What to Consider When Buying a New Digital Camera

Having a camera is a necessity for any PR/Marketing department of an organization. The other day one of my clients asked me about buying a new digital camera. What should you consider? There are so many choices. Although I’m not a camera buying expert, from the different types of lenses, understanding what is a viewfinder and learning about image sensors, these are just a few things that I learnt along the way. As well as this, here’s a short list of things I consider important. Please add a comment if you disagree or have something to add.

1) Mega pixels: should be 4.0 or 5.0.

2) Image quality – Good is nice, but better is always better within a reasonable price. Buy the best you can.

3) Zoom capability (may not be important for types of photos you’re taking) Great for portraits, not sure how much zooming you’ll do, but it helps with cropping.

4) Battery life – VERY important. Does the camera you’re considering work with rechargable batteries? Are they readily available or does it have some special battery that is hard to find? How fast will the batteries drain.

5) Media format – Do you have a good way to download the photos off the camera that works on a variety of people’s computer or do you have to load special software in and have a special cord to attach? Scan Disk sells a nice 12 port media downloader that plugs in with a USB connection. A 1 or 2 Gig media card in your camera will allow you to take lots of photos without getting out of memory.

6) Magnified previews – This will let you know if people’s eyes or closed etc, without having to put on reading glasses to preview the photo. Nice feature.

What’s been your experience with digital cameras? Is an SLR-Single Lense Reflex necessary/worth the investment?

Author: Chris Brown

Business owner operating a marketing consulting firm. Online Publisher. Keynote Speaker.

2 thoughts on “What to Consider When Buying a New Digital Camera”

  1. Hey Chris,

    Just came across your blog, it’s great!

    As a professional photographer myself, I try to keep up on the technology of cameras. I agree with everything you’ve said here, and wanted to add a couple of notes:

    1) Megapixels: Depending on the camera, sometimes less is more when it comes to megapixels. While it is important, equally important is the physical size of the sensor the pixels are on. Most compact digital cameras have a very small sensor (somewhere in the 1/3 of an inch diagonal range) and trying to pack more pixels onto the same sized sensor means the pixels are smaller, and closer together. These two things increase digital noise (the equivalent of film grain) and can actually decrease quality, as seen in some of the 10-12MP point-and-shoot digital cameras available today. 6-8 megapixels is generally the best compromise between resolution and noise in compact cameras.

    This is why Digital SLR cameras are able to tolerate more resolution, as they have a physically larger sensor to minimize noise.

    2) Zoom: Make sure to look at optical zoom when buying a camera. Most compact cameras come with optical and digital zooms, and camera makers are quick to point out their “20x Zoom!”. Most of the time, this is either digital zoom, or a combination of optical/digital zoom. Optical zoom is how much the physical glass lens of the camera can zoom in, while digital zoom is the camera’s biult-in computer essentially cropping the frame, then making up pixels to keep the same resolution. Software programs on your computer are much better suited to this task. Turn off your digital zoom!

    3) For PR and Marketing departments, don’t discount the value of a professional photographer to meet your imaging needs. While there may be some instances where a professional is not needed, a pro can bring a level of expertise that can enhance any marketing campaign. It isn’t always about the gear!

    Keep up the excellent work here.

    Cheers, Josh McCulloch
    Josh McCulloch Photography

  2. Hi Chris,

    Have been an ardent subscriber of your views and your blog too.

    This article came in just after I placed my DigiCam order. However, I wish my friend who is getting my baby for Me from the US knows all about this.

    Thank You.

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