Camera Buying Guide

A digital camera allows you to take photos of a much higher quality than most mobile phones. This Camera Buying Guide gives you a helpful overview of digital cameras so you can choose the best digital camera for your needs.

1. Compact Digital Camera

If you’ll mainly be using it for happy snaps on holidays or nights out a compact camera is probably your best bet. They’re lightweight and really easy to use, with automatic settings that make taking photos as simple as point and shoot. Keep in mind that some compact digital cameras can take a few seconds to start up and take a picture so you might miss the moment sometimes.

2. DSLR Camera

If you’re getting into photography and want more control over your photos, a DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) camera will help you tap into your creativity and take your photography to the next level with:

  • A faster click and capture speed
  • Better image quality
  • Settings you can tweak manually:
  • Aperture
  • Shutter speed
  • Contrast
  • Flash synchronization
  • White balance
  • Multiple lens sizes and strengths so it’s easier to get the perfect shot:
  • Macro lens – for up close, crisp, clear photos of little things
  • Wide-angle lens – to capture beautiful, sweeping landscapes and sunsets
  • Telephoto lens – for photos of fast-moving sport and wildlife
  • Tilt and shift lens – for buildings and correcting perspective
  • More accessories to help you take the perfect shot:
  • Lenses
  • Filters
  • Flashguns
  • Memory cards
  • Cases
  • Carry bags
  • Cleaning kits


Whilst a point and shoot camera is compact and easy to use, a DSLR digital camera:

  • Starts up instantly with no shutter lag so you can always get the shot
  • Captures exactly what you see when you press the shutter button
  • You can take multiple frames in rapid succession and choose the best shot later
  • Has a larger internal sensor so captures much better shots than a compact camera
  • Stores images on a removable memory card for computer editing and TV sharing
  • Is designed for use in multiple weather conditions and across various terrains
  • Is built to withstand a certain amount of shock so is a rugged piece of equipment
  • Is manufactured using more metal and less plastic than a typical digital camera
  • Is often bulkier, heavier and harder to travel with than a compact camera


When weighing up different DSLR camera models consider and compare these key features:

  • High-definition movie – does it capture movie footage as well as still images?
  • Megapixels – the more it has, the more the sensor stores, the better the photos
  • Frames per second – how many photos can the camera snap per second?
  • Live view – does it have an LCD screen that helps you frame your photos?


If you look after your DSLR camera it will take the best possible photos and last longer:

  • Protect your camera and lenses from damage by always using a camera bag or case
  • Follow the camera strap instructions and make sure it’s always attached properly
  • Always follow all of the manufacturer’s care and cleaning instructions
  • Only wipe your lenses with a soft, Microfibre cloth – never tissues or paper towels
  • Buy and use a camera cleaning kit so dirt doesn’t make your photos blurry
  • Always use the lens cap and use the camera body end caps after removing lenses
  • Point the camera at the ground when changing lenses so dust doesn’t get inside
  • Keep your camera dry with a rain cover and don’t expose it to extreme weather
  • Never leave your camera in extremely cool or extremely hot places (like the car)
  • Store camera and lenses in sealed plastic bags during extreme temperature changes to prevent condensation, and let them adjust to the new temperature before removing

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