Oct 21, 2007

The Best Rated Digital Camera Buyers Guide

by Jack Landry
Just like with normal film cameras, there are different types of digital cameras which you can buy. What exactly you buy though depends entirely on your preference. Finding the best rated digital camera will involve some degree of knowledge about digital photography, as well as an understanding of what it is that you plan on doing with your camera. A simple digital camera buyers guide may not provide you with the whole picture, no pun intended.

If you’re only a family-holiday kind of photographer you might want to stay away from the more expensive professional cameras. Whereas if you’re a budding photographer who has only now seen the light through the lens, so to speak, you might want to go in for something that’s not top of the line in terms of equipment, but something that will instead help you in your endeavors.

If you’re a professional photographer then you probably don’t need my input into which type of cameras you should get. On the other hand, the budding, novice photographer might find it interesting to know that when they get to a stage where they feel comfortable enough with their photography skills, they can then move on to the top of the range professional cameras.

What I tried to do here though is to give you some insight into the different types of cameras available. It’s up to you to take it from there and do more research into the various different makes of cameras and their pros and their cons.

Before you wonder why I’m not giving you any detailed specifications on any of the existing cameras, it’s for the very simple reason that by the time you’re reading this, the cameras I’m talking to you about might not be the best on the market. Technology is a forever changing thing and what’s new today, will almost definitely be old hat three days from now.

Phone Cameras

With the advent of new technology and the ability to make small micro-chips and things even smaller to a macro level, we’re now faced with the ability to use these macro-chips just about anywhere we want to. This is the reason why we now have the ability to take reasonably good photographs from our mobile phones.

If you look anywhere these days you won’t be surprised to see many people with their phones out and snapping merrily away. To illustrate my point let me give you a small snapshot if you will, of something that happened to me not too long ago. There I was at a friend’s wedding, snapping merrily away on my digital SLR camera – I was the designated photographer – doing my utmost best to remain inconspicuous and blend in with the background.

I wanted to get as many candid shots as I could that the happy couple could laugh over and treasure for a long time. It was during my efforts at attaining this state of photographic perfection that I came across a scene that was hilarious as much as it was thought provoking in its own way.

While the newly married couple had taken to the dance floor for their first dance as man and wife, the guests had gathered around to admire their grace. This though, was not the moment that remains in my memory as a candid camera moment.

No, it wasn’t the picture of the happily dancing couple, but instead the picture that caught my eye was that of their friends and relatives all more or less huddled together as close as they could get to the best view point of the dance floor. It was nighttime, and only the floor was softly lit, so in that dim gloom it was amusing to see so many blue screens all held up in their owners’ hands pointed all in the same direction, towards the couple.

Just about everybody with a camera phone was out there snapping merrily away, some even taking videos. This might seem normal and not even remotely funny – especially if you do the same thing yourself, but to me it was a sign of the times.

And what was amazing was that no one even noticed this highly unnatural phenomenon of over a dozen people all with phones in their hands and all looking into the their screens, instead of the dancing couple.

Compact

I still remember the first compact camera I had. My dad gave it to me for my fourteenth birthday, and I have to say that it was the pride and joy of my life – for exactly five months. After that I have no idea what happened to it, and frankly I have to say at that time I wasn’t really all that bothered about it either.

The joys of photography still hadn’t caught my attention and there were more interesting things for me to do at the time. However, it must also be said that when I finally did gain more than an average interest in photography, the first camera that I went out and bought was a compact.

And a more worthwhile purchase I have never made. Since for all intents and purposes I was very much an amateur in the photography field (my first camera at age fourteen notwithstanding), I was able to experiment and fiddle around as much as I wanted to.

And since at that time I wasn’t yet into the expenses of positive films, and since negative film rolls were generally inexpensive, I was able to pretty much do what I wanted. The only restriction that I had, if at all, was the cost of developing the film, which I solved by creating my own darkroom and developing the negatives myself.

However that may be, you’ll be glad to know that the compact camera is probably the best camera for when you’re starting out.

And since nowadays you’re more likely to go for the compact digital camera, your life just got considerably easier, and your photography just became considerably more enhanced. You know that you don’t have the expenses of processing to contend with, and with the ease of digital, if you’re still very much a novice then you can learn your way quickly and easily through photography 101.

SLR – Single Lens Reflex

These are the cameras that professionals go for, but don’t limit yourself thinking that only professionals can use these properly. There’s no such thing; anyone can use them as long as they can point and shoot.

Things get slightly more complicated as you go further in depth into photography, but don’t let that stop you. If you’re interested in photography at all and are considering taking it up seriously as a hobby or a profession, then I would suggest that you shop around and find the right digital SLR for you.

Start as you mean to go on and you should be fine. Admittedly you might be stuck on the auto meter button for a while, but you will eventually get over that problem and will find yourself using the many functions offered to you by the digital SLR, with ease.

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