Camera Buying Guide

1. Camera Overview

When buying a camera, the first question to ask yourself is what is will this be for fun or to be more serious/advanced. If you are looking for a fun everyday camera that won’t break the bank, then a compact might be for you. If, however you are looking to take more ‘professional’ photos a DLSR might be the right fit. Between the two are Mirrorless cameras, small and compact like the compacts however with some of the same advanced features on a DSLR.



There are three different camera types on the market. So please take a good look at each one to get a better understanding of what will suit your requirements best.


a) Compact Camera
Compact cameras can be known as point and shoot cameras. These cameras typically come with an inbuilt lens. They also tend to be smaller than the DSLR models making them ideal for portability (normally can fit in your pocket). These cameras are designed for simple operation. If you want a simple point and shoot camera, then compacts are for you.


b) Mirrorless Camera 
In the middle we have Mirrorless cameras, with a similar size to a compact but with advanced features and the options for different lenses, this is a great camera for travel and easy use. It does come at a higher price but the image quality over the compact and the physical size below the DSLR this might be the sweat spot for the average user.

c) DSLR Camera
DSLR stand for digital single-lens reflex. These cameras are better suited for the camera savvy user. DSLR cameras give you much more control compared to most compact types. For example, DSLR cameras often let you; change lens, change shutter speeds, balance and more. DSLR’s are bigger and can be a burden to carry for long periods of time, however if you want a more professional style camera, these are great for you.

3. Features

Just like every product these days’ Cameras come with many different features. GPS, Video Recording and Wi-Fi are some of the features that come with many of the cameras on the market, other features to be on the lookout for are;


a) Compact Camera
Compact camera features a very simple automatic shooting system. The present options are usually found on a dial or menu to be chosen from. Not all features come standard as each brand will choose what is important to their consumers. The advantage with the compact is the price point and the basic features it offers. No need for cleaning as compact cameras are completely closed up with lenses included. The lens is an all-purpose point and shoot, made to work perfectly for everyday use. This is the camera you through in your pocket, bag or purse and don’t need to worry about until time for use. It’s small and lightweight so you will never question bringing it along for those occasions you might not even need it

b) Mirrorless Camera
Mirrorless features some of the advanced settings and modes found on DSLR’s however are still very limited compared to some high end DSLR’s. Mirrorless cameras also give users the option to change lenses like on a DSLR sometimes with actual DSLR lenses. This allows for more flexibility when you are looking for a specific type of photo. Autofocus is now one of the quickest and most accurate features on Mirrorless cameras, they have closed the gap and are as fast as DSLR cameras. The size is a massive improvement, as it does not have a mirror being mirrorless the sensors inside are still the same as what you find in DSLR cameras. This is a big advantage as the size of the camera is able to be far smaller than a DSLR.

c) DSLR Camera
DSLR’s come with the ‘advanced’ settings options allowing for manual control over every bit of the cameras features. You will capture every moment at the exact press of the shutter button, high shutter speeds allow for multiple images to be taken in succession with precision. Designed for use in different weather conditions. Lenses are interchangeable for different zoom lengths and further advanced lens features. Image quality is superb with clarity that others struggle to offer even with the same megapixel count. Most DSLR’s shoot HD video but usually don’t have automatic focus. Other features to look for;

Megapixels – the more it has, the more info it can store on the sensor
Frames per second – amount of images the camera can capture per second
Live view –LCD screen to review images and camera settings
High-definition video – captures video


4. Megapixels

The number of Megapixels refer directly to the size of the images the camera captures, the more Megapixels the larger and more detailed the images can be. Viewing photos on a computer screen generally takes up far fewer Pixels then some of the cameras generate. Printing is where Megapixels really take control as up-sampling (stretching to make bigger) won’t make an image clearer and more detailed. An example; a 12.1 MP resolution image is 4,256 x 2,832. If you were to print this image at full size it would be approximately 36 x 24 cm, about the size of an A1 piece of paper equivalent to 8 sheets of A4 paper. The more the better in most cases. Larger images tend to offer the most detail and depending on the camera a better overall print.