5 Things to Consider when Buying a New Camera

5 Things to Consider Before Buying a New Camera5 Things to Consider Before Buying a New CameraWhenever the time comes to invest in a new camera there are five major things I consider when making my decision. And when I say 'new camera' I'm not just talking about a DLSR. I'm talking about any item that is brought into my life which is capable of taking a photo. This includes, but is not limited to, point and shoot cameras, toy cameras for the girls, video cameras, cell phone cameras, cameras built into computers as well as DSLRs. While I am capable of taking a photo in any situation, there is a particular style I like to my photography meaning there are specific things I want a camera to be capable of. Just because a camera is good for someone else doesn't mean it's the perfect camera for you, which is why I put forth my major considerations as well as the ones you should ponder when making any camera purchase.

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before buying a new camera:

1. How quickly can it go from turned off to shutter click?

How many times have you missed a perfect moment because you were waiting for a camera to start up? Infuriating right? Right now my DSLR takes the on to shutter click award, with my phone in a close second (I have the camera available immediately from the lock screen) and in third is my point and shoot. She's old. She's tired. Takes a bit to get her going. Another big consideration I used to have which has pretty much been resolved was shutter lag, these days most cameras take a picture as soon as you press the shutter, but it's still a really good idea to double check.

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2. Does it have a macro setting?
Macro means you can get up close and personal with an object and your camera. Sadly my DSLR loses this one since I need a special lens to really get my macro on. My phone wins the macro setting round because this? Was taken with my phone. (Point and shoot? You lose this round, no macro setting for you, sorry.)

3. Can you choose where to focus and how's the DOF?
DOF or depth of field basically means how blurry can the background get when you're focused on something closer to you. f/2.8 is pretty average for most point and shoots and in the right circumstances will give me enough good blur to work with. The lower the f/number the better the camera will do in low light as well. The winner on this one goes to my DSLR and its f/1.4 lens but an honorary trophy goes to my phone with Instagram where I can manually add a little blur where and when needed. (Point and shoot still loses at f/3.5. Womp womp.) As far as selective focusing, both my DSLR and phone win, learning to use selective focusing makes unicorns happy.

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4. How Well Does it Travel?
Hey DSLR, you lose this one because not only do you not fit in my pocket? You don't even fit in my purse. Finally the point and shoot gets runner up to my phone which takes all the glory in this category. Does travel well means takes the best photos for the occasion? No, but sometimes you have to rely on the saying "the best camera is the one you have with you."

5. How easy is it to get photos OFF the camera?
My DSLR requires a very specific card reader and computer. My point and shoot requires an even more specific cable or I can take the card out and put it into my computer. There's still all the hubbub of transferring the photos, uploading them, then sharing them with the world. When my phone takes a picture I can send it to a dozen different places at once or I can plug it into my computer and save them all on my hard drive. My daughter once had a toy camera that required a screwdriver and set of pliers to get the photos off (that camera got "lost.")

- By Casey Mullins
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