Monday, August 11, 2008

Buying a camera

My parents recently asked whether I had any advice in choosing a new digital camera. I’m partial to Canon; I think their color accuracy is generally quite good. For snapshot purposes, I want a camera that’s lightweight to carry, easy to hold, turns on quickly, autofocuses quickly, and has a reasonable battery system. Megapixels are incredibly overrated; I’ve gotten great 8x10 prints from a 3-megapixel shot, and the difference between 7 and 12 megapixels is meaningless in most cases. Some features I like: a physical control of some sort for turning off the flash, a tiltable LCD screen, and a good zoom range for the lens (ignoring digital zoom, which is useless).

I’m hoping some of you might have other advice to offer. What kind of camera do you use? What do you like about it, and what do you wish for in your next camera?

2 comments:

Ruth said...

Part of my advice has always been to handle the cameras that one might like to use before buying. The form factor of similar-in-stats cameras varies enough to change the picture-taking feel and ease of use for any individual. Hand size, dexterity, and the kind of menu system one is most comfortable with is hard to match up without a physical object. A camera that feels comfortable and works in a way one likes is a lot more likely to be used.

I like cnet.com to compare cameras, although the actual available kinds and the kinds they review often change.

Jennifer said...

We have bought Canon for years now. I like the small powershots because they are so easy to slip into a pocket and carry around, and they take great photos with a minimum of fuss. Peter gets the more advanced cameras with lots of different lenses and settings, and he has also been very happy with them. In all the years we have been using them (about 16), I have only once had a problem with a camera (last year), and the customer service was outstanding.