James Clarke & Notes

Camera Buying Guide (Late 2010)

Buying a camera is difficult. There are many models, features and brands. Here are some of my recommendations and information sources that will hopefully making the purchasing decision easier.

Mike Johnston over at The Online Photographer has some very good advice on buying cameras. I usually recommend checking the cameras online and then heading to BestBuy or somewhere to get a real feel for them. Questions to bear in mind when reviewing a camera in person:

The key point to remember is that you will only get good pictures if you have your camera with you at the right time. In my opinion this should be one of the key deciding factors when selecting a camera.

The Cameras

These are the cameras I would recommend. It covers a range of consumer camera types but stops short of digital SRLs (DSLRs). All of these cameras will take great pictures and their differentiating factors are typically size, expandability and speed.

Other choices

You’ll notice that all the above cameras come with a “3x” optical zoom. This tends to give you the best optics in this price range. Also the above cameras are the ones that “serious” photographers tend to buy.

If you want something with much more reach look at the Fujifilm Finepix S200EXR (14x optical zoom). I don’t know much about this but it is recommended at Steve’s Digicams.

On the much cheaper end I would recommend Canon Powershot SD940IS (or SD1300IS).

Finally a book that always get recommended is Bryan Peterson’s Understanding Exposure. It is a great resource for teaching the basics of exposure and how to use your camera to get the creative images you want.