Planning to Buy Camera

Photography is something which is loved and liked by everyone. After digital camera’s photography became affordable also.

Many of my friends as well as many visitors of my profile ask me that they have interest in photography but they can’t buy professional camera (SLR camera), which camera they should buy? Which camera is better among Canon, Nikon, Sony, Kodak, Fuji etc. Any camera which fulfills your requirement and is in your budget is a better camera.

Doing photography doesn’t mean that you need a professional camera only. For photography you need an eye to identify the composition and knowing some camera settings. Some of my friends Varun Bajaj, Kaustabh Ray, Jyoti S, Mohd. Safdar Afaque and Nishkam Chatrath are doing wonders with point and shoot cameras. I also started photography with a point and shoot camera only and it was having manual control as well.

What is point and shoot camera?

Point and shoot camera is normal digital camera in layman language. You point on a subject and click it.

Types of point & shoot camera

I divide them basically in 2 parts – Basic and Advanced.

  • Basic point & shoot camera: This type of camera doesn’t give you much option. It have Auto mode, Scene mode and in some camera’s program mode. I found one more category in basic P&S cameras which have Aperture priority and manual control but with least options. These camera’s price vary between Rs. 4000/- to Rs. 12000/-
  • Advanced point & shoot camera: These type of camera’s will give you feeling like using a professional camera. These camera’s have manual controls like Aperture priority, shutter priority, manual control, metering mode, white balance, ISO control etc. Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Panasonic and sony sell such kind of cameras. These cameras price vary between Rs. 10000/- Rs. 30000/-.

How to buy?

First decide why you want to buy camera. If it is just to capture moments go for basic P&S camera. Any camera above 6 megapixels is enough to fulfill your need.

Those who not only want to capture moments but also want to play and experiment things with camera should opt for Advanced. I call those point and shoot camera’s advanced which gives you different manual control like aperture, shutter speed, ISO and exposure.

Before deciding the camera, finalize your budget. This is most important part. People say budget is not an issue, but it is an issue otherwise you could have gone for SLR.

How to finalize the camera?

Collect all the information from net about the camera features. Go for detailed specifications. These specifications are available on manufacturer’s website and on many blogs such as dpreview.com.

Now you need to check about few major things like aperture, ISO, shutter speed, white balance, metering mode, colour options majorly. Don’t forget zoom Are you wondering what these things are and how it works? Okay, please go for my previous article AISE make a photo. This might help you in understanding the terms.

Zoom:

Check about the optical zoom. Don’t get confused by digital zoom. Decide camera on basis of optical zoom. If you are spending money then try to go for atleast 8x – 10x optical zoom. This will not only help you to click things far away but also give you good feeling when you are with SLR users like me with 18-55mm lens. They can’t zoom much.

Aperture:

Advance p&s cameras give you aperture control as well. All lenses used in p&s camera’s have aperture range. When you will zoom, aperture value will increase. Here you have to check to things:

  • First what is total range of aperture camera provides. My camera allows me to play between f2.8-f8.0, some cameras have f3.5-f5.6 or different. Go for bigger range.
  • Second is lens aperture. You can find in specifications that carl ziess lens / canon lens / Nikkor lens f2.8 – f4.4 or f2.8-f3.5 or f2.8-f5.6 or any thing else. It means when you will zoom your camera fully than minimum value of aperture will be 4.4 or 3.5 or 5.6. In this case go for the lens which has minimum variation. In above given examples best lens is f2.8-f3.5 because it makes your lens fast.

Shutter speed:

Variation in shutter speed helps in clicking different kind of pics in different light conditions or creating effects such as panning, action, long exposure, blurred motion etc. Check the shutter speed range. It is mentioned like 15 seconds  – 1/2000 secs. 15 secs means shutter will be opened for 15 sec, 1/1000 secs speed means picture will be clicked in 0.0001 secs. Some of P&S camera doesn’t give option of longer shutter speed. Prefer camera which provides longer exposure time (shutter speed) also.

ISO:

ISO ranges normally 80-3200 in P&S cameras. You will get grains in picture if ISO is higher than 400. So if you are getting ISO setting upto 800 or 1600, then its enough.

White balance:

Auto, Daylight, Cloud, Shade, Tungten, Flouroscent are majorly used white balance setting. These setting are used in different conditions to get proper colours. Check how many options your camera is offering. Check custom white balance also.

Metering:

This is tricky for me. I don’t understand much how to use metering mode. Normally P&S camera offers Evaluative and Center weighted metering. Some good budget cameras offer spot metering also. If you have good budget then opt for camera which have all these 3 metering mode, otherwise its fine with evaluative metering mode also.

Still confused. No issue, select some camera’s within your budget, mail me the model numbers with price. I will help you in choosing a cam.

Happy Clicking,

Keep reading for photography tips also. In next article I will tell you what is Program Exposure mode and how and where to use.

Planning to buy camera

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11 thoughts on “Planning to buy camera

  1. Good Education, Naveen. But without price indication fence sitters [sitting on the divide – buy or not] like me will not be motivated.

