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The digital camera market is very competitive, which results in all the major manufacturers introducing more and more new models, regularly. In addition, the new models are of many different types and at various price points. There are the easiest-to-use and smallest compacts as well as more advanced compacts. The newest camera type is mirrorless, or interchangeable lens cameras, that are smaller and less expensive than full-size DSLRs, but offer many DSLR features. Within the mirrorless choices, some are very small and compact to appeal to beginners while others require more photography skills and experience to benefit fully from their capabilities. Finally, there is the DSLR group, which includes beginner models for hobbyists and enthusiasts, intermediate models for experienced amateurs and professional-grade cameras for commercial photographers.
Just this brief overview of what’s available in the marketplace can cause your head to spin and leave you unable to make a wise decision as to what camera to buy. If you have the time and inclination, then you can certainly explore the myriad of options. All the major manufacturers’ Websites clearly list all their models and explain their features and functions in great detail. It’s unlikely you have that much time; and, after all, you could be using much of it to learn how to use your new camera and start to enjoy the results. To keep you on a straight and narrow path to the right camera for you, follow these 3 steps. You’ll be able to focus on a small number of choices quicker and with no headache and few, if any, hassles.
Often, the quickest way to narrow the field of digital camera choices is to set a budget for how much you can spend. It’s not just a matter of stopping yourself from buying more camera than you can afford, but also not buying a camera with so many advanced functions you don’t know how to use or aren’t interested in learning how to use now. Generally, the more money you spend, the larger the learning curve and the further you are from taking the kinds of pictures you envisioned.
This leads to two additional limiting factors that will help you: What kind of pictures do you want to take and how much do you want to control the camera? For example, if your goal is to be able to snap casual photos of your family and friends during events or on vacation and you don’t want to spend time making many camera adjustments to do so, then a basic compact is probably all you need. If you want a more creative challenge, capturing great landscape, portrait, wildlife and action images, then your best choice may be either of the two interchangeable lens camera systems, mirrorless or DSLR. Of course, you’ll pay significantly more to pursue a more serious photography passion. Your goal may be to become a professional photographer. You probably don’t need one of the most powerful and feature-rich (and expensive) pro DSLRs initially, but such a camera will be necessary in the future. As a first choice on the way to becoming a pro, you will certainly need a camera with DSLR-like features, such as a mirrorless camera or an entry-level DSLR.
Once you know your limits, either by dollars, features or both, you will have narrowed your choices to one or very few categories. Now, you can dig deeper into the details of each model within a single category, making specific comparisons of their various features, capabilities and functions. The articles in PhotographyTalk’s Review Section will also help you understand for what type of photography and photographer each camera was specifically designed and manufactured.
When you decide that it’s time to buy a digital camera, you may find yourself wandering from the straight and narrow path because you’re trying to go it alone. Even the best, most experienced photographers ask their fellow photographers and seek the advice of objective expert opinions to help them decide which camera to buy. That’s a wise strategy to emulate. PhotographyTalk’s Forum is where you’ll find thousands of photographers using all kinds of cameras, lenses, tripods, flash units and various accessories. They are eager to help point you in the right direction, so you spend your money wisely and you’re able to start shooting great images to upload to your PhotographyTalk Gallery. As you gain more experience, you’ll be able to help new photographers in the future, which is the primary purpose of the PhotographyTalk global community.
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