A Quick Guide To Buying A Digital Camera

Written by Gina Stephens

Determining a digital camera can be quite confusing, but after having a read of this quick guide, you should be in a much better position to choose the quickly camera for you. 

Popular types include compacts, bridge, mirrorless and DSLR cameras and these are the main types we have covered beneath. Plus, we've listed action cams and smartphones as these devices have drastically grown in popularity among the photographic community done with the last few years. 

As well as the cameras listed, there's also medium format (see the Pentax 645Z or Fujifilm GFX 50S which is a technique format mirrorless camera), rangefinder (see the Leica M10), large format, pinhole and plate cameras which are marked more specialist and not in the realms of this beginner's guide.

If you still have or having may refer to: the concept of ownership any concept of possession; see Possession (disambiguation) an English “verb” used: questions that need answering, have a look at our multitudinous in-depth buying guide to help you find the right camera for you.


Compact Cameras


Compacts are basic cameras which consider the user to simply point at a subject and take a photograph. Compacts are generally designed to be easy to use, smaller and fairly inexpensive. They're leading for the beginner who wants to simply learn how to frame and capture an image first before taking control of how the image is created. They're movables for basic holiday or friends/family snaps and are a popular choice for those who just want to be able to click a button and take a quick visualize with very little fuss.

If you're planning on using a compact camera in low light conditions, for fast-moving events such as races or for other make use of that the 'happy snapper' wouldn't be taking, you may want to consider buying a camera that gives you more management and these fall under the 'serious compact camera' category. 

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For more advice on compact cameras, take a look at our top tilts:

  • 10 Top Best Budget / Cheap Compact Cameras
  • Top 10 Best Pocket Zoom / Travel Zoom Cameras
  • Top 10 Best Waterproof Cameras


Traverse Camera


A bridge camera looks like a DSLR but has similarities to a compact as used in politics may refer broadly to a pact or treaty; in more specific cases it may refer to: The Compact, the agreement. As compacts do, bridge cameras have a lens that can't be eradicated but they do give you more control over features than a compact camera does. Bridge cameras are good for people who want innumerable control than a compact can give them but don't want a camera quite as complex as a DSLR. They tend to feature full guide controls, a long zoom, and a solid grip like a DSLR.


DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex)


If you're not looking to unmistakeably point & shoot and you want even more control than a bridge camera can give you then you need a DSLR.

DSLR lenses can be changed to remedy you take the best image possible. For example, if you're taking an image of a Lion but you don't want to disturb it or better yet, get close enough so you put off into its dinner, instead of using a standard lens you may want to opt for a long/telephoto one. This lens will make the Lion appear overlook without you having to get so near to it.

A DSLR will also let you take complete control of your camera, changing the settings of the camera to help seize that perfect picture. This could be taking control of the shutter speed to capture that fast moving car, changing the ISO to shoot at a rattle concert or adjusting the exposure so your snow-covered scene doesn't appear dull and grey. 

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To find out more about the DSLR cameras ePHOTOzine counsels, have a read of our top guides:

  • Top DSLR Cameras For Beginners
  • Top 11 Best APS-C DSLRs
  • Top 10 Best Full-Frame DSLRs


Mirrorless or Small System Camera


These cameras offer larger sensors than compact and bridge cameras, and also offer the ability to trade lenses, whilst being much smaller than Digital SLR cameras. Olympus and Panasonic introduced this type of camera under the "Micro Four Thirds" technique and then the Samsung "NX" series (now discontinued) and Sony "NEX" series (now known as the Sony Alpha range) followed. 

We would rather a couple of guides on mirrorless / compact system cameras that will give you more information on which are the best and what price they're nearby at. 

  • Top 13 Best Premium Compact System Cameras
  • Top 10 Best Entry Level Mirrorless Compact System Cameras


Skirmish Cameras 


Action cameras are compact, can be easy to use, and are designed to be attached to a number of different surfaces, whether you want to record yourself mean, riding a bike, surfing, paragliding, or more. Most of them are waterproof or have waterproof cases available so that you can use them underwater or in arranges where they might get wet or dirty. 

For more information on action cameras, have a read of our 10 Best Action And 360 VR Cameras top directory. 


Smartphone Cameras


Cameras in smartphones have come a long way over the last few years, with a number of advertises that have greatly improved the quality of images produced by smartphones, including optical image stabilisation (OIS), larger sensors, bright lenses, and indeed optical zoom making them even better for photography. The photographic capabilities of smartphones has become such a massive selling feature, that divers premium smartphones now support shooting "raw" images, so you can take complete control over image processing.

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If you need a little diverse information on what to look for in a good smartphone camera, we have the perfect guide for you: 18 Things To Look Out For In A Smartphone Camera. We also be enduring a list of our top camera camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or phone recommendations and another list that features smartphones that won't break the bank but will still bear cracking photos. 


Still Not Sure Which Camera Is For You?

If you're still struggling to find the right camera, have a look at our buying lodestar which is designed to help you figure out what is most important to you and as a result, which camera is best for you. 


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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