Which digital camera is the best for me? This is the very first question that will appear when you want to buy your first digital camera. In this article, I will neither confuse you with a variety of advanced features offered by different cameras nor recommend the best camera that you should buy. I will only try to explain 5 simple steps that might really help you in deciding which camera is best for you.
1. Do not rush.
The most common mistake made when people bought their digital cameras for the first time is to go directly to a local camera shop or visit an online shop and purchasing their digital cameras without doing a research first. If you do so, most likely you will take the wrong decision buying a product that has too many features that you may never need. Never buy a product just because of the promising ads that attract you. Don’t just select the newest product, because newer doesn’t always mean better. Higher megapixel or longer zoom are not a guarantee that a product is better for you to choose because all of it doesn’t necessarily fit your needs.
2. Decide what you want from a digital camera.
There are so many choices of digital cameras on the market, and none of them is an all in one device that can be suitable for all kind of purposes. Each camera has its pros and cons on their own. By answering a few questions below, you will be able to focus on a fewer number of cameras that are appropriate to your needs:
- What do you need the camera for?
- Do you need a camera for daily use or do you plan to pursue photography more seriously?
- Which type of photography will you be doing more often (sports-photography, portraits, landscapes, or macro-photography)?
- In which condition will you be using your camera most (normal, extreme, indoor, outdoor, low light or bright light)?
- Do you prefer to carry a small and light camera or is it alright for you to carry a big and bulky digital camera as long as it is packed with lots of features?
- What kind of additional or special features do you need from a camera?
By answering the questions above, you can determine whether you need a point-and-shoot digital camera, a super-zoom camera, a micro four thirds camera or a digital SLR camera.
3. Set your maximum budget.
Maybe money is not a problem for some people. But most people will surely have a maximum limit to spend for a digital camera. Set your maximum budget and focus your choice on the cameras that fit your budget. Don’t forget to provide a reserve fund for camera accessories you might need such as lenses, external flash, camera bag, tripod, additional memory cards, spare batteries, etc
4. Do your own research.
Of course it would be easier to go directly to your local camera shop and meet a salesperson to help you there. But it would be better if you previously do your own research by reading the reviews in some digital camera magazines. You can also visit some good digital camera websites to find expert reviews there. Never trust a single source only, but compare a variety of reviews from various sources. You need to look for unbiased reviews that are truly neutral and honest because there are some reviewers that are paid by particular camera manufacturers to recommend their products. After you finish your research, you can specify 2 or 3 cameras of your choice and start comparing prices. Compare several online stores because the price difference between one and the other online store could be significant sometimes.
5. Go to your local camera shop and try the digital cameras of your choice.
Once you narrowed down your choice to 2 or 3 cameras and completed your own research, go to some local camera shops to see, hold and try operating the cameras of your choice. Let the salesperson help you and provide you with additional product information. After deciding the camera that you want to purchase, try to negotiate the price and compare it with the lowest price that you can get from online stores. Do not rush, take your time to compare prices at several camera shops and purchase the camera of your choice at a local camera shop or an online store that can offer you the lowest price. Finally, you should not rush to buy all sorts of camera accessories that you think you would need. Get used to use your new digital camera for a while first, after that you can decide which camera accessories you really need.