5 Things To Look For When Buying A Camera
Smartphone cameras are more capable than ever, making them the perfect daily companion for your photography and videography needs.
The best thing about smartphone cameras is that you always have them with you whenever an interesting moment comes to life. Despite the excellent results you can pull out of smartphone cameras, there are times when an upgrade to a more serious device is the best way to go.
If you are thinking about buying a camera to step up your game, here are the 5 things you need to know first.
Know Your Style
There is no perfect camera for everyone, but you can find a perfect camera for you by knowing your shooting style and the kind of photos and videos you want to capture. If you love skiing and you want to capture awesome action footage, for instance, a good action camera will suit you best.
Picking up a mirrorless camera or a DSLR for the same purpose, on the other hand, may not be the way to go. You will have a hard time mounting the camera or carrying it around due to its bigger size and heavier weight. The camera will not be as durable as an action cam too.
Seek Output Quality First
The next thing you want to consider is the output you want. Forget about resolution for a second and focus more on the kind of output you can get from the cameras you are comparing. A 24-megapixel camera is great for everyday use, but can you get RAW output when you need to? Digital Camera HQ suggests reviewing specs such as ISO range, sensor size, brand, and if it’s a DSLR or mirrorless before choosing the camera you want.
The same is true for video output. A superb action camera from OCLU outputs 4k at 30 FPS without upscaling. This is a great action camera for slow-motion video too since it supports 1080p at 120 FPS without breaking the bank.
Consider Your Budget
While we are on the subject of cameras that don’t break the bank, always consider your budget for the purchase before rounding up your options. As tempting as it might be to pick up a more expensive camera, staying within budget gives you the most flexibility.
When you opt for an affordable yet capable action camera, for example, you will also have enough money for accessories like an underwater case or a set of mounting options. You are expanding the capabilities of the camera without spending more than you can afford.
Don’t Forget About Media
Your camera will need to store footage and photos when capturing them. Depending on the cards that the camera supports, your cost of storing photos and videos will differ. Getting the Sony A7S III is a dream of many, but the expensive CFexpress Type A means you have to spend more to get the best video quality.
Fortunately, most cameras rely on SD or microSD cards, and they are very affordable. You can get a V60 or V90 cards for higher read and write speeds. These cards support 4k recording and comes with a variety of sizes to choose from, 64 GB being the most common option.
The next thing you want to think about is dynamic range, especially if you shoot outdoor a lot. The dynamic range of a camera is determined by multiple factors, including sensor size and image processing. A camera with higher dynamic range can retain more details in highlight and shadow under extreme conditions.
Dynamic range gives you more flexibility in post-production. A good example is having the ability to lower the brightness of the sky and regaining details in the clouds when the overall exposure is too high. You will end up with beautiful images and videos every time.
As a bonus, consider the features of the camera and how they can make shooting more convenient. Coming back to OCLU action camera as an example, the small and ergonomic form factor make the camera easy to mount in difficult situations. Other cameras may come with a flip-out screen for selfie shooting. Features like wireless remote, wireless image transfer and compatibility with live stream apps make modern cameras work better with other gadgets you already have.
As mentioned earlier, there is no perfect camera. That said, you can get close to picking up the perfect camera for your specific needs by taking these factors into considerations when buying one.