People will take an estimated 1.4 trillion photos in 2020 alone, so it’s safe to say that we’re in a golden age of photography. If you’re looking to add your talents to the mix and want to buy a camera, it can be confusing at first. There’s a lot of technical terminology to navigate. To help you get started, we’ve broken down six questions that will help you choose the perfect camera for your budding hobby.
1. Does Your Camera Phone Get the Job Done?
The cheapest way to get started with photography is to use the camera already on your phone. In fact, many of today’s smartphones have cameras that shoot 8 megapixels or higher as a standard, which is plenty to produce high definition, professional-looking pictures. The only downside is these pictures can quickly consume your storage, so if you want a separate device for photography, start with a simple ‘point-and-shoot’ digital camera to cover most scenarios.
Once you’ve been bitten by the photography bug, the sky’s the limit. A professional-level camera with top-level features can deliver National Geographic–standard results. Bear in mind, though, with many high-end digital cameras you may still have to buy the lens separately.
2. Do You Want to Experiment With Film Photography?
Believe it or not, the digital revolution has not eliminated film. In fact, just like those who are returning to vinyl records, many traditionalists still prefer film cameras to obtain results they claim digital can’t reach. With a standard compact digital camera, you can shoot, review, and store your photos on the go, allowing you to take thousands of pictures at no extra cost. Nevertheless, the conventional 35mm film camera is still widely available, but you will need to process your film and develop your prints afterward.
3. How Many Customizable Features Do You Need?
For vacation snaps and general photography as a hobby, you should be able to cover most situations with a simple point-and-shoot digital camera that has modest zoom function and built-in flash. In fact, there are some excellent professional-standard digital cameras with a fixed lens. If you want to explore macro or long-range photography, however, you’ll need a customizable body with a selection of lenses. These models also allow you to add your own flash, microphone, or other peripherals.
4. Will You Take Mostly Static or Action Shots?
It’s no secret that a camera is a delicate piece of expensive equipment. If you’re shooting indoors with a tripod, you can expect a 4K digital camera capable of recording stills and video to last for years. But if you’re taking it camping, skydiving, or surfing? Not so much. Luckily, there is a good quality niche of cameras that are built to resist some rough and tumble. Make sure you’ve got a waterproof camera if you’re shooting photos at sea or on a lake. And if you’re shooting action footage, there’s nothing to beat the GoPro, which takes awesome footage in the toughest conditions.
5. Do You Want to Capture Multimedia?
Of course, not all photography is about capturing the mood or the moment. To learn the skills and have some fun, a children’s camera allows the little ones to play around and be creative. If the camera is for security purposes, conceal a mini spy camera for surveillance. These models still take high-quality images but you can set them to shoot only when triggered by movement. Finally, if you’re joining the vlogging revolution, you’ll want a model that offers a flip screen and flashlight so that you don’t have to reshoot your best moments.
6. What Other Accessories Are Necessary?
Like any hobby, photography calls for its own supporting cast of peripherals and accessories. Keep your hands free when traveling with a digital camera thanks to a shoulder strap for quick access. While you’re on the move, we’d recommend a cushioned, waterproof travel case to keep your fragile lenses and mechanisms in working order. And for that professional finish, or to set up a time lapse or self-timer shot, a tripod is invaluable.
Ready to choose? Have fun, but be warned—once you start snapping, you might find it harder than you thought to stop.
- Kodak Easyshare
- Fujifilm X-Pro 3 Mirrorless camera
- Canon DSLR digital camera
- Sony Cyber Shot digital camera
- Canon 35mm camera
- Sony point and shoot digital camera
- Canon EOS Rebel digital camera
- Panasonic Lumix FZ80 4K digital camera
- Nikon Coolpix 16MP
- Nikon Coolpix waterproof camera
- GoPro HERO8
- Mini cartoon children’s camera
- HD mini spy camera
- Vlogging camera
- Camera shoulder strap
- Waterproof camera travel case
- Camera tripod
Prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.