When you decide that taking beautiful pictures is a priority. Your primary focus is likely to be finding and investing in the best camera for photography that money can buy. But with the market saturated with hundreds of cameras, how can you be sure about which camera is right for you?

When I set out to buy my first camera, I decided to take a more practical approach. Rather than research the best camera on the market I asked myself three simple questions.

  1. What features do I need?
  2. What kind of camera am I capable of using?
  3. What do I want to photograph?

It was the answer to these questions that lead to my first successful purchase of the best camera for ‘me’. Four amazing cameras later and I haven’t looked back, this formula works for me, and I would like to inspire you today by showing 3 simple things to think about before buying your camera and introduce you to a few of the best cameras available for your purpose.

Step One - What Is Features Do I Need In My Camera?

Cameras are amazing machines that allow us to pause a moment in time and share it openly with everyone around us. Cameras have evolved rapidly over the years from

  • Your smartphone with touchscreens, GPS and in-app editing.
  • To Point and shoot cameras with basic dials and hybrid functions.
  • To SLR cameras (single-lens reflex camera) with optical image stabilization, superzoom and interchangeable lens.
  • To DSLR (Digital single-lens reflex camera) with Wi Fi connectivity, video capture, tilting LCD and larger image sensors.
  • To the action cam and drone cameras that bring a new angle to the adventurous photographer who wants to capture rugged action shots, underwater shots or aerial shots.

Before buying any camera, we should be clear with ourselves about the features that would like to have on our cameras. There are hundreds of features available and more coming out with each new camera release. But having a hundred features that you never use in your camera isn’t going to help you get a better picture. But they will add to the cost of your purchase.

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What Are The Best Cameras
You won’t need to shell out too much on the top cameras if your main focus is sharing your selfies online. Photo Source: Unsplash

Step Two – What Kind Of Camera Am I Capable Of Using?

There is a camera out there to suit everyone; if you are interested in buying a camera, it is first prudent to be clear about your experience level, capacity to use the technology and your dedication to learning something new.

If you are a professional photographer or a very tech savvy person, then almost any camera out there will be suitable for you to use right out of the box. If you find that your technical skills are slightly lacking and you have no interest in a significant learning curve, then you may want to avoid the DLSRs, mirrorless and SLRs and stick with a more straightforward point and shoot camera. If you are a complete novice then sticking with a smartphone where you only have to press the touchscreen or a simple point and shoot may be more suitable than the pricier DSLRs on the market.

I know lots of people who decided that they wanted to get serious about photography and traded in their high-quality point and shoot cameras for a huge and expensive DSLR. Only to find out that they didn’t have the dedication to learn how to use the DSLR to its maximum potential. Leaving them using the same point and shoot settings that they had on their old camera on a camera that costs 5 times the price.

Before making the huge investment in a camera, you should be clear about your ability to use the camera. Or your skill and dedication to learning how to use it.

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A great camera that captures fantastic video and photos
Action cams are normally rugged, waterproof and made to bounce around different terrains. Photo Source: Unsplash

Step Three - What Do You Want To Photograph?

Last but certainly not least is for you to think about what you want to photograph. Now if you have more experience with cameras than the average novice. You may already have a collection of picture and be able to see and theme occurring within your images. Let's take a look at some of the types of scenes and suitable cameras to capture them best.

Do You Want To Take Photos To Put Online?

If your main focus is sharing your selfies and casual snaps on your social profiles. You won’t need to shell out too much on the top cameras, the minimum advisable resolution is 1080px by 1080px, this equals roughly 3 million megapixels (MP) and will give you bright and sharp images.

One of the best smartphones for selfies

The Sony Xperia XZ1 has a 19MP back camera and a 13 MP front camera. While Sony doesn’t make the most popular smartphone around the quality of their phones are indisputable. It runs Android 8.0 (Oreo) and has a 4 GB of RAM, this phone can handle almost anything.

So what makes it unique?

  • 2 powerful cameras - 19MP Primary camera and 13MP secondary camera.
  • It has a 90-degree field of view which makes group selfies easier than saying cheese!
  • It has 64 GB of storage and is expandable up to 256 GB plenty of space for all of your photos.
  • It has 4k video recording in case you want to start a Vimeo or YouTube channel.
  • It has a 2-inch screen with a crisp 1920x1080 resolution.
  • And best of all it only weighs 155g.

