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Top 10 Tips for Buying
the Right Camera
You're ready to buy a camera. You've got
your money in hand and you're ready to start shopping. Before going off to
purchase the most gleaming model you can afford, prepare yourself with the
following essential buying tips.
Know yourself and why you need a camera. Consider your capabilities
and interest in photography, and how a digital camera fits into your
lifestyle. Different models are better suited for different situations. See
if you might fit into one of the three photographer-types listed below:
Novice User: Are you new to the world of digital photography? Many
low-cost point-and-shoot digital cameras include a range of standard
features that are simple to learn and operate, making them an
Intermediate Photographer: If
you take a wider array of photographs -- from quick snapshots to vacation photos
to sporting events -- you'll need a versatile, full-featured camera that can
handle a range of zoom scenarios, photo subjects, lighting conditions, and so
Serious Amateur: Are you an experienced
photographer that is prepared to pay a higher price for the features,
flexibility, and control available only with a DSLR (digital single lens reflex)
camera with interchangeable lenses?
Determine your ideal camera type. Make sure you understand the relative
strengths and limitations of point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras, and which is best
suited for the photos you want to take. Although there are areas where the lines
between point-and-shoots and DSLRs are blurring, the two classes of camera still
have their own distinctive features that make them well-suited for different
situations. Which camera is best for you can be as simple as needing the image
quality of a DSLR or the convenience of a point-and-shoot, or it can be a more
involved decision based on your experience level, the type of photos you take,
and your desire to use manual settings. Here are some quick features of each
camera type to help you decide.
Get a feel for the camera. Hold the camera and take a few photos with it.
You'll get more enjoyment from a camera and use it more often if it fits
comfortably in your hand and the controls are easy to use.
Look beyond the megapixels. For high-quality photos, consider the size
and type of the camera's image sensor.
Check out the zoom and focus features. Higher power zoom lets you get
closer to the action, and optical zoom is more important than digital zoom
because it doesn't reduce image quality. Auto focus features also are important,
but a camera with manual focus features can give you greater flexibility.
Help reduce the risks of blurry photos. Image stabilization is important
for helping to reduce shaking and blurriness. Electronic image stabilization is
a good start, while optical image stabilization is even better.
Low-light capabilities matter. How well your camera performs in low light
matters as much as how well it takes photos in bright sunlight. Cameras that
have high ISO sensitivity (ISO ratings 800 or higher) will be better able to
capture properly exposed images with reduced blur in dimly lit situations.
Consider advanced features. Think about what additional technology
features you want in your camera -- such as face detection or in-camera
retouching -- to help you achieve better results and enhance your overall
Accessorize in style. Know what accessories you would like to use and what
other devices you want to connect to your camera, such as an HDTV to view your
photos, in order to make sure it has the right inputs and outputs.
Be sure to comparison shop. Before deciding on a specific model, look at the
models above and below it. Sometimes you can get amazing features for only a
small price difference.
After you have decided which camera is the best one for you, further your
education and love of photography by learning more about photo restoration
basics or how to use Adobe Photoshop CS2, and much more at Sony’s Digital
- Brought to you by Sony