What is the Best Camera to Buy?

With so many choices of cameras, camera phones, DSLRs and full frame DSLRs, it can be difficult to know which camera is best for you. It used to be easier to choose what type of camera to buy.  There were automatic point-and-shoot cameras and there were single lens reflex (SLRs with interchangeable lenses).  The difference in picture quality was easy to see. Advanced technology in smartphone cameras have improved the quality of their photos to rival that of photos from a point-and-shoot camera. Mirrorless cameras make it possible to have the quality of a DSLR in a compact size.  When choosing which type of camera is best for you, consider not only picture quality but its size and ease of use.

Pentax--WG-3-Digital-Camera

Types of Digital Cameras:

Point-and-Shoot Camera - These cameras are compact enough to fit in your pocket but have come a long way from the fully automatic with average picture quality. Most will have an attached zoom lens and use an LCD screen to compose and playback the photos. Note that a point-and-shoot camera that has the same megapixels as a DSLR will not have the same picture quality because the sensors (that record the photo) are smaller.

Point-and-shoot cameras can be rugged and waterproof. These cameras are not much more expensive than basic models and many can be used underwater. Higher end models will include features that can do more than correctly expose a photo automatically. Look for models with features insure perfect focus and less blurring or can reframe the photo for portraits and action shots.

 Point-and-Shoot cameras are good for: family events, travel, sports, hobbyist photography, light weight and portable.

Samsung 20.3MP Compact System Digital Camera NX1000

Mirrorless cameras – These cameras are similar to a “crop frame” DSLR but they don’t have the mirror required to view the shot through a viewfinder like a DSLR. Most mirrorless cameras use the LCD on the back of the camera to view the shot but may have an LCD viewfinder. Mirrorless cameras have both the automatic settings and features of a point-and-shoot as well as the ability to change lenses like a DSLR.

Mirrorless cameras are good for:  Light weight make them good for travel, advanced features improve all photos. This is a good choice for all but the most artistic endeavors.

Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18-55mm IS II Digital SLR Camera

Crop Frame DSLRs -  These cameras have interchangeable lenses and full manual control. “Crop frame” refers to the size of the sensor that records the picture. It is smaller than the size of old 35mm film. The picture quality is excellent but not as good as a full frame DSLR. Yet they are considerably more affordable and lighter weight than professional models.

● Crop frame DSLRs are good for:  the photography hobbyist or semi-professional who wants artistic control and a variety of lenses.

Full Frame DSLR -  A full frame camera uses a sensor that is the same size as a 35mm film camera negative. These cameras are designed for professionals who want detailed control over their photography and their cameras and can result in a missed shot in the hands of an inexperienced photographer. They are made of stronger material for durability.  The lenses are typically made of better glass for improved light and clarity.   The result is a camera that is much heavier than a crop frame DSLR. They also carry a hefty (professional) price tag.

Smartphone Camera - In photography, it is said that the best camera is the one you have with you. Most of us carry our smartphones with us wherever we go. A good quality camera like that on iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy S4, or HTC One, may be all you need if you are shooting snapshots of friends and events.

Smartphones with Advanced Camera Features - A few smartphones are designed first to be a good camera and secondarily to be used as a smartphone. These phones beg the question, “Is it a camera or a phone?” The Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows phone has a 41 megapixel camera and advanced zoom lens that rivals many point-and-shoot models. The Samsung Galaxy camera smartphone looks like a point and shoot camera but can also be used as a smartphone with Android apps.

● Buy a smartphone camera if you are: The casual photographer that enjoys shooting snapshots to document good times with family, sunsets, etc. Smartphones connect to the internet making it easy to instantly share photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social websites - Barb Gonzalez ~ The Simple Tech Guru

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