National product manager for Ted’s Cameras, Mark Allister offers a candid take on choosing a camera.
Think about what you’ll be using your camera for. If travelling, you’ll probably want a compact camera that is small and light and has a wide zoom lens. If you want to shoot sport you’ll need a camera with a big lens and a high-speed shutter to capture movement. How technically savvy you are will also determine which camera you buy.
On the go:
The number of megapixels (the microscopic segments that form an image) in an average compact has jumped from about five megapixels to 16 megapixels in the past five years. Memory has increased too, but I think 16GB is usually enough. ‘Tough’ cameras sell well; they now go deeper underwater and can survive being dropped from higher than ever before. Look after it and a good compact should last a long time. But, expect the technology in it to be obsolete in about three years.
Small & mighty:
If you are in the market for something in between a compact and a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera there is now a new category of cameras available: the compact system camera. They have most of the controls you’d get on a DSLR, but in a compact body.
The advantage of a DSLR camera is image quality. The sensor, where the image is recorded, is much larger, which means pictures will be much sharper. DSLRs are not that much harder to use than compacts, they all have an automatic mode that makes them as straightforward as a compact. But if you want creative control over your photography you’re going to get a far better result from a DSLR.
Matter of trust:
Before you buy any camera do your research, at a specialist camera store or online, or both. Stick to reputable brands – Nikon and Canon, also Sony and Panasonic – and you shouldn’t have any trouble. I own a Canon EOS 5D MKII; it’s a pretty serious camera. I also have a couple of compacts, including an advanced compact from Fujifilm – its retro style appeals to me.
A sign of the times:
One feature that’s started appearing on many new cameras is wi-fi. It’s the manufacturers’ response to the fact we all have cameras in our phones. With wi-fi in your camera you can instantly and wirelessly upload your pictures – and have the advantage of those shots being of a high quality. Fujifilm has also just brought out a camera that has GPS, which allows you to find and geotag landmarks, so you’ll know where you took each shot.
Ted’s Cameras; 1300 768 833 or www.teds.com.au.