Purchasing your first digital camera

A lot of people ask me “I’m thinking about getting into photography, what’s a good camera to buy?”

The first digital camera I started shooting with was a Vivitar. Although this camera only had 3.6 megapixels, it was still a great little point and shoot. I went from this camera and slowly upgraded to the Canon 5D Mark 2 I shoot with today.

The first thing you have to ask yourself when purchasing a digital camera is “What am I going to be photographing?”

Your kids, sports, wildlife, landscapes, macro, weddings?

When I got my first digital camera I had no intentions of becoming a wedding photographer. I just wanted a digital camera. The concept of taking a picture and being able to see what it looked like instantly really fascinated me. It wasn’t until I bought a Canon Digital Rebel XT and photographed my sister’s wedding where the thought of shooting weddings professionally began.

Before I could take a picture with my cell phone, I kept my phone in my pocket and had a camera in my hand. Now I can take a better picture than my Vivitar ever could with my phone. I take a ton of pictures with my iPhone 4S. It takes great photos and you can share them quickly with friends on Facebook and Instagram. My phone is always on me so that’s why I use it as my point and shoot camera. But let’s say you don’t own a phone that takes photos or you would rather save the battery life for more texting. What would make a great first digital camera?

The three companies you need to look at are Sony, Nikon and Canon. Like I said, my first camera was a Vivitar. My second was a Kyocera, and my third was a Canon. Sony, Nikon and Canon are the top. I’m not saying you can’t take a great photo with a Samsung or Olympus. It’s just when you get into the higher end cameras, you’re going to be shooting with one of these three names. This is where I tell you that it’s not about the camera, a camera is just a tool, no more than a pencil is used to create a picture. However, the more money you pay for a camera, the more things you will be able to do with it, like take a picture in the dark. The reason I shoot with a Canon is because that’s the first digital SLR camera I shot with. If Nikon was my first, I’d most likely be shooting with that. There are reasons why I stick with Canon though. I already own a lot of L glass lenses and it would cost a lot of money to switch to Nikon or Sony. I’m also now familiar with Canon and they make great cameras and lenses.

The first camera I’d like to recommend for your first digital camera is the Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS. It has 16.1 Megapixels, a 5x optical zoom and it shoots HD video. Mostly all the point and shoot cameras these days will have a lot of megapixels and be able to shoot 1080p HD video. Having a lot of megapixels is great for printing a huge image without quality loss or seeing pixelation in the print. This is a big advantage point and shoots have over cell phone cameras. Most cell phone cameras are only 5 to 8 megapixels, which is still great for producing a 8×10 or even 11×14 image. Here is a link to this camera which is on sale at Best Buy right now for $129.99

Click here to view it.

If you would like a camera with a little bit more zoom, 20x zoom to be exact, you should upgrade to the Canon PowerShot SX260 HS 12.1 Megapixel Digital Camera listed here for only $199.99

This is where I find the point and shoots have their advantages over the cell phone cameras. You can zoom in with a cell phone camera but it’s only a digital zoom, not an optical zoom. Optical is much more clearer than digital zoom.

If you are looking for a camera that is a touch screen, check this one out here for only 89.99 It’s the Canon PowerShot A3400 IS with 16 megapixels. IS stands for Image Stabilization, meaning the camera will stabilize your shot if you are slightly moving.

These are all great point and shoot cameras by Canon.

Let’s take a look at what Nikon is offering at the $100 to $200 range.

The Nikon Coolpix S6300 16.0-Megapixel Digital Camera with a 10x optical zoom for $129.99 looks like a great camera. Check it out here. This camera also shoots HD video.

The Nikon Coolpix L810 16.1-Megapixel Digital Camera for $199.99 is where it’s at for getting closer to the action. It comes with a 26 optical zoom. This camera is also capable of 3D still image photography. You can enjoy viewing your images simply by connecting to a 3D HDTV using the camera’s HDMI port. Click here to check this camera out.

For Nikon’s touchscreen camera check out the Nikon Coolpix S4300 16.0 Megapixel Digital Camera for $109.99 here.

I’ve owned a few Sony point and shoot cameras before and I must say they are always creating something new for them. The Sony DSC-HX20V 18.2-Megapixel Digital Camera is a great camera for only $299.99

It has 3D still image and sweep panorama modes. The sweep panorama mode is great for a photographer who likes to take landscape images. All you have to do to create a panoramic image is point the camera at the beginning of the landscape, press the shutter and then slowly move your camera to the end of the landscape. The camera will stitch your image together for you so you don’t need to use Photoshop to create your landscape image. This camera also has 20x optical zoom and would be great for someone wanting to get into sports photography. Check this camera out here.

There are a lot of digital cameras out there now. My advice to you is go to the store and try them out. Also, when checking them out online, make sure you read the reviews. See what people like about it and what they don’t like. And remember, digital cameras are just tools you use to create art. Buy a camera and go have fun creating beautiful masterpieces. Let the world be your canvas. I’ll leave you with this artist I met at The Super Mega Fest in Framingham, MA. His name is Cory Smith and he only draws with a number 2 pencil.

Pretty amazing if you ask me. So go out and be a photographer and use your camera as a tool to create art.

Cheers!

J

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