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