Camera Buying Guide – Top 5 Important Things To Keep In Mind

Camera has become an important part of our daily life whether we click selfies or take shots of basically everything that catches our attention. Along with our phones, camera’s need or camera buying has become the utmost priority, they have become that not-to-let-go part without which we can’t expect our present or even our future. Many smartphones now come with cameras that satisfies most users (Click here to find more ).

Though for some people phone cameras are suffice but for some big digital cameras with big lenses are need may be because they have decided to be a traveler, clicking shots of sunset and picturesque views or they have decided to become professional photographer (a booming profession among current generation) whatever be the case ultimately they have decided to spend and buy a Digital Camera.

Here is everything you are looking for- A proper camera buying guide

1. Sensor

Image sensor plays most important role in a camera. The bigger the sensor, the better it is. Camera buying decision is taken by looking at the sensor camera is offering. Sensor is that part of the camera that replaced the film. Sensors vary in size, resolution (megapixels) and sensitivity to light. Sensor size is a very important aspect in any camera.

Camera Sensor

It dictates the quality of image that camera can produce. Bigger sensor has bigger pixels that means better low light performance, reduced noise, good dynamic range and ability to obtain more information. There are various types of sensor sizes. Below are the ones from which you can choose what suits you better.

Full Frame

Full-frame sensors are available in both DSLR and mirrorless cameras. They have the same dimensions as the 35mm film, therefore the same name. The 35mm full-frame sensor type is the gold standard among professional photographers who want the highest-quality images. Dimension of a full frame 35mm sensor is 36x24mm. Two options for a full frame sensors are:

  • Canon EOS R5
  • Nikon D850 DSLR

Full Frame Sensor


The APS-C or crop-sensor format is the most well-known and most versatile of the bunch. The APS-C sensor is popular in DSLR and mirrorless cameras alike. beginners and professionals alike use it thanks to its adaptability. The typical APS-C sensor size is different across camera brands. Canon APS-C sensors are usually 22.3×14.9mm, while other brands like Nikon, Sony, Pentax, and more usually feature APS-C sensors with 23.6×15.6mm dimensions. Some cameras having APS-C sensors are:

  • Canon EOS M50 Mark II
  •  Fujifilm X100V
  • Sony Alpha a6600
  • Nikon Z50

APS-C Sensor


First Canon camera to carry the APS-H sensor was EOS-1D and it was launched back in 2001. The APS-H is slightly larger than the APS-C sensor format that many Canon DSLR cameras use today but smaller than a traditional full-frame sensor. The Dimension for APS-H is 28.7x19mm. In 2015 Cannon announced a new ultra-high resolution sensor based on APS-H format with a resolution of approximately 250MP. It offers the highest number of pixels for a CMOS sensor. It was intended for use in specialized industrial equipment and instrumentation, as well as surveillance and crime-prevention tools.

  • Canon EOS RP
  •  Leica Q2
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-S1

APS-H Sensor

1” Type

Any sensor that is about 1.5 to 1-inch in size or smaller can be found in non-interchangeable lens cameras (your typical point and shoot) and smartphone cameras. High-end compact cameras use 1-inch sensors to produce good results in terms of image and video quality that is somewhat impossible to get with regular point-and-shoot cameras. Few cameras to use this sensor are:

  •  Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10
  • Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX10 IV

1st Type Sensor

Four Thirds

The Four Third System is created by Olympus and Panasonic. It is standard that allows for the compatibility of lenses and bodies across participating camera makers. Image sensor size is 17.3×13mm with a crop factor of 2.0 when compared to full-frame camera sensors. The Four Thirds System uses a 4:3 image aspect ratio, hence the name. Some of the cameras using Four Thirds are as follows:

  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
  • Panasonic Lumix G9
  • Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

Four Third Sensor

2. Cameras

There are basically three types of cameras namely point-and-shoot style cameras, mirrorless cameras and DSLRs (digital single lens reflex) cameras. All of them have their strengths and weaknesses. Let me explain in detail:

