<<Yep, that’s me, circa 2000.
From time to time, people approach me when they’re in the market for a new camera. Having worked a while in a camera store a decade or so ago, I sort of developed what I feel to be a pretty decent sense of what to look for in a good camera. Although it is a good place to start, I usually don’t look so much at brand names, because I think “picking a team” in as far as brands go is a little short-sighted in this game. Each brand has their list of features, which result in different benefits over other brands on different levels on the one hand. On the other hand, some brands have weaknesses where others may perform at higher capacities. To me, the most important point about a brand is whether or not it’s more of an electronics company, or more of an optics company. Since the glass quality of a lens is one of (if not THE) most important aspects of image quality, I tend to lean more towards the ones that specialize in optics. Aside from the two most obvious, which are Canon and Nikon, this also includes such brands as Pentax, Olympus, and Leica (a division of Panasonic). And really, any camera you pick from these brands is generally going to do as well a job as the others. So, to me, it ultimately comes down these 3 questions:
What will I be shooting the most?
What features will have the most benefits to those kinds of shots?
What weaknesses (if any) = deal breakers?
Of course, for most people, the answer to #1 is typically the everyday things most of us would want photos of, like events, family, kids, pets, etc. Obviously, complicated photographic equipment is not necessary for these kinds of subjects. In fact, the quicker and the simpler it is to use, the better. So, for this post, I’ll be concentrating more on P&S (point & shoot) cameras rather than the more advanced dSLR (digital SLR) cameras. (more…)