If you’re like me, you bring your camera everywhere. Plus, you might not even have much of a choice if you have a mobile phone. iPhones even have two camera! One for selfies, and one for everything else.

But to take serious photos, you’ll need to develop an understanding of the sometimes scary ISO and f-numbers. Once you gain at least a peripheral understanding of what they mean, you’re better prepared with the array of choices in the photography world. Once you feel better about this information, camera-shopping is less daunting.

Let’s dive into details.

1. What’s your budget?

This should be the first question you answer before you make a responsible decision about your new toy.  Are you a beginner? Do you just want to snap pictures of friends when you’re hanging out? Then there are great cameras under $300; in fact consider learning how to use your phone as camera if you’re not ready to invest in a new professional camera.

brendan filice photography iphone

 

The best cameras, DSLRs (digital single lens reflex), will set you back a few thousand dollars, but are a smart investment if you plan to get into photography professionally.

2. Do you need all these megapixels?

A megapixel is composed of the millions of tiny squares of colors (pixels) that line your image, horizontally and vertically (think of square footage), that compute to give you the square pixelage of the picture. Yes, megapixels do matter, but really only up too to a certain extent. The highest megapixels only should influence your choice if you plan to blow up your photo to huge proportions and need to maintain the quality of the original shot.

3. Do you hate asking, “Can I charge this here?”

Most cameras have rechargeable batteries, but you’ll want to know how often that recharging has to happen. Camera-specific batteries, while easy to stick in the wall and recharge, are difficult to replace if you lose them.

4. What are you willing to carry with you?

Some high-end cameras are bulky and require complicated set-up; such as tripods. However, this gear often gets you images with great quality. The camera really has to fit your style and your lifestyle. If you aren’t going to be proud showing off that camera every time you pull it out of the bag, then chances are you won’t use it as often as you’d like.

5. What features do you absolutely need?

brendan filice settings photo camera

Cameras nowadays have tons of figures; some have dozens of specific details that will alter the outcome of your shot. Fast focus, image stabilization, easy manual override, low-light capability, and wifi and printer connectivity are just some of the options cameras offer today. If you’re trying to shoot action photos, you’ll need features for fast focus and stabilization. Are you freelancing and need to print often? Consider portable wifi and printer models.

 

These are just a snapshot of the questions to ask yourself when buying a new camera. Make the right investment for your lifestyle! Check me out on my Twitter @brendan_filice for the latest.