Choosing a camera can be tough work, especially as there are thousands to choose from. However, we’ve created this piece to help you narrow down what you want, need and should buy.
Take some time to identify the exact reason and purpose for the camera. If looking for a camera for your next safari, concert or sports games, you might want to go for a high-end camera capable of zooming up-close without losing quality. A waterproof and tough camera should be the top features to look for if going for a hike, mountain climbing, or on the beach. Pinpointing what your needs are, should help you determine the best camera for the job. Although an expensive high definition camera may seem capable, it may not be suitable for rock climbing and other risky adventures.
According to professional photographer Samuel Burns, versatility is another factor to consider when shopping for a new camera. It’s wise to go for a camera that can adapt to almost all situations and applications without losing quality, zoom, and resolution. Mirrorless cameras and DSLRs are a good option for anyone looking for big resolution. Super zoom bridge cameras with close-up and macro modes are suitable where big zoom and resolution is needed.
If possible, go for a camera that can fit in a carry-on bag. The smaller the camera is, the higher the chances that you will bring it along on every expedition. If your job entails traveling a lot, then a mirrorless camera will come in handy. One key advantage of having a mirrorless camera with you is that you can interchange lenses as per your needs. These lenses can be stored in a compartment in the carry-on without taking up much space. The same however cannot be said about DSLRs that are heavier and take up lots of space. Zoom cameras and compact cameras are an ideal solution if resolution isn’t much of a big deal. Olympus and Fujifilm are good examples of mirrorless cameras that come with a ton of features, are compact enough, and affordable too.
4. Carefully Check Sensor Specs
Be sure to double-check sensor specifications for each camera before making a purchase. Sensor size is much of a big deal for many professionals in this niche. Cameras with large sensors tend to produce better quality images as compared to those with smaller sensors. DSLRs, for example, use full-frame sensors or APS-C sensors, a reason why they can reproduce high image resolutions. Mirrorless cameras can use either full-frame sensors or smaller sensors found in point-and-shoot cameras. Cameras with larger sensors have better low light performance and more resolution, hence more expensive. Be sure to double check the sensor before making the final decision.
5. Consider Zoom Capacity
Cameras with a higher zoom capacity make it possible to capture images of objects far off with better clarity than those with higher resolution. Most cameras with high zoom capability, however, use smaller sensors for improved precision. Cameras with larger sensors however have a lower zoom capacity, meaning they are purposely made for high resolution alone. Bridge cameras, for example, pack up to 50x zoom but use a much smaller sensor. Their competition, however, uses larger sensors but half the zoom, which makes it tricky for one to decide on the best option. Mirrorless cameras and DSLRs give you both worlds but come at a cost. You can however add zoom to mirrorless cameras too. Sony RX10 and the Panasonic FZ1000 use larger sensors and offer substantial zoom too. Some professionals prefer the Nikon P900 for one particular reason, the 83x zoom feature.
6. The f-Number is a Big Deal
The f-number determines how versatile the camera is when shooting in low or bright light. The smaller the f-number is, the better suited for low-light shooting it is. A camera with a f/1.8 will take great pictures underwater, inside a dark room, or a museum, but not so much in bright light. Cameras with a higher f-value are however best suited for bright areas and applications. Bright lenses are only needed for low-light applications and tend to be expensive.
While any camera can be used for most applications, how long it will last in such determines if it is durable or not. For instance, some of the best high resolution or zoom cameras are delicate and should be handled with care. High zoom cameras could be affected by sand when used on a sandy beach, but last longer when used in concerts and such. Dust-proof and waterproof cameras are however built to prevent damage even in the most extreme applications. While most cameras are waterproof, very few can handle fine dust particles that get stuck between lenses. This however doesn’t mean you cannot find one tough enough to take on all these. The Nikon 1 AW 1 and Olympus Tough TG-4 are however built to withstand water, dust, and drops hence an excellent option for hikers, campers, beach and those going for off-road trips.