Taking a photo, stores a memory, there is no denying it. This is why so many people are in love with their cameras and taking photos. They get to preserve a little piece of life and history indefinitely, and that is something pretty magical.
In order to take great shots that are going to evoke all of those emotions down the line, you need a good digital camera. You need to keep in mind, however, that the camera you need is largely based on the type of photos you want to take. If you are an amateur that just wants something easy to use, you don’t need a top-of-the-line DSLR to get the job done.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best digital camera on the U.S. market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about digital cameras
- 3.1 What is a digital camera and what is it used for?
- 3.2 What types of digital cameras are there?
- 3.3 What are the lenses of a digital camera?
- 3.4 What are the sensor size and ISO sensitivity of a digital camera?
- 3.5 What is the viewfinder and image stabiliser of a digital camera?
- 3.6 What kind of batteries can a digital camera have?
- 3.7 What is the continuous shooting rate and video option of a digital camera?
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- Don’t invest your entire budget in one camera. Think about accessories. When it comes to taking good pictures, these are just as important as the device itself. Lens and sensor size are also important.
- Buying a reflex camera is only a good idea if you really want to get into the technical world of photography. If you just want something to take 4th of July family barbecue shots, a compact point-and-shoot is a better choice.
- Always consider things like battery life, body design, and video capabilities when making your decision. Also, consider whether a camera has functions for shooting action shots like sports or wildlife. Usually, specialized cameras have this feature.
Ranking: The best digital camera on the U.S. market
If you feel like the digital camera market has cooled down a lot in the last several years, you wouldn’t be wrong. Mobile phones and advances in mobile phone camera technology have hurt sales. But digital cameras are still unable to regulate and deal with light the same way a digital camera can. This is why you still get much better performance out of an actual digital camera. Below is a list of some of the most popular and best digital cameras on the U.S. market.
No. 1: Canon – PowerShot SX530
Canon is, without a doubt, one of the most highly respected names in digital cameras. They have been making some of the most famous products of the last few decades, and some the most iconic shots in photojournalism and wildlife photography have been captured with a Canon. Their PowerShot SX530 is one of their most popular non-DSLR digital cameras. With 50x optical zoom, and capable of shooting video in HD 1080p, this is one of the best cameras for the price on the market.
The 16MP high-sensitivity CMOS sensor, on top of the Canon DIGIC 4+ image processor, makes this one powerful digital camera. It also features a high-speed SD USB card reader. This really is a relatively inexpensive digital camera that, if you are willing to stick out the slight learning curve, gives you image quality that stands up to that of much more sophisticated cameras. The 50x zoom really is an incredible feature, and the clearness of the distance shots really is hard to beat.
No. 2: GordVe – Mini Digital Pocket Camera
GordVe might be an unfamiliar name to many American camera aficionados, but their 2.7 inch Mini Digital Pocket Camera is extremely popular, especially among travellers and backpackers. This camera weighs only 150 grams and is very easy to take with you on the go. It comes with a high-capacity lithium ion rechargeable battery, something that many people might not assume a camera this small and inexpensive would possess. If you are looking for a small point and shoot that is not too much of an investment, and can be easily packed into any small bag, this is a great product.
You really do get a surprising number of features on this little camera. From 8x zoom, to the 18MP CMOS sensor, this tiny device punches well above its weight. It can also handle a 32GB SD card, so you are able to take a large number of high quality photos and video before having to upload or change the card. Another nice feature of this little point and shoot is that it performs quite well in low light conditions. If you are looking for something that will definitely do the trick on your next vacation, but don’t want to spend a lot of money, this is a great option.
No. 3: Panasonic – Lumix FZ80
Panasonic is one of those tech and electronics company names that immediately makes people feel comfortable. They have earned their reputation, and their Lumix line of digital cameras should instantly ring bells with camera enthusiasts. Their Lumix FZ80 is a point and shoot long range camera with an incredible 60x optical zoom. The 1,170K-dot viewfinder, and rear-touch 3 inch LCD display give you clear, bright images even in daylight. On top of the amazing 60x optical zoom, this camera also shoots video in 4K, so you capture the world around you in stunning definition.
The low-light performance is another nice feature of this camera, making it a good device to take out at night (whether you’re in the city or in nature). The WiFi connectivity makes uploading photos instantaneous and easy, so your friends and family on social media can see what you’re seeing right away. This is also an incredibly easy camera to connect to. With USB 2.0, HDMI D, and Micro USB ports, this is a great camera for connecting to all of your other devices. For a non-DLSR, this really is an impressive camera.
No. 4: Sony – a7 III
Sony is another company that has made some great digital cameras over the last several years, and their a7 III full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera is one of their best. This is a more expensive camera, but you get what you pay for here. An advanced 24.2 BSI full-frame image sensor, 15-stop dynamic range, and an ISO range of 50 to 204,800 are just some of the many incredible features of this camera. The 4D focus gives you amazing wide coverage, and the ultra-fast continuous shooting feature lets you capture minute details in perfect moments.