Point-and-Shoot Cameras

These cameras are the most convenient and compact ones of the three. They are generally smaller, lightweight and affordable in comparison to its DSLR counterparts. The focus and exposure is entirely automatic in this digital camera. Lenses are built-in and non-interchangeable in Point-and-Shoot cameras. You aim and press the button; the camera does the rest. They can range from cheap throw-away to pocket-sized digitals. In high end cameras too we have a point-and-shoot option available wherein the camera makes all the settings automatically. Many major brands offer point-and-shoot cameras like Canon, Sony, and Fujifilm etc. Some of the best Point-and-shoot cameras available are:

  • Canon PowerShot SX740 HS
  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W800
  • Fujifilm XP140
  • Fujifilm XF10
  • Panasonic Lumix ZS70 / TZ90

Mirrorless Cameras

Mirrorless Cameras are a lighter, more compact alternative to the DSLR and provide incredible quality images. The fact that they are even quieter than the DSLR makes it an even better alternative for those who are on budget constraint. With no mirror to slap up and down, street photographers, as well as wedding and theater photographers can now shoot virtually unnoticed. A good thing about mirrorless cameras is that because there is no mirror inside the camera in front of the sensor, their design allows for a very short focal flange distance, or the distance between the lens mount and the plane of the sensor. Because of this short distance, lenses that have a large focal flange length can be used on mirrorless cameras when you have a compatible adapter.  This means that, in addition to a wide selection of mirrorless-dedicated lenses, most SLR lenses can also fit onto your mirrorless camera as well. The sensor size in most mirrorless cameras fall in between those large in DSLR’s and the small ones in Point-to-shoot cameras. In terms of auto focus, mirrorless cameras use contrast detection to measure the contrast between pixels on the sensor until it detects enough contrast to find that the image is in focus. Some of the best Mirrorless cameras available in the market are :

  • Sony Alpha ILCE-7M3
  • Canon EOS R
  • Nikon Z6

DSLR Cameras

Digital Single Lens Reflex or better known as DSLR’s are the standard, most popular camera choice by far. It is a go to for any professional photographer. Camera buying depends on how great it can perform, how good can it perform in different situations. DSLR are quite versatile and offer professional photographs with high quality images. It has the feature of interchangeable lenses therefore it can work with an array of interchangeable lenses. DSLRs cover a broad expanse of capabilities and are often intended to meet specific goals while still retaining the overall imaging benefits that are suitable to many. If we go into a little bit more depth then we can explain what DSLR actually means. So D stands for Digital, which means that the camera operates with a fixed, digital sensor. S&L stands for Single Lens, which implies that the camera uses the same lens for framing, focusing, and taking the photograph. This is different from rangefinder and twin-lens-reflex constructions, since you can’t see the exact view from the lens that will take the shot. R meanwhile stands for Reflex, it is a system where a mirror splits or directs the incoming light towards the optical viewfinder. It allows you to see an exact, optical view of the scene. This mirror can be fixed and semi-transparent (in SLT-type cameras). Or, it can flip up during exposure (in SLRs and DSLR). DSLR currently has two main sizes of image sensor as Full Frame and APS-C. APS-C is found in most of the entry level or mid-range and in some cases even in some professional grade DSLR. It is smaller and lighter in size. On the other hand Full Frame sensors are larger in physical size and offer greater image quality and detail. Full Frame sensor provides improved low-light performance and lesser image noise because the size of pixels are actually large. Besides this other features like viewfinder type, LCD screen and integrated battery grip helps in deciding which DSLR one should buy. Below are few options you look into and decide which one can suit you best:

  • Canon EOS 1DX MARK II
  • Canon EOS 5D MARK IV
  • Nikon D850
  • Canon EOS 80D

3. Lenses

There are basically five types of lenses namely Kit Lenses, Standard Prime Lenses, Normal Lenses, Zoom Lenses and Fisheye Lenses. Camera buying depends on what lens you prefer or for what scenario you want a camera. Everything depends on Lens. Here is the detailed explanation of these lenses.

