10 Things to Consider When Buying a Camera

Interested in photography but don’t know where to start? If you’re ready to take photos beyond your smartphone but don’t know where to start buying a camera, Shiraz has a class for you. Introduce students to photography, different types of cameras, and their purpose. This will allow you to make an informed purchase. This blog features his 10 key takeaways from the Professional Course to help budding photographers choose a camera. To learn more about how to choose the best camera for your photography needs, sign up for us How to Buy a Camera course.

1. Before you buy the camera

What will you use the camera for? Ask yourself this question before buying a camera. Do you want something that takes better pictures than your cell phone, or do you want photography as a hobby or a business?

What’s your budget? If you’re starting this out as a hobby, you may not need a professional-level digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, but you may need something to grow into a DSLR. Or maybe you just want something that takes better snaps than your clamshell phone.

2. Camera Types

Point and Shoot: These are great for snapshots and light travel during vacations. It offers optical zoom that mobile phones lack.

Bridge Cameras: Similar to the Nikon P1000: These are slightly larger than compact cameras and offer more features, mainly good zoom, and telephoto capabilities. And since it’s an all-in-one unit, it’s easy to keep the sensor clean and eliminates the need for space for additional lenses. The Nikon P1000 outperforms all top-end professional cameras with thousands of dollars of lenses. Perfect for bird watching!

Interchangeable Lens Cameras – DSLR & Mirrorless Cameras: Unlike bridge cameras, these cameras allow you to use different lenses, giving you more creative options.

APS-C (and Micro 4/3) vs. Full Frame vs. Medium Format: Cameras come with different size sensors (digital film). Full frame means the sensor is the same size as his 35mm film negatives. APS-C and Micro 4/3 have smaller sensors than 35mm film negatives, while the medium format is larger. This affects both when buying lenses and when considering which camera to buy. A small sensor can have the same number of pixels as a full frame, but only with smaller pixels. Technically, this means that a smaller sensor won’t be able to capture as much of an image as a full frame, but it only matters in extreme cases such as photographing the Milky Way.

3. DSLR and Mirrorless

Traditional DSLR cameras have a built-in mirror that allows you to see through the lens so you can see what your picture frame looks like. Mirrorless cameras use sensors that capture images as a video feed to an electronic viewfinder (EVF).

Size: DSLRs are much larger and heavier. For people with large hands, a larger camera fits better in the hand. Mirrorless cameras are generally small, lightweight, and travel-friendly.

Battery Life: Mirrorless cameras use smaller batteries (because of the smaller camera body) and the electronic viewfinder drains the battery faster. When shooting with a mirrorless camera, it is recommended to carry a spare.

Optical and Electronic Viewfinders: Optical viewfinders save battery power, but electronic viewfinders have the advantage that they can be set to display the exposure of the image before taking the picture.

4. Speed ​​and Performance

File size or megapixels (MP) is the first thing most people look for when buying a camera. The higher the MP, the sharper the photo and the larger the print size. It also matches the price of the camera. ISO is an important performance factor to consider when buying a camera. It determines how the camera performs in low light. The higher the number, the less light you need. Unless you’re out and about shooting sporting events or wildlife, frames per second (fps) aren’t your primary concern. But when shooting stuff like this, FPS increases your chances of “getting the perfect shot.” 5. Megapixel myths and reality in some cases, more pixels can cause problems. In low light, full-frame sensors with fewer pixels have fewer digital noise issues than crop sensors with more pixels.

5. The MegaPixel Myth and Reality

Some chase after more megapixels but the truth is a 20mp camera will give you plenty of information to 20”x30”. In some cases, more pixels can hurt. In low light, a full-frame sensor with fewer pixels will have fewer issues with digital noise than a crop sensor with more pixels.

6. Ergonomics

If it is too heavy or uncomfortable in your hand, carry it less often. This is a great advantage of the in-person shopping experience at camera stores.

You can hold the camera in your hand and see how it feels in your hand. But don’t buy online after coming to the store. You can’t stay in the store. If you find a new camera cheap online, it’s probably a gray market that you can’t maintain service with. The camera manufacturer sets the price, not the dealer.

7. Interchangeable Lenses

Choosing a camera with interchangeable lenses will expand your options. It has a fixed focal length with only one focal length. A smaller number, such as 15mm, is a wider angle and will show more in the photo. Great for landscapes. About 50mm is “normal” and what our eyes see. Anything above 85mm is considered a phone, which is like a telescope, bringing distant subjects closer. Perfect for photographing bears in the wild when you want to keep a safe distance from your subject. After the prime comes the zoom lens, each with a different length. Primes are typically smaller, lighter, and have better image quality than Zooms, but are less flexible. Zoom gives you flexibility because you carry fewer lenses. Some lenses are exclusive to APC-S cameras and not compatible with full-frame cameras.

Full-frame lenses work with both but are generally more expensive. One of the things I tell people is, “When you buy a camera, you’re investing in a lens.” Lenses last longer than the body, so if you might buy a full-frame camera one day, it is recommended to buy a lens. full frame lens.

8. Image stabilization

Reduces the camera shake. It has in-body image stabilization (IBIS) and lens image stabilization (Canon lenses rock this). Image stabilization is very useful in low light.

9. Video

Most modern digital cameras can record video. If you plan to shoot a lot of videos, do some research first. But if you just want to capture that special moment, any camera from the last five years will do.

10. Other Considerations

Capture Mode: Most cameras have a mode setting. These are basic modes. M is manual, A or AV is aperture priority, S or SV is shutter speed priority, P is a program, and AUTO (green letters) is full auto. All of these are designed to allow you, the photographer, to choose the shutter speed and aperture you use to take your photos.

Take the Photography Basics or Photography Art courses to learn more about how and why you can control these features. Most consumer cameras also have scene settings. This is fully automatic like his AUTO setting but allows you to tell the camera what to shoot. B. Sports, close-ups, and other scenes. The camera adapts to the scene to give you better pictures.

RAW vs JPEG: JPEG can be used for almost anything. Share on social networks, email, and print. These are smaller than RAW images and don’t need to be changed in any way. RAW, on the other hand, must be processed in an image editing program such as Lightroom or Photoshop. So why shoot in RAW? JPEG compresses photos. Essentially, it removes information that the computer deems unnecessary. RAW is all the data from the camera’s sensor. Allows for more detail, mainly in dark and light areas.

WIFI & GPS: Use the camera’s Wi-Fi to transfer photos to your smartphone for instant sharing. Some cameras allow you to use your smartphone as a controller to control and take pictures. Some cameras also place a GPS tag where the photo was taken.

I’m not a big fan of GPS. This is mainly because GPS is always on and consumes a lot of battery, but if you want to tag images you can use his GPS on your phone and his WIFI on your camera.

Weather, dust, and frost resistant. Second, it’s waterproof. Weatherproof is not waterproof. If you’re going out in bad weather or dusty areas, spend your money on a well-sealed camera. If you drop it in the river, it’s ruined (hope you bought MAC’s warranty). There are waterproof cameras designed to be used underwater, and cases made for cameras that can be used underwater like scuba divers.

There are many things to consider when buying a camera, but Schiller’s experts are always ready to enlighten you on features, tips and tricks, and more before you make a decision. Meet with a trusted team member in-store to simplify the process. Plus, if you’d like to learn more about camera buying and specialty course topics, sign up today for our expert-led introductory photography courses.

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