Photography Basics | Choosing a Camera

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”–Aaron Siskind

Trying to decide how to pick out your first digital camera? Well, I’m here to help. A few weeks ago, I had the same dilemma myself. I was caught between two cameras, and I couldn’t decide. For me, it was between the Nikon D5000 and the Canon EOS Rebel T1I. With the help and tips of many different people and just as many different websites, I finally made my choice. Hopefully, I can help you make your choice without so much headache! I have done some research, and below are the 5 tips you should keep in mind to make choosing a digital camera a little bit easier.

How do you know which camera is best for you? Following are some tips I’ve gathered on how to choose a camera. More than likely in this day and age, you’re probably in the market for a digital camera. Those of you who are trying to keep the art of film photography alive, my hat goes off to you. Film photography has that elegance that digital photography just doesn’t have. The dark room has always been my favorite place to be. I love to watch my pictures just appear, like magic.

When it comes to choosing between DSLR and a point and shoot camera? Well, of course, the final decision rests with you, but if you’re an enthusiast who thinks photography looks like something fun to get into, I would go with a point and shoot. It’s the easiest to handle, as they are less complicated than DSLR’s, and there are a lot of auto mode settings. They are also all very compact, so they fit right in a pocket or purse. They are easy to use, and very easily accessible.

On the other hand, if photography happens to be a long term commitment in your life, maybe a bit of a higher investment would be best for you. There are lots of great cameras out there that not only have the automatic settings, but can also be controlled manually. I hear it’s best to get a camera you won’t outgrow too soon, but will grow with you. (Thanks to everyone who left me comments helping me choose mine!)

Here, I have gathered a list of tips that should help you along the way:


5 Tips on how to choose a camera that’s right for you.

1. Determine exactly what is you need (more here)-

  • What will you be using your camera for?
  • What type of photography will you be doing?
  • What is your experience level?
  • Are you more interested in automatic settings, or learning all the controls?
  • What is your budget?
  • What type of features interest you?
  • How important is portability?

2. Read Reviews-If you find a camera that interests you, do some research. It never fails, and it’s always the easiest way to find out the benefits and downsides before ever making your purchase. Of course, the most important review is your own, but others do help.

3. Handle the equipment-In case you haven’t noticed already, I have received a lot of comments just telling me to handle both the cameras I had been torn between. Sometimes statistics (which in the end, may not matter all that much) are just a bit better than the actual feel of the camera. Get it into your hands, and see how well you connect. If it fits, you know it’s the camera that you should get. I was almost sold on the Canon EOS Rebel T1i, until I actually put my hands on it. It just didn’t feel right to me, and the camera you choose is yours for the long haul. You need to make sure you and your camera are “compatible.” Needless to say, the Nikon D5000 is in my near future.

4. Megapixels-Another big deal in choosing a camera is the megapixels. Pretty important, right? Actually, not so much. The higher the megapixels on a camera, the bigger the picture can be printed. Now, if I’m not mistaken, most people won’t be making very large prints. In fact, unless you’re making prints bigger than a 10×8 in. size, then you really don’t need a camera with more than 4.6 mp. It’s a little fact I learned in Teach Yourself Photography, New Edition by Lee Frost. It’s a great book. Pretty simple run down of everything you need to know. Which actually leads us to our next point:

5. Read-That’s right, you read that right. If you’re reading these tips here, what’s stopping you from going to the library and picking up a good pick with a lot of great tips? It’s great! I love having photography books, because they have pictures (most, anyways), and they are great to take with you. They fit in your photography bag! And there are a lot of great books out there breaking down almost every camera in the market these days.

There are many other tips you can use to figure out how to choose the best camera for you, but I’ve only posted a few of (what I think are) the most important and basic ones here. A great site is the Digital Photography School. It’s a great website that was recommended to me, and I in turn highly recommend it to anyone reading this blog.

Hope this helps most of you decide which camera would be a great addition to your family, and keep reading! Because there is much more to come.

Related Posts