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There are several factors that have to be considered before buying a digital camera. From the purpose to brand and budget, we guide you on how to buy the right camera to capture your memories.

First Things First

Keep in mind the type of camera you want as well as the features that can ease the burden of buying a digital camera. Point and shoot cameras offer minimal features and are quite simple to use. These are meant for beginners and those who want a hassle-free camera. Mainstream cameras are ideal for beginners and amateur photographers since they are more feature rich and have manual exposure controls. Mega-zoom cameras on the other hand have high-zoom lenses that can zoom into distant objects and capture great detail. Ultra compact cameras pack in most of the features that mainstream cameras have, while remaining lighter and more compact. These cameras come in handy especially when you’re on the move.

Features

Common features such as image stabilization, anti-blur, red eye reduction, face and smile detection contribute towards getting good image quality. By counteracting camera shake, the image stabilization feature helps click sharper images by stabilizing it before it can be shot. Captured images could be blurred if the camera or subject moves while the shutter is open. Thus, the anti-blur feature eliminates this problem by giving you perfect and blur-free images by adjusting the shutter speed automatically. Scene modes are predefined controls that automatically deliver the best exposure depending on the lighting conditions.

How to choose

There are several types of digital cameras available in the market, but the one you opt for depends on your photography needs.

Entry-level cameras:

Being the most basic cameras, look out for a camera that is loaded with as many features. Some of these include 3x or 4x optical zoom, many scene presets and white balance settings.

Mainstream cameras:

These cameras offer the best bang for the buck. If you’re planning to buy one of these don’t miss out on features such as manual exposure controls, shutter/aperture priority mode.

Mega-zoom cameras:

These cameras are ideal for outdoor photography where you need to capture images of distant objects. Image stabilization is a regular feature in such cameras.

Ultra-compact cameras:

These cameras don’t have many features as they are very compact, and those that do are expensive. The feature set of ultra compact cameras resemble that of entry-level cameras.

Jargon Buster:

Digital/Optical Zoom: The digital zoom in a camera simply zooms in an image without giving you more detail thus making it pixilated whereas the Optical Zoom actually uses the lens of the camera to magnify and get a better shot of the image.

Mega pixels:

The tiny dots that form an image are known as pixels. A camera with 10 mega pixels will capture a total of 10 million pixels of that particular image thus giving out more detail.

Aperture:

The aperture is the opening in the lens through which light passes through the sensor. The amount of light passing through the lens is controlled by adjusting the diameter of the aperture. Thus, larger the aperture, the more the light that is allowed to pass through the lens and vice versa.

ISO speed:

The International Organization for Standardization defines a scale for determining the sensitivity of the film to light. The higher the ISO rating, the more sensitive is the film to light. In a digital camera, the ISO rating indicates the sensitivity of the sensor to light. Most digital cameras have ISO settings ranging from 80 to 1600.

White balance:

The camera automatically adjusts the colors of an image so that the white objects appear white under the current lighting condition. This is called white balance and it maintains the trueness of colors in the images captured.

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