autofocus, you can capture an image at the exact moment you want. Besides the auto modes available on all point-and-shoot cameras, some premium models also come with a manual control option, which allows you to shoot creatively with fewer limitations. You may also be able to shoot in RAW format for advanced editing.

Benefits:

  • Best overall point-and-shoot performance in a small, simple package
  • Great for fast-action and low-light shots
  • Often includes built-in Wi-Fi and/or GPS
  • Full manual control available on many models
  • Expandability options for external flashes, lens adapters and other accessories

Recommended for:

  • Enthusiasts
  • Users who want to manually adjust settings for creative control

Shop Point And Shoot Cameras

 

 
Mirrorless

Mirrorless Digital Cameras

The mirrorless camera, formerly known as a compact system camera, is a hybrid between full-function DSLR cameras and convenient point-and-shoot cameras, they have a broader array of features and functions than point-and-shoot cameras, such as faster autofocus and shooting speed. Mirrorless cameras usually lighter and smaller than their DSLR counterparts, but they’re quieter, as well, most mirrorless cameras these days are built around the same sized sensors as DSLRs, increasingly have similar lenses available, and can offer the same image quality, some companies offer a full frame option.  What are the disadvantages?  The need to constantly power the sensor and screen while shooting, battery life is much more limited, the sensor collecting dust more frequently because it is always exposed.

Benefits:

Recommended for:

Shop Mirrorless Cameras




Lens Buying Guide

Things to consider when purchasing a camera lens.

Selecting a camera lens will often be dictated by how far you can stretch your budget but there are also a number of practical considerations to bear in mind. 

  • What kind of photography are you interested in? Wide angle lenses, for example, are well suited to landscape and architectural photos. Telephoto lenses, on the other hand, are ideal for sports or wildlife photography. 
  • Do you intend to take your new lens with you when you travel? A lightweight, standard zoom lens may offer you the right combination of versatility and portability.
  • Do you regularly shoot outdoors? If so, you may wish to consider a lens with weather proofing. 
  • Is the lens you are interested in compatible with your camera? Most brands use lens mounts that are unique to their products so many lenses will not be cross-compatible. You must also check the lens' format to see if it will suit the size of the image sensor in your camera.

SHOP LENSES

     

 FOLCAL LENGHT

  

  

Focal length is often the first set of numbers included in a lens' title and is measured in mm.  As a reference, the human eye has a focal length equivalent to 30-50mm.

  • In general terms, the smaller the number, the wider the angle, the more you can fit into the frame. A lens with a focal length of 10mm used on a camera with a Four Thirds image sensor, for example, would be ideal for shooting vast cityscapes or building interiors. 
  • At the opposite end of this measurement, the larger the number, the greater the zoom capabilities, the more detail you can capture. A lens with a maximum focal length of 70mm on the same camera, for example, will allow you to zoom in on your subject from a distance.
  • Although a lens’ stated focal length may be 14-42mm, 18-55mm, 70-200mm, and so on, the actual angle of view that you’ll capture is impacted by the size of the imaging sensor. This is called the crop factor. In the case of most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras using APS-C sensors, this number is 1.5x or 1.6x. That’s how we got the 27-82.5mm (35mm equivalent) for the aforementioned standard kit lens (18-55mm x 1.5). Now, this number varies with each make/model. Olympus and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras have a 2x crop factor, Nikon’s 1 system has a 2.7x crop factor, the Pentax Q system a 5.6x crop factor, and so on. 
  • Nowadays, the only instance where the stated lens focal length is one-for-one are cameras with full-frame sensors, such as the Nikon D750Canon EOS 5D's or the mirrorless Sony Alpha A7 series. Full-frame cameras provide wonderful image quality, but the price of entry is still pretty high.





 

 Maximum Aperture

Maximum aperture is an indication of how much light the lens can gather. It is quite common for a zoom lens to have two maximum aperture values, one for either extremity of the focal length. Aperture size usually follows the lens' focal length in its title (18-55mm F3.5-5.6).

