Photography Tips: Choosing Your Camera

Photography Tips, Choosing Your Camera

When choosing a camera, you can often get lost (or told some porkies!) about certain features of a camera. I’m by no means an expert but I think that sometimes, unless you really want to be a professional photographer, tips from an expert can be overwhelming! Here’s a few basics I found out when I was shopping for my DSLR.

Optical zoom vs digital zoom // When choosing a camera, optical zoom is the important factor.
Optical zoom is a function within your camera that basically draws the image closer allowing you to take a better quality image from further away. When you zoom in and/or crop your image on the computer, the image will still be a high quality.
Optical zoom is measured like 2x, 4x, 8x and the higher the number, the better the optical zoom.
Digital zoom is not really a zoom function. It basically takes a section of the image and makes it fill the screen. So if you take a smaller area of the photograph and make it larger it will become more pixelated and/or blurred and therefore not a good quality photograph.

Moon, Sky, Clouds, Night

Megapixels // The more pixels there are doesn’t necessarily mean the camera is better.
Pixels are mainly important if you want to print your photos. If you are using your images digitally on a website (say, for selling on Etsy or uploading to your blog) then you don’t need to go spending loads of money on the most pixels you can get your hands on.
The more megapixels there are actually increases the image file size so if you do have unnecessary megapixels, then you will be clogging up your memory card and computer with huge files that you don’t need.
10 megapixels is plenty for website photography and even my DSLR camera only has 10 megapixels, however make sure you have at least 4 or 5 megapixels.

Spring, Summer, Magic Hour, Redhead, Red Hair

Memory cards // Don’t get ripped off when buying a memory card. Even if a sales assistant is “doing you a deal” a shop will likely be charging more than online. Everyone has a smartphone to hand these days, so just take a moment and check online for memory card prices before your purchase in store.
My card is a huge 8GB and I bought it from Amazon for £9.99 with free delivery (the same one is now £5.50!!). This is more space that you will ever need and with my huge DSLR files I can take well over 1000 photographs.

Live view // This is seeing the photography subject on the large screen while taking the photo vs the old fashioned viewfinder. My camera doesn’t have live view so I have to use the eye piece to take my pictures and honestly? I don’t miss it at all. The model up from mine had live view for an additional £1oo+ and I didn’t want to go over budget for it. Completely a personal preference, but I think it stops me from being lazy with my photography.

Dog, Pet, Cute, Puppy, Play, Toy

Read reviews // Amazon is fantastic for reviews, even if you aren’t buying your camera from there, check out the reviews for the product. There’s nothing quite like real people like you telling you the pros and cons!

See them in the flesh // Go to a physical store and pick one up, get the feel of it; How heavy it is, how big the buttons are. Does it feel like plastic, will you break it easily? Etc. You don’t have to buy the camera from the shop, just tell the assistant you need to think about it and don’t have the money with you today.

Go with your gut // When I was buying my DSLR the majority of people told me to go with Canon vs Nikon. After doing a lot of research, my gut still told me to choose the Nikon model I’d been eyeing up and I am so glad I did! I just love the feel of the Nikon cameras and lenses.

Ladybird, Nature, Tree

Pay for insurance // Now I’m not saying you should pay hundreds of pounds for an additional policy, absolutely not(!), but places like Currys do insurance for about £3 a month and sometimes it covers ‘accidental damage’ for those droppers in the group. Make sure you read the details very clearly before paying it out, but if it’s affordable then go for it!

I hope some of these tips are helpful to you! Don’t feel overwhelmed and remember – Google is your friend! If you’re unsure on any features, just give it a Google :) Loves x xx

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posted by onetenzeroseven in Photography and have Comments (3)
  • Tanja

    Nice advice! I must say, the research on the internet helped me a lot to
    figure out which camera is the best for me. Reviews are a must when
    deciding which camera to get! :)

  • Sophie

    Thank you! Oh absolutely, reviews are a good way to avoid being tricked into buying something by someone on commission! :)

  • Rosie

    This is such a useful post! I think starting out in the DSLR world/camera world is so baffling- I literally had no idea about any of it when I bought my camera last summer! Love the way you’ve explained it all- so clear! :)