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A lot of consumers have moved beyond the simple pocket point-and-shoot-type cameras that were popular in recent years and are
now trying to flex their photographer muscles with more professional, higher-end models. However, given their complexity and
higher price tag, people are often hesitant about investing time and money in such seemingly intricate cameras.
Before you start deciphering lenses and shutter speeds, you need to think about a few basics prior to even shopping around. Once
you’ve answered these simple questions, you’ll have a better idea of the type of camera that best suits you.
Take a shot!
Digital camera-buying guide
by Jennifer Cox
What are you using it for?
Why do you want to buy a camera? What
will be its main use or purpose? This will
ultimately determine the type of camera
which you should get. Is it for travel
photography and a lot of outdoor use,
such as landscapes? The COOLPIX P510
from Nikon is perfect for globetrotters
who want to capture their journeys in
crisp, clear images.
If the new camera is for vacations and
you’re looking for something smaller and
more compact, the Sony α NEX-F3K/B
with 18-55mm lens is a great option.
Maybe your new cammie is more for
capturing personal memories such as
family events or holidays, and you need
a model that performs well for taking
portraits. Most dual-purpose digital
cameras will have a portrait setting and
can take “straight on” shots without
any issues. The key to this type of
photography is having a good lens – if
your budget allows, consider buying an
additional lens designed for portraits
and close-ups.
What is your skill level?
Are you a beginner who is picking up a
camera for the very first time, or are you
a bit more fluent in the art of picture-
taking? Realistically assessing your skill
level will be an important factor when
deciding on a camera. The Nikon D3200
has been one of the best-selling DSLR
(digital single-lens reflex) cameras on the
market because of its simplicity.
If you’re a bit more experienced in the
photography realm, then try the Sony
α37K DSLR camera and lens.
Are video capabilities
important to you?
Many (in fact, most) digital cameras
today come with some sort of video
feature. Their quality and video
functions, however, may vary among
models and makes so, if you want to
be able to use your camera for videos
as well, this should be taken into
What is your budget?
Because of their high-tech capabilities
and high-quality images, today’s top-of-
the-line cameras come at a bit of a cost.
How much are you willing to spend?
What is your camera-buying budget?
Do you just need the basics (such as a
model that does it all) or do you have
some extra funds for accessories (such
as additional lenses, a carrying case,
a tripod, etc.)? Once you get to the
point at which you’re shopping around
for cameras, you’ll discover what the
average cost is for the particular model
you’re looking for and will be able to
determine how much you’re going to
need to spend.
The good news is, a new report from
the Canon Consumer Digital Lifestyle
Index claims that the cost of computers,
televisions and digital cameras fell
significantly last year due in part to the
pressure of online sales and, at the same
time, unit sales rose to 716,800 units
compared with the prior year (according
to Channel News). “When you consider
that since 2003, the average selling
prices for digital cameras and plasma
televisions have fallen by 68 per cent
and 90 per cent respectively, we can see
just how much the market has moved,”
Canon consumer imaging director Jason
McLean said.
A digital camera, any way you look at
it, is an investment – it helps you hold
on to treasured memories of people
and places for a lifetime, something
that is invaluable. Shop around, do your
homework, and find the best
camera for you.
Sony NEX-F3K/B
with 18-55mm lens
Nikon D3200 DSLR
Sony α37K DSLR