Buyers’ guide: digital cameras
If you’re on the lookout for the best deals and offers on a digital camera then there’s a whole array of different options open to you, ranging from cheap point and shoot models through to high-end models that come complete powerful specifications although have generally higher prices too. Therefore, the best way to be sure that you’ve selected the right model before you buy here in the UK, is to carry out an online comparison of the many and varied options.
There are already hundreds of different models to choose from and 2012 looks like being another year of hot new releases too. So as you compare the different deals and offers then it’s also a good idea to check out the consumer reviews of the products that you’re interested in. Digital camera reviews can provide you with a great way of hearing about the models that do the sort of things you’re looking for and might just bag you something from the best digital camera in your price range.
Another good angle to take is to ask friends, family or work colleagues about what digital camera they would choose if buying a new model. This is a good way of gauging what different people want from their snapping device, because some might want straightforward cheap digital cameras, while others might need the power and performance of a top-end DSLR model. And while one digital camera review might point you in the right direction, there’s nothing like word of mouth to help balance out those online comparison results.
Digital camera options
UK digital camera deals and offers are everywhere these days, from high street shops to electronics retailers, but the best place to find the most competitive deals and offers is in the online marketplace. However, it’s not always just about getting yourself a cheap digital camera, because you need to be sure that the model you’re buying matches exactly what you want to do with it. There’s not much point in buying a basic compact model if it’s woefully inadequate for your picture-taking needs.
So when it comes to which digital camera to buy then you’re better off picking through the different product specifications in order to find out more about what each model does. Now that there are so many different models out there, from a whole variety of different manufacturers, then it can be a little bit bewildering knowing which model to chose from. In that respect, it’s a good idea to first get a better picture of what you want to do with your new camera purchase.
It might be the case that you’re looking at buying your first ever digital camera and don’t want to spend too much on a specific model, especially if you simply want something with just a few basic features. If that’s the case, then you’ll really need to do an online comparison in the first place, because there are stacks of models at the lower end of the price spectrum. While on the face of it they may look like they all do pretty much the same thing, there can also be subtle differences from one compact to another. Digital camera deals and offers at this entry-level point may all seem pretty similar, but you’ll spot these differences as you compare the options before you buy here in the UK.
Different digital camera types
There are plenty of different classes for digital cameras, which can make the search ad comparison process seem even more daunting, but it’s actually quite straightforward if you start from the bottom and work your way up. Low-end digital cameras such as point and shoot models, or pocket-sized digital cameras often come light on features and aren’t quite as well made, but spend a little more when you buy and it’s possible to get a really stylish digital camera with beefier control options, including a decent zoom, a few manual settings alongside a range of auto controls plus GPS or Wi-Fi functionality.
As you spend more on your digital camera you can then move into the realms of the Extra zoom and Super zoom models, along with Compact System Digital cameras. The latter route takes you into whole new world of cameras, that combines many of the simplistic compact digital camera features and blends it with high-end performance with some inspiration taken from the DSLR models sitting right at the top of the digital camera tree.
Meanwhile, topping it all out are the DSLR options, which are actually many and varied too, but will generally come with a pretty high price tag, all of which means it’s even more important to study the comparison tables carefully. The great thing you’ll find as you read digital camera review pages about these models is that they are often highly flexible, produce potent digital pictures and can also be expanded, such as having separate flash units and lenses added. That, of course, means you’re going to be looking at a much pricier option, but the results often speak for themselves.
How to buy a digital camera
Digital cameras and the features to look for
Depending on which digital camera you’re looking to buy here in the UK, then there are lots of different features that you can put on your wants list, much of which revolves around what sort of pictures you wish to take and also the amount you want to spend. Naturally, you’ll be looking at the megapixels on offer, but the higher the figure isn’t always an exact match to the quality of the pictures you’ll get, so this can be a little misleading.
Therefore, it’s best when comparing digital cameras to look at the bigger picture and weigh up the whole specification of a camera. Megapixels essentially affect the printed quality size of the photo, so the larger the number then the bigger the prints you can generally print out, but it’s not set in stone. Compact digital cameras at the bottom of the price range often come with high megapixel ratings these days, but these point and shoot models shouldn’t be confused with more advanced high-end cameras such as the DSLR models.
Spending a bit more money on a digital camera will take you into the more advanced bracket of models that include the likes of super zoom, which often deliver much more sophistication and a raft of advanced features, but without the high price tag of the cameras in the next price bracket, which essentially fall under the DSLR digital camera category. Nevertheless, starting out with simple and easy to use pocket sized digital cameras can be a good way of getting a basic model as many of them are still decidedly high-tech and have features such as touchscreen controls and GPS functionality too.
What digital camera specification offers
The best thing about moving up the digital camera tree is that by and large you will start to see even beefier specifications then those featured on the more basic compact or point and shoot models. However, even the more budget models of digital camera these days are generally packed to the rafters with a whole swage of power tools and sophisticated functionality. Lookout for the megapixels obviously, but also spend time comparing zoom options, ISO settings, LCD screen size, touchscreen functionality, RAW file recording, high-definition video recording, including 1080p, along with if the digital camera can be plugged into a HDTV.
When it comes to picture taking on the latest and best digital cameras then there is a similarly long list of advisable options that could well be worth looking out for, even if you’re only going to buy a more basic point and shoot model. Features and functions worth noting down are the likes of a range of modes, including scene recognition, panorama options, macro capabilities, face detection, image stabilisation, smile detection, red-eye reduction, low noise settings, multi-faceted flash controls and be sure to also check what sort of memory cards the device takes too.
Some of the better digital cameras, including most DSLR models will also have the ability to attach a variety of different lenses, whereas those at the lower end of the spectrum will merely have one lens built inside the body of the compact camera. If you’re looking for the best digital camera that money can buy here in the UK, and it happens to be a DSLR, then don’t forget to factor in the additional cost of lenses. There are actually numerous varieties of digital camera lens on offer too including zoom, wide-angle, macro, telephoto, pancake and other variations on this theme.
Other digital camera considerations
As if that wasn’t enough, it’s also now possible to get numerous digital camera models that are ‘everything proof’, that is to say they have been made waterproof, shockproof, freeze proof and just abut everything else proof.
Adding a little fun to proceedings is that many of the cheaper digital cameras also come with funky styling and are also available in a variety of colours, from traditional black or white through to electric pink and camouflage finishes. Needless to say, buying digital cameras in the current packaged marketplace is fun, but it takes a little bit of careful comparison and reading of reviews before you make a final decision.