Holiday Snaps - Part Four: When buying a Camera
In our Final Part of our Photo-Sharing and Travel Photography Series, we give you some
information on What to look for when buying a Camera.
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Choosing a Camera to buy becomes a pretty difficult decision actually, unless you are brand loyal. You may
prefer a certain brand, and then again you may just want a Camera that is easy to carry and takes a good
photo. Either way, you should also know what features you think you would use.
Here are a list of things that you can consider when purchasing your Camera...
Brand of Camera
Your search may be restricted (by choice) by the brand of the Camera and may limit your buying options.
If you are more comfortable to do this (choosing by brand), make sure you research what is most current
by that manufacturer, or at least research what new models may be 'coming soon'.
Spend on Camera equipment is such a personal thing. You may not want to spend for example, in excess of
$700 on a Camera, but you still want a good quality camera that takes a great photo. Consider that the more
expensive the Camera, chances are the better the photo that it can take.
But also remember, you do not need to spend thousands of dollars to take a great photo. The more expensive
cameras, however, typically come with good quality flashes, better features and capabilities (see below for the
important measurements to look out for), and even sometimes GPS & Geotagging) capabilities.
The type of photos you are expecting to take
Whether you like and take a lot of landscape, portrait or action pictures, make sure to be familiar with what
Lens and therefore Zoom, Aperture and Shutter Speed you will need. On lenses and Cameras, there
measurements that are important include....
The size of the opening of the shutter. Measured by an f number.
If more light is 'allowed in' to reach the sensor. The lower the number (f1.4), the greater the opening. It the
Aperture number is f8 does not give such flexibility for great photos. It helps with how you manipulate the
clarity and features of a photograph.
Zoom (of the Lens)
Take note of the zoom of the Camera/Lens.
This is measured by mm focal length. For instance, 12mm or 50-250mm.
This allows for you to use the lens to 'zoom in' and take a tighter picture to the desired object. If you buy a
Camera Body and you are searching for a lens, consider how large you want the zoom to be. A 12-60mm
zoom is very typical for a good travel lens that caters for most scenarios.
For more compact cameras, optical zoom is measured in x. For instance, if the zoom is 5-12x, it is ok. If it
is in the range of 20x-40x zoom, it is really good. This gives you flexibility of zooming into the desired object.
How fast the shutter is open for. It controls the exposure of the picture.
This is measured by numbers in seconds (or fractions thereof), for e.g.: 1/800, 1 sec, 30sec and so on.
The smaller the number (1/400th sec) is best, as it avoids blur of an action scenario, and takes the photo
in 1/4000th of a second.
If you like to manually set your Camera with its shutter speed, make sure you take note of this when buying
Compact Camera or DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex)
The choice between buying a DSLR or more compact camera depends entirely on how much you like to manipulate
photo features and also what and how you like to carry around a heavier and potentially larger camera as you travel.
A DSLR typically requires more attention to Lens care (cleaning, possibly swapping out lenses depending on the desired
object). It is also mostly much heavier to carry. Whereby, a compact camera really is as simple as taking it out of its bag,
and point and shoot!
Choosing a Camera for the Kids is difficult, because you want the purchase to be worth your investment. You want
your children to get the most use out of the camera - not have it kept in the bag whilst you're on holidays.
For Camera's that we think are robust, appropriate, and of good value take a look at our recommendations. These are also of such good value that if you wanted to buy multiple cameras you can do so without being too expensive.