With something of this quality, you obviously also get 4K video quality on top of everything else. Many camera professionals and die-hards swear by either Canon or Nikon DSLRs and nothing else, but this camera has been changing even the most stubborn minds since it first came out. This really is the height of mirrorless camera technology at the moment and combines the best in cutting-edge digital camera technology.
No. 5: Fujifilm – X-T3
Fujifilm cameras are world famous, and their new cameras have still managed to keep their old aesthetic while incorporating the best of modern digital camera technology. The X-T3 mirrorless camera features Fujifilm’s new 26.1 MP X-Trans CMOS 4 Sensor, 4K video recording, 2.16M phase detection pixels, and a 3.69 million dot OLED color viewfinder. This is undoubtedly one of the best mirrorless digital cameras on the market, and it was voted DP Review Awards’ 2018 Consumer Stills/Video Camera of the Year. It also features a number of great shooting modes, like sports finder mode for action and wildlife shooting.
It also has amazing face and eye recognition for shooting portraits, or just casual shots of friends and family. The improved and super intuitive dials and buttons, and touchscreen panel that you can tilt three different ways also makes this simple and straightforward to use. Something to really take note of with this camera is that the body is weather-sealed. Anyone in the know when it comes to high-end digital cameras is fully aware that most are not, and that many an expensive DSLR has died due to even just light rain and humidity. A great digital mirrorless camera that even Nikon and Canon purists are falling in love with.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about digital cameras
To be able to one day look back at an amazing holiday experience or a special day, you need a good camera. High quality photos don’t simply appear out of thin air. As well as knowing how to use one, choosing the right digital camera is essential for creating memorable photos. How do you know which one you should you buy? What do the different types offer? Find out below!
What is a digital camera and what is it used for?
It might seem like a question with an obvious answer, but since we live in a time when many people are falsely starting to believe digital cameras aren’t necessary anymore, it merits a detailed explanation. A digital camera is a piece of electronic camera technology that allows you to capture and store photos in digital format. Many new cameras also allow you to record HD video in 720p, 1080p, and even 4K.
New cameras make taking and processing high-quality images incredibly easy. Additionally, because there is such a wide range of digital cameras on the market, it is easy to find one that works for you. They run the gamut from compact, inexpensive point-and-shoots, to professional-grade mirrorless and DSLR ones.
What types of digital cameras are there?
Today, the best digital cameras on the market are classified into three types: compact (point and shoot), DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) and EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens). The DSLR is characterised by having a mirror that projects the image of the lens. Meanwhile the EVIL sends the image directly from the sensor to the rear LCD screen.
|EVIL vs. Compact||EVIL have larger sensors, so they’re typically better than compacts||They are not as manageable. Lenses can be incredibly expensive|
|DSLR vs. EVIL||Reflex or DSLR models have a longer battery life and higher shutter speeds. Inexpensive DSLRs are cheaper than their EVIL counterparts||DSLRs tend not to have the best quality video capabilities|
What are the lenses of a digital camera?
A lens directs rays of light towards a camera’s sensor, thus allowing you to adjust the zoom and focus without sacrificing quality. With regards to the lens, there are two key aspects: aperture and focal length. Their usefulness and importance when it comes to creating high-quality photographs are equal.
The focal length is measured in millimetres. It indicates the angle of vision (how much the lens is able to cover) and the magnification of the image. The longer the focal length, the larger the objects look and the more space in the photo they occupy. A lens capable of covering multiple focal lengths is known as a zoom lens. The lens of a camera is classified as follows:
- Ultra wide angle (less than 18 mm). Great option for shooting panoramas and landscapes.
- Wide-angle (between 18 and 30 mm). Ideal for landscapes and everyday street scenes.
- Normal (between 30 and 70 mm). Ideal for portrait shots.
- Telephoto lens (between 70 and 300 mm). Great for action sequences like wildlife and sporting events.
- Super-telephoto (more than 300 mm). Even better for action sequences like sporting events and wildlife.
As for the lens opening, this refers to the size of the opening that allows light to pass through and is measured as a number. The smaller the number, the wider the opening. The wider lens allows more light in, which translates into greater control over the depth of field. Depending on the aperture there are two types of lenses:
- Wide opening: quick lens
- Narrow opening: slow lens
What are the sensor size and ISO sensitivity of a digital camera?
The sensor size indicates the actual physical dimensions of a sensor. Sensors produce the pixels that get converted into the images. Larger sensors tend to shoot better quality photos. Big sensors tend to mean larger, bulkier cameras.
Today there are two sensor technologies available. CMOS is the most common and is usually found in higher-end compact digital cameras because they are adept at shooting in low light. Cheaper models almost always use CCD instead. While there are more expensive CCDs that still shoot great photos, they tend to be not as good as CMOS sensors.
In terms of ISO sensitivity, the higher the number, the better the camera will perform in low-light situations. The problem is that the greater the sensitivity, the more amount of “noise” or light that you actually don’t want to capture. That’s why you have to make a decision: the ability to shoot the finer details or just a simple camera to take general photos – it really depends on your intentions!