Do You Want To Photograph Action, Sports Or Underwater?

Action cams can be a lot of fun and much more practical than normal cameras when trying to record extreme sports or activities. Action cams are normally rugged, waterproof and made to bounce around different terrains. The same cannot be said about an expensive DSLR. If you enjoy the outdoors, then one of these cameras might be a great way to capture your adventures.

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One Of The Best Action Cameras

The GoPro is one of the best action cam companies out there they have numerous models, and they all come with a wide variety of accessories. The GoPro Hero6 Black is a great camera that captures fantastic video and photos no matter where you are. Jumping out of a plane? Grab your GoPro! Dive with whale sharks? Grab your GoPro.

So whats special about it?

  • High resolution 12Mp for images and 4K video.
  • Waterproof to 33 ft, so you can dive to your heart content and capture everything.
  • Easy to use touchscreen which can zoom and take photos closer up or far away.
  • It has GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth so you will always know where your photos were taken and you can upload them in record time.
  • The sexiest feature is you can talk to it, no I am not making it up – say “GoPro start recording” and it will. Now that's voice control.
  • Best of all it only weighs 117g.

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Do You Want To Take General Snaps?

A point and shoot camera as the name suggests is simple to use, compact and full of preset feature which means you don’t have to spend hours trying to work out what aperture or shutter speed is. The dials are set up to be foolproof and fuzz-free. If you want to take a portrait, you will find an icon of a face when you switch that you will have the best settings for a picture. The same goes for at least 5 other scenes such as night shot, sunset, landscape, close up etc.

One Of The Best Point And Shoots

The Sony Cyber shot RX100 is a great lightweight camera with a pocket-sized design and a fantastic lens. It can shoot in daylight and low light producing clear images, and with a 20MP sensor, all pictures come out crisp and clear.

So what’s special about this camera?

  • It has a huge 2 MP sensor capturing every detail of your shot.
  • It has HD video for clear home movies.
  • It has a point and shoot controls but if you want to expand into learning about Manual controls you also get that with this model.
  • A great feature is that has a steady shot feature to reduce blur so if you don’t have steady hands you will still be able to shoot amazing images.
Digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) combines a sensor, optics and a mirror to create a digital image.
A DSLR will not let you down, full of everything you need to print your own photo books to selling images to magazines. Photo Source: Unsplash

You Want To Shoot Professional Pictures?

Whether you are a photography enthusiast, Sell your images or are a Professional photographer working with your own studio. A DSLR will not let you down, full of everything you need to print your own photo books to selling images to magazines. Digital SLRs are the very top of the line when it comes to cameras. But even with the DSLR range, there are a wide variety of cameras available.

Digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) combines a sensor, optics and a mirror to create a digital image. They come with large sensors which creates incredibly bright images, they have full manual control and automatic settings, DSLRs almost always have the changeable lens, and they will have large LCD screens where you can view your pictures.

Canon and Nikon make some of the best entry levels to professional level cameras on the market. Their popularity is not without good cause, they create fast and high-performance cameras.

Some popular Nikon DSLR models are

  • Nikon d7200 – 24 MP sensor, Clear low light images and has WiFi.
  • Nikon d5300 – Multi angle LCD, GPS and a 2MP sensor.
  • Nikon d5500 – Small lightweight and compact.
  • Nikon d750 – 24.3MP sensor, shoots 6.5 frames per second.
  • Nikon d810 – With a 3 MP Sensor, it’s one of the highest resolution DSLRs.

Some popular Canon DSLR models are

  • Canon Eos 7d mark ii – 20.2 MP sensor, high-quality Photos and video.
  • Canon Eos 5d mark iii – 22.3 MP sensor, and dual image processor.
  • Canon Eos 6d – Lighter full frame, 20.2 MP Sensor and smaller size.

It is not the camera that makes the picture great, that is only part of the story. The real magic behind a fantastic photograph is the person holding the camera. You are the one who has to open yourself to see the world around you and find the right framing to present your vision to the world. So if you are a talented photographer, you are going to take great pictures with a disposable camera or an SLR.

The primary way that having the best digital camera will help you is by amplifying your chosen subject and creating a clear image for others to be able to enjoy your chosen moment of time. So which kind of camera is best for you?

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