For a lot of people buying a Digital Camera isn’t the easiest of things to do. Fortunately, I’m not going to be able to talk you through all the features of a digital camera, nor will I be able to tell you which models are the best (The best always changes and is up to personal preference, so there.)  I will however, be able to manage your expectations when it comes to going digital. First things first, the most important stuff….

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1. There’s no spec that tells you which camera is the best...A higher resolution (i.e., more megapixels) or bigger zoom range doesn’t make the camera better. I’ll repeat: you’re never looking for the camera with the most megapixels or longest zoom.

2. Don’t get hung up on making sure you’ve got the “best” in a particular class. The truth is, one camera rarely bests the rest on all four major criteria — photo quality, performance, features, and design. (You may have noticed how few Editors’ Choice Awards we give for cameras. That’s partly why.) At least not at a friendly price. You want something best for you. And that may mean, for example, that it doesn’t produce stellar photo quality, or at least photos that pixel peepers think are stellar quality.

3. Try before you buy. Make sure it fits comfortably in your hand and that it’s not so big or heavy that you’ll leave it at home. It should provide quick access to the most commonly used functions, and menus should be simply structured, logical, and easy to learn. Touch-screen models can allow for greater functionality, but can also be frustrating if the controls and menus are poorly organized or the screen can’t be calibrated to your touch.

Now lets talk cameras

Point and shoot (budgetultracompact)

$50 – $300. Budget less than $200.

Who it’s for Key characteristics Image quality and performance
Anyone who wants something that’s a step up from a camera phone. Pocketable; lens fixed to body; zoom range usually less than 10x; small sensor; designed for mostly automatic operation Good enough for snapshots and social media, short vacation and kids video clips, and fast enough for food and the occasional good shot of kids and pets in action.

Compact megazoom

$200 – $350

Who it’s for Key characteristics Image quality and performance
Those who want a step up from a camera phone but frequently can’t get close enough to get the photograph that’s wanted. Pocketable; lens fixed to body; zoom range usually more than 10x; small sensor; designed for automatic and some manual operation Better quality than a point-and-shoot; fast enough for kids and pets, short vacation, and kids video clips.

Megazoom

$350 – $500

Who it’s for Key characteristics Image quality and performance
People who want one camera that can shoot both close-ups and players’ faces from the nosebleed seats. Big, with a small sensor; lens fixed to body; zoom range usually more than 20x; designed for automatic and some manual operation. The less-expensive models lack an EVF.

These are sometimes misleadingly referred to asbridge cameras, as in bridging the gap between a compact and a dSLR. But despite their size and appearance, they have nothing in common with dSLRs; on the inside, they’re pure point-and-shoot.Equivalent photo and video quality to a point-and-shoot, fast enough for the accidental action shot but mostly slow-moving subjects.

Enthusiast compact

$400 – $1,100

Who it’s for Key characteristics Image quality and performance
People who enjoy photography and like to play with settings but want something unobtrusive. Fits in a jacket pocket; lens fixed to body; small zoom range; medium-to-large sensor; some models have reverse Galilean optical viewfinders; designed for manual with some automatic operation. Photo quality good enough for those who want to get artsy and/or possibly sell their photos; short video clips; fast enough for shooting food but usually not action.

Entry-level interchangeable-lens camera (ILC)

$400 – $600

Who it’s for Key characteristics Image quality and performance
People who want something better and faster than a compact, but still want it as small as possible. Small enough to fit into apocketbook; interchangeable lens; sensor sizes range from compact-camera-equivalent to those you find in dSLRs; designed for automatic and some manual operation. Usually no EVF or EVF optional. Comparable photo quality to an entry-level dSLR, better video quality than most compacts and point-and-shoots; fast enough for photographing kids and pets in motion.

Entry-level dSLR $500 – $1,000 (with lens)

Who it’s for Key characteristics Image quality and performance
Anyone who wants better speed and quality than a compact and prefers shooting using an optical viewfinder. Big, with a relatively large APS-C sensor; interchangeable lenses; TTL optical viewfinder; designed for either manual or automatic operation. Comparable photo quality to an entry-level ILC; video quality varies significantly across brands; fast enough for photographing active kids and pets.


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Source: cnet.com