So, you’re thinking about buying a brand new camera. If you have been looking in the stores or browsing online for a camera, the choices can be overwhelming. Every camera seems to cry out, “I’m the latest and the greatest, so Buy Me”.
Realistically, choosing the best type of camera for yourself is not really that hard. As a matter of fact, it is more important to consider what type of photographer you are, and what your budget is, more so than which camera has the most extra “stuff”.
For the sake of simplicity, let’s break down the type of photographer you might be into two general categories. (of course I am assuming you are not a professional so they are not included.)
Casual Photographers: First, you may be a casual or occasional photographer. That would include beginners as well. The casual photographer will probably take pictures at birthday parties, family gatherings, vacations, or other occasional events. The pictures that are taken will probably be shared online and usually won’t be enlarged to print sizes larger than 8 X 10.
If you fall into that category, then a Basic Compact Camera would be a good fit for you. The ease of use of and reasonable pricing are the main appeal of compact cameras.
Compact digital cameras are the least expensive type of camera to buy and the image quality they produce is usually very good.
They all have full automatic modes so you don’t have to worry about setting proper exposures to get a good picture. You can just turn the camera on and then “Point and Shoot”.
There are also scene modes included with compact cameras that allow you to choose a setting to match the scene you are shooting. Some of the common scene modes are the beach, fireworks, portrait, and landscape modes among others. However, those are all optional settings that you can use if you choose to do so.
As a starting point, the Canon Powershot A3400IS and the Nikon Coolpix 6300 are a couple of good compact cameras that you may want to check out.
Some casual photographers may be interested in having a little over the camera exposure settings besides the automatic setting.
There are Advanced, or “Bridge” type compact cameras available that can work for those individuals. These type of compact cameras have semi-automatic and manual controls that are not available on a basic compact camera. The most important settings that can be controlled with a Bridge camera are the shutter speed, the lens aperture (lens opening size) and the ISO (the camera sensitivity to light).
Another feature of many of these types of cameras is that they have very long zoom ranges. They are often referred to as Super Zoom cameras. Photographers who may be taking many pictures from long distances might want to consider using a Super Zoom camera.
The beauty of using a Bridge camera is that you can control the outcome of your images without having to pay for a higher priced Digital SLR camera. Bridge cameras are smaller and not bulky as Digital SLR cameras.
If you think a bridge camera might be something for you to consider, take a look at the Panasonic Lumix FZ200.
Advanced Photographers: If you find that you have a great interest in photography and want to take your skills to another level, then a Digital SLR camera can work for you. Also, if you have been takings pictures for a while or feel