The time has come for me to upgrade my digital camera, but if you’ve done any camera shopping recently, you know how incredibly confusing choosing one can be. The options are overwhelming and everyone you ask seems to have their own favorite brand or camera type. I’m having trouble determining what options and specs I should be considering when selecting a camera that will best suit me and my picture-taking habits and that won’t make too large a dent in my wallet.
There are so many options to consider, but the first and most obvious is size. I left my last camera behind much more often than I would have liked, simply because of its bulky build. This time around, I’d like to get something that can easily slip into my pocket, but is still powerful enough to take significantly better pictures than the sad little excuse for a camera that’s on my phone. When I bought my last digital camera, the choices were much more limited—you could either choose a compact camera that took mediocre pictures, or a bulky model with much more power and clarity. I’m assuming the technology has improved since my last foray into camera shopping, but I’m not certain. Is it possible to find a small pocket-sized camera with all of the power and capability of its bigger, bulkier siblings?
Megapixels seem like an ever-popular spec to compare, but a photographer friend of mine confessed that it’s really the sensor that determines the clarity and color of your picture. That might be the case, but I have no idea how to tell a good sensor from a bad one—or even what a sensor really does, for that matter. Can anyone help illuminate that point? How does one know if their camera’s sensor is up to par, and how does the camera’s megapixel count affect your photos?
Most of my personal photography habits center around shooting family and friends and documenting special occasions, but I do occasionally delve into some art photography. I especially enjoy the macro feature on my current model—is that something that comes standard on most of the latest cameras? What other special-effect modes or options do you find are important and useful? And what advice can you offer for navigating the many zoom options? What’s the difference between digital and optical zoom, and what should I be considering when making a selection?
If the busy photography and camera categories on Yahoo! Answers are any indication, there are a lot of knowledgeable amateur and professional photographers lurking around. Can you share any of your expertise?
What are the most important factors to consider when purchasing a new digital camera?
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