What is the viewfinder and image stabiliser of a digital camera?
A viewfinder lets you see what you’re shooting while you’re shooting it. Most mid-range and high-end cameras come with a viewfinder. They are typically LCD screens that allow you to view what you are pointing your camera at and they’re great for photography in sunny conditions. There are 3 kinds of viewfinders and they are useful based on different shooting situations you might find yourself in:
|If I want||You must have|
|To record videos while being able to see what you’re recording||An EVF viewer|
|To capture action sequences with a lot of movement||An optical viewer, as it shows the action while it is in progress|
|To be in complete control||A viewer with a coverage close to 100%|
The image stabiliser, as its name suggests, seeks to prevent camera shake that creates blurry photos. There are two options: optical image stabilizers (located outside the camera) and optical image stabilizers in the lens. They are quite similar in many ways, but lens stabilizers tend to perform better.
What kind of batteries can a digital camera have?
The best digital cameras on the market use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries which create two clear advantages. The first advantage is their long service life. The second advantage is their day-to-day durability/charge. Compared to AA batteries, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries last much longer.
There are still models that employ AA batteries. Cameras that use these kinds of batteries, however, tend not to be the most highly regarded digital cameras on the market. When deciding on a camera, it makes more sense to get one with rechargeable lithium ion batteries.
What is the continuous shooting rate and video option of a digital camera?
Continuous shooting rate is the number of frames per second (FPS) that a camera can capture. Higher rates typically indicate better cameras. Be aware, however, that many brands inflate or misrepresent this value so consumers think it’s higher than it really is. While having high FPS is always nice, it is not necessary to take a great photo.
Thanks to the astonishing evolution of camera technology over the last few years, almost all of the top digital cameras give you the ability to record video too. Most offer full HD capabilities, while some even offer 4K. You can also find cameras with frame rates of more than 60fps. If that is the case, your camera will allow you to shoot in slow motion.
Now that you know more about the world of digital cameras, it’s time to assess which camera is right for you. To accomplish this, you must consider more than just the technical specifications of a camera. You need a camera that is also right for your needs. The following are all important:
- Manual control and retouching
Anyone looking to buy a digital camera will invest a large amount of money in this purchase. Spending all your money on a camera is a mistake. Firstly, the camera does not make miracles and it does not guarantee good photographs (even if it is the most expensive on the market). Secondly, accessories are key additions in order to take good images.
This is why you need to split your budget into two separate components. If you are unable to afford your dream digital camera, don’t panic. Get something less expensive, and they spend money on good quality accessories. A decent camera with great accessories can do marvellous things.
What do you plan on doing/shooting with your camera? Do you want something light and durable to take traveling? Then a massive DSLR with a huge lens kit is not ideal. Do you want to learn all there is to know about photography and eventually do it professionally? Then the aforementioned setup will be invaluable.
You must review the different functions and features of the digital camera you want to buy. You might not even know about some of the functionality, or be sure you will use it. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles, it might make more sense to get something effective and straightforward.
A lens is one of the most important aspects of any digital camera. A bad lens will make shooting tough and your pictures unsatisfactory. The best digital cameras out there come with detachable lenses that let you fit a variety of different ones to your camera for different purposes. Many people just getting into photography and cameras, however, don’t take this into consideration.
This is confirmed by the fact that many people choose reflex cameras with built-in lenses. But the world of lenses goes far beyond this. If required, do some research specifically on lenses to learn more about them. The choice of lens will completely change the results of your photos.
Nowadays, most people want their digital camera to be able to shoot video as well. The camera industry responded to those demands, and most new cameras can shoot video as well as stills. It used to be that only compact point-and-shoot models offered this capability, but even the high-end ones have it now.
If you like shooting video, then you are going to want to pay special attention to your camera’s video capabilities. Do you want the best quality possible (i.e. 4K), or will 720p satisfy you? Do you want to be able to shoot in slow-motion? These are all questions to ask when selecting your digital camera.
Manual control and retouching
Anytime you are looking at professional digital cameras, you need to make sure you are able to store the photos you take in RAW format. RAW is easier to manually edit in applications like Lightroom and Photoshop. You get less natural-looking results, but your photos will pop more. It all comes down to your personal objectives as a photographer.
If you want to make the most of your camera and take truly original photos, look for a camera with a high level of manual control. Being able to manually control your lens, focus and other elements is essential to developing as a photographer and capturing fantastic pictures. Manual control over your camera will help you find your own style.
The top quality digital cameras on the U.S. market let you take breathtaking photographs. Always keep in mind, however, that it’s the photographer that makes the photo, not the camera. Always look for a product that matches your needs and style. Always ask yourself: what am I using this camera for?
You should also consider why you want a camera, and then match that to the different features out there. Things like lenses, ISO sensitivity, battery, video, viewfinder, slow-motion capabilities etc. all must be carefully considered. Get the one you think is right for you, not the one with the biggest price tag.
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(Source of featured image: stokkete: 43015990/ 123rf.com)