Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Snap and Flash!

Nikon Coolpix S9300

Let's Pick a Camera!

Spring is almost here and, for some people around the world, it is already summer. This means many vacations, fun times at the beach, hiking, outdoor parties, bon fires, night events and the list goes on. You are going to want to take pictures and chances are you will use your phone. But there will be a day when you want to take nice quality pictures with a little bit of zoom because there is going to be that image out in the distance that is beyond your cellphones reach. So I guess you can say you will be in the market for a camera. In this post, I will talk about what kind of camera is suitable for different situations. Oh, and before we continue, your tablet is NOT an acceptable camera because it is just too big. If you are using your tablet as a camera, then I suggest you pay attention...please.

The Basics

Sony Cybershot DSCW610
Your phone will probably be fine for the quick snappy pictures, especially if it is over 5 megapixels (MP). Don’t forget, your camera probably doesn’t have optical zoom (the lens does the moving for the zoom).
Your phone will then use digital zoom (the computer zooming for you). This creates a pixelated or blurry effect when you go to print images or crop them later on. If the image you seek to take a picture of is off in the distance, you are going to need something better. If you want something with a little bit of zoom then I recommend 3-5x optical zoom. Never use digital because it will make your pictures blurry. There are many affordable and basic point and shoot cameras out there that will do this for you. And just an FYI some still use AA batteries. Recommendation: STAY AWAY! They are lousy at holding a charge for a long period of time (150ish pictures), they get bulky and you will have to replace them every 10-12 months. Lithium batteries tend to be expensive but they last about 300 pictures and I’d recommend replacing them whenever you feel like it. I have one that has been lasting 5 years and that’s not a joke.

Mini Zoom

The basics won’t cut it and you need some zoom. That is not a problem considering these cameras have come down in price and size over the past couple years. I have seen cameras with 16x optical zoom that are as small as the basic cameras for $200 CDN. This is great because you can still carry it around with ease and grab an object within 50 feet with ease. If I may say so, it sounds perfect for concerts. There are some that are not so thin because they use AA batteries. I repeat, STAY AWAY! This will not be repeated again, I promise. In all honesty, the main difference between here and the basic camera is that zoom cameras have more range as compared to basic cameras because size can be very comparable.


Canon SX500is
I call this set the biggies because they are bigger than the other two categories. These cameras generally start with 26x optical zoom and have many features to play with. You can change lighting, shutter speed and a lot more functions. This type of camera is recommended for the family. Why? Because they are a lot better for sports, distance and can do higher end video recordings. The issue is that they are bulky and do not fit in pockets. However, if you have a big purse you can probably fit them in there. These cameras do take better pictures then the smaller cameras. Once you learn how to master this, it is on to the professional grade cameras, Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR).

All-in-all, I would recommend you go with a zoom camera. They are small, compact and have a decent zoom for the price. They are more than the basic ones, but not that much. So here we go, the cameras I would recommend you purchase this summer season. I picked these three for the following reasons:
  • One from each category
  • Lithium batteries
  • They all use an SD memory card
  • The lens quality is what makes the picture and they have great lenses

My recommendations:

  1. The basics – Sony Cyber-shot 14.1 MP DSCW610
  2. The zoom – Nikon COOLPIX 16MP S9300
  3. Biggies – Canon PowerShot 16MP SX500IS

Before you go, I think you need to know why you don’t need a new camera. If you camera is a few years old and is over 8 MP, then you can already print up to 8x10 inch pictures. If you really desire the HD video recording then I understand. If your images are getting “dirty,” purchase a camera cleaning kit from a retail outlet because you probably haven’t cleaned it before. Now go on out and have fun. Don’t forget to price match if you can! 

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