For the amateur photographer, determining which camera to buy can be a daunting process. At any given time, there are dozens of cameras to choose from. But there are some main considerations to think about when purchasing.
Cameras come in several basic shapes and sizes. Compact cameras, the smallest, have a lens that is not removable. They are primarily designed for people who “point and shoot” and prefer the camera to do most of the work. Relatively new to the market is the compact system camera. The term “system” means there are a number of lenses to choose from in addition to several accessories. They are still small and will do most of the work, but they have some sense of flexibility.
The largest and most complex type of camera is the digital single lens reflex (DSLR). They have a large collection of lenses from which to choose and even more accessories. They can still be used in point and shoot mode, but they are primarily designed for photographers who want to take control of all aspects of the way the photograph is taken – brightness, focus, how colour is displayed, etc. With the correct kit, any photograph could be spectacular.
In between the compact camera and the DSLR is the “bridge” camera. It will look like a DSLR, but is smaller and does not have an interchangeable lens.
So before purchasing, consider the commitment that will be involved. Hauling big, heavy equipment is inconvenient to say the least and isn’t necessary to take pictures of friends and family. There is no correlation to camera size and picture quality exactly. DSLR or compact system cameras have larger sensors and will use larger pixels. 12-38 million pixels is a good range. For a compact or bridge camera, 10-14 million pixels will suffice.
There are a lot of things to consider when buying a camera. Research and comparison shopping are the best paths to take.