I have noticed in my ‘learning digital photography’ classes that more than two thirds of the students come back with the camera suggested by the salesman. And believe it or not they soon realize that it is not the correct equipment for them. This can be a very costly mistake. Now the question is how do you know which is the best digital camera for you.
The first thing that you will want to know about the digital camera which the salesman is playing hard to sell to you includes:
- The time it takes for the camera to turn on and get ready to click the picture. The range is from 1- 5 seconds in the camera consumer market while most of them take around 3 seconds.
- The time taken by the camera to focus on the picture, not to click it. Typically cameras take from 1 – 3 seconds but is it mostly about 1 second.
- The time taken by the camera to actually click the picture after the shutter button has been pushed completely?
When we see a cheaper camera, but not the cheapest it takes up to 9 seconds to click a picture from a camera which is switched off. It is possible that you think that you can leave your camera on, which is fine, but there will still be a time lag of around 3 seconds only for clicking the photo. It can be quite frustrating that after buying a new digital camera for about $400 – $500 you discover that you just can’t capture your child blowing out the birthday candles as the new camera took about 3 seconds to get ready at the vital moment of blowing the candles. This resulted in a picture of your child sitting in front of his cake with smoking candles.
Have you taken your camera with various exposure modes?
When we say exposure modes it means how does the camera infer a light reading? When you have a cheap camera, it does a complete reading which is a very limiting option. When it is a good digital camera it will come with a ‘centre weighted’, ‘spot’ and a ‘matrix’ metering system, which will let you click excellent photos in all kinds of lights.
When you are purchasing a digital camera, keep in mind that it is a regular camera and does not include a video camera. I had a student who showed me her camera which had all the required features which made it very expensive but the thing it couldn’t do well was to shoot still photos.
It is possible to get a lot from your new digital camera and all you need to do is give some time for learning to use it correctly and click good pictures. Keep in mind that nobody wants to look at bad pictures twice!