  • A lens' maximum aperture (sometimes referred to as lens speed) is measured in F-stops or F-numbers. It can be written in a number of ways. For example, f/2.8, F:2.8 and 1:2.8 all mean the same thing. A lens with a low F-number is often referred to as a fast lens.
  • In the most basic terms, the smaller the F-number, the larger the aperture, the greater the amount of light it can gather. To contextualise, a lens with a maximum aperture of F2.8 gathers twice as much light as a lens with maximum aperture of F4.
  • Larger apertures allow you to capture better photography in low light, often without the need for a flash. Larger apertures also decrease the depth of field (the amount of the image in front and behind the focal point that appears sharp) enabling photographers to create more bokeh (image blur).
 

 

 

Type of Lenses

Standard Zoom Lenses

Hugely versatile, standard zoom lenses are usually the first port of call for a budding photographer. If you purchase an APS-C camera that comes with a lens, it is very likely that the lens will be a standard zoom lens somewhere in the region of 18-55mm F3.5-5.6.

  • A standard zoom lens allows users to shoot in both wide angle and moderate telephoto. This makes them ideal for beginners as they enable users to experience shooting at both ends of the focal length scale.
  • Standard zoom lenses are usually lightweight and compact. Their size twinned with their versatility make them ideal travel companions.
  • Entry-level standard zoom lenses, While you can get high-end standard zoom lenses with better specs, beginners may get more value from adding a telephoto lens to their kit than they would from upgrading their all-rounder.

Prime Lenses

A prime lens is one with a fixed focal length. Although zoom lenses tend to be more popular, there is still a case for prime lenses. They tend to be smaller, lighter and faster, meaning outstanding results in low light.

  • Prime lenses with an angle of view of 50mm are often dubbed as normal lenses because they reproduce an image which is similar to what you see with your own eyes.
  • Since most prime lenses feature larger apertures, they allow users to shoot with a narrower depth of field, which is ideal for capturing background blur.
  • Certain manufacturers also offer what are dubbed fast prime lenses, so called because they have F-numbers of as low as F1.4. These lenses come at a cost but they are ideal for those who prefer to shoot in natural light.

Ultra Wide  Lenses

Wide angle (24-35mm equivalent) and ultra wide angle lenses They are characterised by a wide depth of field and fisheye distortion when used in extremis.

  • Wide angle lenses enable photographers to capture images of a large area. As a result, they are often used in landscape, architectural and interior photography.
  • A large depth of field means these lenses can increase the perceived distance between subjects in the foreground and the background of the image, an effect which can be used to create an artificial sense of space.
  • Often lightweight and compact, wide-angle lenses lend themselves to street photography. They are also fairly inconspicuous so you can capture scenes without drawing attention to yourself.

Telephoto zoom lenses

Telephoto lenses (ones that exceed 80mm equivalent) allow users to shoot far away subjects with detail and clarity. They are often the second lens to be added to a budding photographer's kit.

  • Telephoto lenses are ideal for shooting sporting events, wildlife and any other kind of photo that needs to be taken from a distance. Their superior zoom qualities allow you to capture the same amount of detail as if you were standing in proximity to your subject.
  • Telephoto lenses are generally larger and heavier than many of their wider-angled equivalents. Extremely powerful telephoto lenses may even require additional equipment such as monopods or stands.
  • Telephoto lenses have a narrower depth of field than wide angle lenses, meaning they can make objects appear closer together. This also allows you to introduce foreground and background blur (bokeh) into your photographs.

All in one superzoom lenses 

Wouldn't it be nice if you could get the advanced handling and image quality of a system camera, without the chore of lugging a big collection of kit around with you? That's where superzoom lenses come in.

They aim to deliver standard and telephoto zoom capabilities in a single, space-saving package - but it's not just about keeping the size and weight of your gear to a minimum.

Superzooms have long been popular for their versatility. It's great being able to react quickly as shooting opportunities arise, zooming from wide-angle to telephoto and everything in between at the flick of a wrist.

You'll avoid the frustration of missing shots altogether because you were too busy changing lenses.

Another bonus for the digital age is that, without needing to swap lenses on the camera so often, you can greatly reduce the risk of dust and muck being dumped on the image sensor.