Find a digital camera that's perfect for you

November 6, 2014

Purchasing a digital camera is exciting, but with so many options available, it can be hard to tell which one is best for you. Here's what you need to know.

Find a digital camera that's perfect for you

Determine your budget

A good general rule is to resist buying an expensive model with more bells and whistles than you'll ever need or use. Remember, there are excellent cameras in every price range.

Think about your needs

It's no longer as easy as choosing between a point-and-shoot or professional DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera. First decide what you will be using the camera for specifically. Is it for snapshots of family and friends, or are you interested in becoming a serious amateur or professional photographer?

Sizing things up

Once you have a purpose and a budget, it's easier to think about other defining points like size. A fully-fitted professional DSLR is heavy and awkward to carry around, even if its capabilities are more advanced. If you have young children or like to travel light, then you may prefer a smaller, more basic camera.

Sensors and megapixels

Unless you're going to be printing out extremely large images, getting a full-frame sensor with an excessive number of megapixels will not make a huge difference. Additionally, more megapixels is not always better. If a smaller sensor has too many pixels, it may actually decrease the quality of your images.


Let your original purpose guide you in selecting your must-have features. Remember that even compact cameras have high-end options. Specific features to think about include:

  • Lens focal length and zoom. Consider more than just the "x" number. Look at the total range of the lens. A comfortable range of 28-140mm will cover most of your photographic needs, from indoor family parties to architectural wonders.
  • Resolution. LCD display should be at least 2.5 inches, bright enough to see outdoors, and sharp enough to capture fine details.
  • Low light performance and image stabilization. These two worthwhile features help to ensure you avoid excessive noise and shaky camera syndrome.
  • Video. Even compact cameras capture 720p video today, and many shoot HD as well. Standard 720p is more than enough quality for sharing online.

When shopping, it's also good to remember that last year's model is often a great product at a better price.

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