How To Choose A New Camera

I need a new camera but I have questions.

With Graduation, Prom and wedding season coming, now is the time people start thinking about taking pictures. 

I'm often asked, "What kind of camera do I need?" 

My response, "What do you want the camera to do?"

Let me explain a few technical things about cameras you'll need to understand when choosing the proper camera for your needs.

What is a pixel? A megapixel?

To put it simply, a pixel is a programmable color on a computer display. A megapixel is what makes up your image.  A single megapixel amounts to one million pixels on an image. Hence the more megapixels your camera has the sharper the color.

How many megapixels do I need?

This is a really good question.  if you are only going to be doing pictures to show on your tablet or iPad then you won't need any more than 3 megapixels.  If you are wanting to make 4x6 prints with no editing then you only need 2 megapixels.  if you are wanting to make 8x10 prints then anything above 5 megapixels will work.  For 11x14 you would need 7 megapixels or more.

Why do they sell cameras that are 12+ megapixels if I am only going to make 4x6 prints?

If you crop photos, the extra megapixels help keep a nice crisp image. Also you might think you are only going to make a 4x6 print, but at some point you are going to take an incredible picture and want to blow it up to a bigger size.

What is the difference between optical and digital zoom?

Optical zoom is like the old 35 mm film cameras...true zoom if you will.  Digital zoom is not really zoom. It more or less crops the image and enlarges what you are seeing. You lose image quality when you use digital zoom.  Basically digital zoom is what you can do at home in any photo software.

Why are there so many modes on this camera?

The modes on the camera help you do things that a manual camera could do. For example, there is a mode with a woman's silhouette on most cameras.  This is a portrait mode.  It helps fade out the back drop and softens things up a bit for a nice portrait. You don't have to worry about adjusting F-stops and shutter speeds.  The modes are there to help you take the best picture possible. (I'll explain more about modes in a future post.)

What is all this talk about a camera having wifi ability?

Most of the cameras that are out now have a built in wifi.  That's right, they become a hotspot if you will.  This allows you to download your pictures to your tablet or iPad without taking your memory card out of the camera.  If your camera doesn't have wifi ability you can purchase an Eye-Fi card which pretty much does the same thing.

Which camera is right for you? It really depends on what kind of photos you want to take.

What questions do you have about your next camera purchase?

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Penny Shurte

Penny Shurte is a freelance photographer out of Beavercreek, Ohio. She is an avid gardener, a lover of traveling, a wife, caregiver, a pet mom and a person that can make you smile. You just never know where you might find her or what she might be getting into and writing about.


Penny Shurte is a freelance photographer out of Beavercreek, Ohio. She is an avid gardener, a lover of traveling, a wife, caregiver, a pet mom and a person that can make you smile. You just never know where you might find her or what she might be getting into and writing about.