Photography Cameras For Beginners – How To Pick The Right One

There are so many cameras out available today that it seems more or less impossible to pick the right one. I will cover a range of photography cameras for beginners and help you navigate the jungle of photography cameras.

The 4 main types of DSLR cameras

We can categorize DSLR cameras into 4 categories:

#1 – Interchangeable-lens full system DSLR

This is by far the most common type of DSLR. These cameras have all the functions you need to take just about any kind of photo. The lenses are also interchangeable, which means that you with one lens can shoot ultra-wide photos, and by simply changing the lens, be able to get super-tele macro photos.

#2 – Fixed lens DSLR

Same as above, except that the lens cannot be changed. Stay away from these cameras if you want to pick up photography as a serious hobby, as not being able to change the lens will greatly limit their versatility.

#3 – Wannabe DSLR or ZLR

There’s also a category of cameras that look and feel a bit like a DSLR, but lacks the mirror of a real SLR and only has an electronic viewfinder. These cameras have fixed zoom lenses.

#4 – Hybrid cameras

These are regular “point-and-shoot” cameras that have interchangeable lenses. They have less functionality than a real DSLR and only has an electronic viewfinder.

So which type should I buy?

Get an interchangeable-lens full system DSLR. All the other types of cameras are too limited if you want to do more than just take point-and-shoot pictures.

Megapixels don’t count!

If you look at adverts for photography cameras, you will see that they always try to sell you the camera with the highest resolution. Here’s why you shouldn’t care about the resolution; all DSLRs sold today have a high enough resolution. What you need to care about is not how many megapixels, but the quality of the pixels.

Why would a 5 megapixel DSLR image have more details than a 10 megapixel cell phone image?

Because the DSLR has a larger and better sensor.

That’s really what it comes down to. Generally, the more expensive the camera, the larger the sensor. A larger sensor does not only give you more details in the image, but it will also reduce the amount of light needed to get the right exposure. Note that the sensor size will also affect depth-of-field and focal length (why this is the case is somewhat complicated and beyond the scope of this article).

Shopping Around for Photography Cameras on a Budget

When you’re looking for photography cameras for less than the normal market price, you should consider your options carefully. Firstly, you could buy a new camera that is on the low-end in terms of cost. If you do, you need to remember that you’re likely to be landed with a pretty ‘entry level’ model that has several limitations in terms of features.

On the other hand, the one other option that you have for camera shopping is to go take a look at the second-hand market. Frankly, you’d be surprised how much variety is out there in terms of photography cameras. Contrary to popular belief, not all cameras on the second-hand market are outdated pieces of junk that are in bad condition.

For the most part, the ones sold on sites such as eBay are actually in pretty good condition and the owners may just be selling them because they are upgrading to newer models. Whatever the case, you’ll find that by going about camera shopping through second-hand sites, you’ll be able to turn up a lot of deals that are within your budget and yet don’t consist of the ‘entry level’ models.

End of the day, your choice of photography cameras is going to be limited by how much you’re willing to spend — no matter how you look at it. That said, by camera shopping in the way that we’ve just outlined you should at least be able to turn up a couple of options that are worth pursuing, and may get more bang for your buck than you would otherwise!