In today’s age of ever-changing technology, it is interesting to note that cameras have stood the test of time. Almost everyone owns a smart phone that has the ability to take snapshots; however, many people still prefer to capture life’s most important moments via their personal camera. So, how can you find the camera that is right for you?
Determining What You Want In a Camera
There are several top-of-the-line cameras that can cost the average consumer a pretty penny, but unless you are a professional, it is unlikely that you actually need to take out that second mortgage for your next purchase.
Consider what you want your camera to do. Are you an avid traveler? Perhaps you should invest in a camera with an interchangeable lens. That way, you can capture anything and everything from your trek through the Grand Canyon to a panoramic view of your hotel on the Las Vegas strip. Maybe you simply want to a basic camera that will capture random pictures of the grandkids or take inventory of your extensive shoe collection – a simple point-and-shoot camera is sure to do the trick. Are you aspiring to become the next Nigel Barker? You may be in the market for a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera. All are great options – simply determine your goal and you’re all set to start shopping.
Finding the Best Deal
With so many options available to purchase your new camera, the internet can be your best friend when it’s time to search for the best deal. Websites like Amazon and eBay can provide excellent comparison guides as well as candid consumer reviews. Check out what others are saying about the product. Chances are if the bulk of the reviews suggest that the camera is a lemon, it probably is.
Be careful of shopping the specialty stores upfront. Often the prices can be considerably higher in a niche store as opposed to a general electronics store or local discount chain. Be wary of “sales” at top electronic stores. Chances are they have marked the original price up so high that the “sale price” is actually not as good of a deal as they would have you believe.
Another cost-conscious option might be to search for a gently-used camera in your local resale shop. It’s not unusual for professional photographers who have decided to upgrade their equipment to trade in their old cameras. The good thing about this is, because their camera is their livelihood it’s very likely that they’ve taken extra care to keep it in good working condition.
Regardless of what option you choose, be sure to understand the terms and conditions, warranty, and return policies for the product. In the event that you have a change of heart about the camera you choose, it is important to know your options prior to purchase.
Putting Your Camera to the Test
Trying out your camera seems obvious; however, if you don’t test it up-front in a variety of settings you may end up regretting your purchase.
Take turns snapping shots in high and low lighting, both natural and artificial. Test your camera’s clarity by taking pictures of several different colors and textures – if they don’t reflect correctly, chances are it’s not a good buy. Sample the zoom feature by shooting frames both up-close and at a distance. Don’t forget your flash quality and exposure. If the pictures are over or under exposed, you may want to return your latest investment and choose a better option. Some cameras have the ability to take pictures of objects in motion – make sure that the pictures you take aren’t blurry if the camera claims to have this feature.
Don’t Forget the Accessories
Protect your investment and optimize its potential. Consider buying a case to house your camera and lenses. It’s a good idea to purchase a tripod for those holiday pictures of the entire family. Keep in mind that maintaining your camera regularly will help it last as long as possible, so don’t forget the cleaning supplies. You can usually find all that you need in the same area where cameras are sold.
Lights, Camera, Action!
You’ve done the research and you’ve finally decided on the camera that will best suit your needs. Now the only thing to do is to get busy making memories. Enjoy your new purchase – you’re ready for your close-up!