Digital Cameras and Digital Photography

The digital camera marketplace is huge so how do you decide on which camera to buy?

Digital Cameras

Choose your weapon at the end of this page...

In this digital age, there are literally hundreds of digital cameras to choose from. With that many cameras, comes a multitude of different pros and cons. So how do you wade through all that information and finally pick the right one for you? Things such as…

  • Megapixels
  • Sensor Size
  • Lens Zoom
  • Low Light Quality
  • Features
  • Inter-Changeable Lenses
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Memory Cards/2 Slots?
  • Autofocus Speed/Accuracy
  • Video Features (HD/4K/8K)

...and just some things to consider. The thing about me is that I don't like buying cheap. At the same time I don’t like paying over the odds for anything. When I first decided to try digital cameras back in the early 2000's, I had been using film for 20 years. I decided to buy a good (at the time) point and shoot compact camera.

The plan was to use it for "snapping" my new-born son and as a "take everywhere" camera. I would leave the rest of my kit for work. Having some degree of photography knowledge behind me.

I looked for a digital camera with the following;

  • A make that I had heard of and read good things about from the film world
  • Sturdy and robust (in case the baby got hold of it)
  • Features such as a zoom lens, built in flash, 4 mega pixels or above (lol), good memory capabilities and the "feel good" factor
  • Lastly, I wanted it to have at least one or two manual features that I could be creative with. Not all digital cameras had these functions then

I finally opted for the now very dated Konica Digital Revio KD-400 (I still have it in 2021)!

My Digital Cameras Through the Years

It had a solid stainless steel casing, felt reassuringly heavy to the touch and produced some amazing 4mp photographs. I actually had one image blown up to A1 (approx. 16 x A4) and displayed in a shop window. It looked great.

Update 2010: More than 8 years on and this compact digital camera was still going strong. My son used it as a small child!

Update 2022: We have lost the battery charger. It is no longer used : (

It was only after I had been using the camera for a while that I read some reviews by "experts". I was pleasantly surprised at the consistently high praise. Many years later and that camera has now seen better days plus the digital cameras around now absolutely blow this out of the water.

Even most mobile phone cameras have many, many times the resolution!

Surprisingly, a few months later, I also acquired a more up to date Canon point and shoot digital compact camera. It was part of the first prize for a golf competition, and the difference was incredible.

Good or bad?

It was one of the cheaper digital "point-and-shoot" cameras in their range and it felt very light and plastic. Plus it was more difficult to use than the Konica. It had very bad shutter lag (caused by slow auto focus) too. Worst of all, when using normal AA batteries, the camera lasted for about 30 photographs before I was told to replace them.

My point is that even well bred manufacturers sometimes throw a "runt" into their range of digital cameras. Therefore, it is important to read the reviews carefully before making your choice, especially at the higher end of the market. Also make sure the person you are listening to has at least, some degree of knowledge.

This section is to help you make that choice. Once you have the right digital camera, it should last you for years. As a plus with "digital film", you should save your money back over and over again. That is whether you are a professional or just looking for a family point-and-shoot camera.

Savings galore

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to work out that without the film and processing costs, there are great savings to be had. The beauty of this is that you can shoot an infinite amount of photographs at no extra cost. Except that of digital storage and media for all those digital files.

However, take my advice and PLEASE delete the ones you definitely DON'T want to keep right away. Being a professional photographer, in just over 12 months I have added over 30,000 photographs to my PC's hard drive. It is straining at the seams.

I still don't know which camera to buy!

Ask yourself the following questions, then click on which style of camera below that you think might be for you.

  • What do I need the digital camera for? As an everyday family camera, sometimes used at events or holidays. A serious hobby camera or as a money-earning tool?
  • How much money do I want to spend? Prices vary from £100 up to £8,000+ for a top professional Digital SLR or Mirrorless camera. Work out where you fit in and remember to include peripherals and accessories. Things such as types of lenses, memory cards, cases, bags, filters etc).
  • Will I want to upgrade in the future? The chances are that as you progress and learn with this hobby/profession, you will no doubt want to upgrade later on. Get a camera now that will meet you requirements now AND in the near future. Remember, it is the lenses that will last a long time, not the camera so choose wisely.
  • Do I want to make money from photography and my digital camera? If you are looking at making a living from photography, or using it as a side-line, you will need mid-range and slightly more expensive kit. I would recommend the Semi Professional DSLR (bottom left!)
  • Will I want to be more creative with manual controls? Will you want to take macro (close up) shots, need a zoom lens for wildlife or want to take photos at night. Think about how you will use the camera and read up accordingly.
  • How big do I want to print the photographs? The size of the sensor in the camera has a direct bearing on how big the files will print on paper without losing quality. If you will need constantly large prints (over 10" x 8"), you will need 6-8 mega pixels and upwards. Remember, it is the size of the sensor in a digital camera that counts and the quality of images, particularly in low light!

Think about upgrading digital cameras in the future

Digital cameras are being constantly upgraded. Therefore, if you purchase a camera now that will service all your needs, you shouldn’t have to upgrade for a while. That is as long as you ignore all the "bells and whistles" that get added these days.

Things such as face recognition and smile detection etc (although they can be useful at times such as weddings).

What I will say though, is really think about what you want the camera for. That's because if in a year or so you are taking photography more seriously, you WILL want to upgrade.

Click any image below for more information on that range of cameras.

Digital Compact Cameras

Basic but Powerful Point and Shoot Cameras

Advanced Digital Compact Cameras Lumix

Advanced Digital Compact Cameras

Semi Professional DSLR

Semi Professional DSLR

Professional Digital SLR

Professional Digital SLR

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