    Add a table indicating approximation of each of the category.

  2. Hi naveen,

    How to get into the second level ie SLR, D Series…., what are the advantages. why should one go for high end camera- above 20k… . if one has a 10 mega pixel camera with basic features, is there any need to upgrade..

    pls enlighten

  3. Tarun Sir

    10MP camera is good enough to get photo prints of A3 size. Upgrading camera is personal choice depending upon interest and budget. If you just want to capture moments then I don’t suggest SLR. If you feel alongwith moments I want to capture some good shots and my budget allows then SLR is definitely better option then point and shoot.

    DSLR is definitely advanced version. It gives you much more options and free hand to experiment in photography. Difference in result is huge. Focus, clarity and quality of pictures from SLR are always better than P&S camera. SLR gives you option to click in RAW format also with JPG. In RAW image you can edit many things like ISO, Exposure, White Balance etc. in photoshop, which can’t be done in JPG

    Only drawback is that SLR needs different lenses for different purpose. Default lens comes with any SLR is 18-55mm which means it can zoom upto 3x approximately. For landscapes you need wide lenses like 10-22 mm. for bird photography/ wildlife photography / sports photography you need lenses with bigger aperture around 400mm.

    But this all is required if a person wants to be in professional photography. If you want it for personal use then I suggest 18-105mm lens (approx 6x zoom) or 18-200mm lens(approx 10x zoom) with the camera is good enough. This will cost around Rs.57000-65000/- depending upon camera. Otherwise you can buy camera with 18-55mm lens (Costing Rs. 26000-Rs. 40000) and later on buy a tele/zoom lens.

    At this moment the SLR camera’s available in this range are Nikon D3000, Nikon 5000, Canon 450D, Canon 500D & 1000D. Canon 1000D is quite cheap but I felt that colours in this camera are not coming out well in comparision to all other 4 camera’s mentioned.

  4. Raghu Sir

    Prices keep changing in every 45-50 days or with a new model launch. More optical zoom with cost more. Any camera with all manual control and 10X otical zoom will not cost less than Rs. 20000. Camera with same controls and 3x otical zoom will cost Rs. 12000-Rs. 15000/-

    Let me know whenever you plan to buy camera. I will search out best option avaialable in given budget.

  5. Hi Naveen,
    A V. nice article I must say. Wenever I plan to buy my next cam.. will ask u for sure..

    Never knew soo much abt cams though I like photography myself.. but have never practiced much. Can you also give an insight on how you can get great pics out of simple moments.. adjusting light n background smtimes bcomes a prob.. hw do u manage that?

    Im v interested in Nature photography.. n cliking my 2yr old as wel.. so any tips from u?

  6. Neetu ma’am

    Background has capability to ruin or make the photograph. Light is playing most important role.

    As an photographer we prefer light to fall on subject. If your subject’s background is lit, in that case you will get your subject dark. There are 2 ways to control this –

    1st- use the flash. This is called fill in flash..
    2nd- use spot metering or partial metering. You will find this in camera settings. Spot metering evaluate light in centre of your frame and adjust settings accordingly.

    Another common problem with light is in case of daylight which is very harsh. Check for exposure value setting. This value varies from -2 to +2. You can set EV to -1 or -2 as per light condition. EV can’t be set in auto mode. You have to switch your camera to P mode (program mode) or AV / M mode.

    For child photography, its best to click candid shots. Give space & things to child play, then capture him. They will give you beautiful expression. If you will ask them to pose than most of the time they don’t give good pose. Click them continuously when they are doing any activity.

    For nature photography I divide it into 2 forms – landscape and macros.

    For landscape always try to click without zoom. If you are using SLR then use wide angle. If your camera gives you option to play with Aperture then increase the value of aperture, make it atleast f8-10. If its an SLR then you can go upto f16-f20.

    If you are trying to click flowers, insects then use macro option of your camera. Macro is displayed by icon of flower in camera. Macro will help you to go closer to subject and get sharp image. If you are clicking birds, even in that case zoom, focus on bird and press macro button.

  7. Hi, I am regular trekker and planning to buy point and shoot camera with optical zoom and manual controls. My budget is about 15000 rs.
    Can you suggest me a decent camera?
    Thanks in advanced…./

  8. Vikas you can check for Sony H Series, Canon SX Powershot series and Nikon P series cameras. They are in range of Rs. 12K-25K with zoom more then 8X, and manual control. Some of them are 30X zoom.

  9. My budget is Rs 15000/-, want P&S camera with 8X optical zoom or more and full HD video. Sony WX7b or HX7V or canon power shot or panasonic lumix DMC FH25 which is best buy in the range.

  10. Hi Subhendu

    Apologies for delay in reply. Busy in march closing. I would always recommend H series camera of sony over W series. H series is comparitively giving more options if you want to experiment in photography. Zoom is another major factor which HX series have advantage. Bigger screen is also one advantage over w series.

    Lumix/Leica is always considered a high quality lens. Its good but if you are using in India then go for sony. Panasonic don’t have much penetration here so it might give you service issues.

    Naveen

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