A guide to choosing the right camera

Are you a budding photographer, or just looking for a simple camera to snap some photos? This guide will help you decide which camera best suits your needs.

A guide to choosing the right camera

Is a compact camera right for you?

If you shoot only a few rolls of film a year, consider an inexpensive compact ("point-and-shoot") camera, or even a succession of single-use (disposable) cameras.

  • Most compact cameras are fully automatic and have a built-in flash.
  • You can choose from models offering medium to long range zoom lenses, which help produce better images of close-up and distant subjects.

What you need to know about single-lens reflex cameras

If you want to pursue photography as a serious hobby, a single-lens reflex (SLR) 35mm camera with interchangeable lenses is the best choice.

  • Available options include automatic focusing, built-in or accessory flashes, and the ability to control exposures automatically or manually.
  • All of the major manufacturers produce cameras and lenses that will allow you to shoot quality photos, in either print or slide form.
  • If you are willing to put up with fewer automatic features, hundreds of different models of affordable used 35mm cameras are available.
  • A new film and camera format called Advanced Photo System (APS) was introduced in 1996 as a means of making amateur photography as failsafe as possible. This system uses a 24mm film no-leader cartridge for ease of loading.
  • Magnetic coding on the cartridge conveys to processors equipped to handle this film the exact conditions in which the film was exposed and can record on the back of the print the time and date the photograph was taken.

The benefits of a digital camera

  • Even newer, digital cameras need no film but do require access to a computer to store images and view them in high resolution. However, images can be instantly viewed in low-resolution form and later modified before being printed on a colour printer.
  • A digital single-lens reflex camera (also called a digital SLR or DSLR) is a digital camera combining the optics and the mechanisms of a single-lens reflex camera with a digital imaging sensor, as opposed to photographic film.
  • The reflex design scheme is the primary difference between a DSLR and other digital cameras.

Learning photography techniques

The quality of the camera and lens is not as important as the photographer's attention to detail. Good photography does not take years of practice, but it does require some study.

  • To learn how to compose a photograph, choose the appropriate film, and use natural and artificial lighting to their best effect; also, read the owner's manual, photography books and photography magazines.

Start taking beautiful pictures today! Remember these tips and find the camera that will fit you perfectly.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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