How to Pick a Digital Camera to buy?

This is a very difficult question and a simple answer is not going to work.
You first have to decide what you’re planning to do with the camera.
Even this simple question can get very complicated very fast.
For an example are you going to use the camera mostly inside at parties?
Are you planning to take pictures to put on the internet?
Do you take pictures of large landscapes or mostly portraits?
Or are you a plants, bugs and bird picture taker?
How many mega pixels should the camera have?
How much telephoto will I need?

Ill break it down but I don’t know if it will help you.

What to do with your camera?
My wife likes to take pictures of the kids and friends.
She does a lot of general picture taking and uses a small easy to use pocket camera.
She also uses her iphone camera every day. Generally speaking these smaller cameras
Work well for general purpose picture taking. They work great when the subject is close.

If you plan to put lots of pictures on the internet know that lots of megapixels are not the best way to go. Because most websites use rather small files maybe 500kb and will reject or resize files 5mb or bigger. I always put my camera on 3.2 mega pixel for shots that I’m going to put online.
There are always exceptions to every rule. If you take a high quality picture with a large file size you can resize the picture file using any editor. Make sure you don’t over write the original file give it another name.

If you like to take more diverse pictures like landscapes and bugs then you’ll need to consider a camera that you change lens. These are higher end camera and will cost hundreds of dollars.
Plus you have to purchase different lenses for the shots you want to take. Also with the lens you’ll need filters and magnifiers. This type of camera system is not for the beginner.

There are camera in the middle costing between a hundred and maybe three hundred.
The camera has built in lens that will telephoto out a long ways. I have a Fuji that is used all the time for general picture taking and it is 30x telephoto but also zooms out to wide angle views.
This camera is great for the intermediate picture taker because it is very versatile and doesn’t cost all that much.

Going back to the higher end cameras you’ll see in many cases the manufacturer sell different types of cameras. You’ll see full frame and smaller frame. This refers to the size of the IC inside the camera that actually captures the picture. A full frame refers to an IC that is the same size of the old 35mm camera film. The smaller size is about 2/3 the size of an original 35mm film. Some folks say the bigger the better when it comes to this and full frame is all they want. Here is what I realized using my Canon T31 and 70d. These two cameras use the slightly smaller back IC. I find that I mostly take pictures of birds, bugs and flowers. Plus once I put the pictures in the computer I find that they need cropping. So what does it mean; well if you are cropping a 2/3 size IC then it is already bigger than you needed! A full frame camera would just mean more cropping. Another consideration is file size a full frame camera makes very big files. If I was taking lots of up close portraits, than I would want to have a full frame camera.

Also keep in mind that full frame camera lens are downwardly compatible. A lens purchase specifically for a smaller EF-S camera won’t be able to fit onto a full frame camera. For the Canon cameras the EF lens will work on nearly all there camera. The EF-S lens is for the smaller camera and won’t mount of the full frame cameras ( Canon EOS 5D Mark III ). How do you know which lens to use? On the camera lens mount ring you’ll see a red or white dot. The red indicates full frame and white indicates smaller EF-S.
IF the lens mount have both red and white you can use it on all the cameras.
One other point to make the EF-S lens is usually a little less expensive because it is a little smaller.

About Rick Mercier 182 Articles
Retired, Building Trailers and seeing America

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