Which Camera Fits You?
Different settings mean different cameras. There is no one thumb rule for buying cameras. It all depends on who you are, what you want and how well you want to use your digital camera. Here are four shooting scenarios and what sort of equipment you should be looking for in each case.
If you’re buying a camera just for the occasional family portrait, you don’t need anything fancy. A simple camera with a five megapixel rating will do. You don’t need anything more than a 3x optical zoom either. You also don’t need many shot settings, because you will probably be using Auto most of the time. Batteries aren’t that important either. Just note that even a few shots with the flash will drain the batteries. We recommend 750 mAh rechargeables, as non-rechargeable batteries are more expensive in the long run. Consider ordinary batteries only if you shoot very infrequently.
If you’re always on the move, you need something compact that you can slip into those jeans comfortably. You may also want just the casual shot and enough detail to capture those unforgettable moments that come by when you’re traveling. A five to six megapixel camera with a 3x to 6x optical zoom should be good enough. Slim models happen to be the “in” thing, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one for yourself.
The Internet Lover
Some people want a digital camera mostly for sending photos to family and friends over the Internet. If you’re that person, you need nothing flashy. Also, in case the photos are going to be viewed on a computer itself (without prints being taken), you need something simple and relatively cheap. A four megapixel camera will do just fine, along with a 2x or 3x optical zoom, as your need dictates.
The Nature Lover
So, you like the wild outdoors? Heading out in your car into the blue yonder? Need to capture those stunning sights? Since size won’t matter, you can go with a bulkier camera. Outdoor shooting means intermittent zooming and several wide angle shots. Wide angle lenses don’t come cheap, but the mid-range digital cameras of today offer decent wide angle shooting capabilities. A five megapixel or higher should be your starting point. Look for a 12x optical zoom. Higher end cameras typically use four batteries, so look for a 1600 mAh and above rating and go with rechargeable batteries. Some 2300 mAh batteries are also available, but they will set you back a pretty penny. It’s worth the extra time you’ll get with your shooter though! You’ll also need a large memory card. I suggest a 512 MB or 1 GB card. In case you like to click a lot, make sure to keep a back up card as well, just in case the primary one gets full and you have no computer nearby to do a transfer.
This refers to someone who wants quality. You are ready to spend a good amount on a good product and is more demanding, as far as what you expect from your camera. An enthusiast doesn’t have a specific need. You may be fascinated by digital photography and will buy a high end camera to satisfy your desire to click photos like a professional. You don’t have to be a professional, just simply an avid fan of the art. For the enthusiast though, I recommend at least a six megapixel camera. Look for features like extra zoom and a wide angle lens.
Whatever you choose, I hope you have fun with your new camera!
~ Zahid H. Javali