Kit Lenses

Kit lenses as the fancy name suggests typically are the lenses that come bundled with a camera. It is an excellent for general purpose photography and comes with a focal length 18-55mm. It is an inexpensive type of lens and is light in weight and more compact than other types of lenses. It is more known as a starter lens and with a starter lens bearing in mind, it won’t get you fantastic, crisp and clear shots. Kit lenses generally have variable apertures. This can be pretty confusing for a new photographer so it’s something to be sure and understand about your kit lens from the beginning. It can serve as a short telephoto or wide angle lens depending upon your choice.

Kit Lens

Standard Prime Lens

Prime lens is a lens that comes in a fixed one focal length. A fixed focal length means that if you choose a 35mm lens, this standard lens will only give you a 35mm perspective (meaning you can’t zoom in and out with these prime lenses). Prime lenses come in a wide range of focal lengths from wide angles through to the very longest of tele-photo lenses used by many sports photographers. Since it is a simple lens with less moving parts, it is generally smaller in size and lighter as compared to zoom lens. For any wide shots or close ups, you have to move your physical body to get the shot. The performance of a prime lens is better in low light conditions.

Standard Prime Lens

Normal Lens

A Normal Lens comes on a camera with a focal length between 35mm to 50mm. It is also called Standard Lens and sees the world as a human eye does. On a crop sensor camera, a normal lens is about 35mm. Normal Lenses are some of the best lenses for creating a naturalistic perspective. They are best used for shots that aim to replicate the natural perspective of the human eye. The less stylized look of a standard lens can also give a shot a sense of simplicity and rawness. There are some drawbacks of using a normal lens like they fall short in creating varying or distorted perspectives that can be used to visually tell a story. Also Normal Lenses have a narrower angle of view that can restrict what you fit within a frame, which can be tough when shooting in small spaces.

Normal Lens

Zoom Lens

Zoom Lens is that type of lens which offers different focal lengths in a single lens. Due to its versatility, it is great in comparison to standard prime lens which only offers one focal length. This lens has a feature of auto focus function with which you don’t need to run and you can stay at one place for zoom and stable shots. Zoom lenses are heavy in weight as compared to other small and lighter lenses like the kit and prime lens. This camera lens type has typically a higher maximum aperture, meaning many of these lenses won’t go below f/2.8 (creating less compression/bokeh).

Zoom Lens

Fisheye Lens

A Fisheye Lens is popular for outdoor photography, particularly when it comes to providing context for skateboarding or surfing shots. It’s an Ultra-Wide angle lens and is used in abstract photography like the one where someone wants to capture a panoramic shot or view. This lens uses a particular type of “mapping” that purposely distorted lines given a more convex appearance. It helps the photographers to shoot an Ultra-Wide 180 degree view therefore in commercial life it is used in security cameras which can ensure to cover the maximum area possible. As the name suggests, it looks like an actual fish eye, like for instance peeping through door shots taken in the film with the help of this Lens.

Fisheye Lens

4. Goodies or Perks

How many of us go and buy any gadget like laptop, mobile, tablet etc. we just negotiate the deal and get the thing , just the thing ? probably none of us. We all want extras, we all want the goodies and extras attached with the things like laptop bag, headset, wireless mouse, mobile cover and what not. Similarly when deciding to buy a digital camera, you should keep in mind which company or brand is offering deals or accessories with the main camera? Are they offering any memory card, any extra lens, any tripod ? Are they offering any camera bag, any UV filter that you’ll be required when shooting outside ? Keep all this mind while negotiating a deal for your digital camera. Which company gives you the best deal choose that one. Camera buying decision varies depending upon these goodies as well so keep that mind.


5. Price Factor

This is the most important thing to consider. There are many cameras out there who can satisfy your need but it depends on you how much you want to churn out for them. What pushes the camera buying decision from a decent one to an expensive one ? It’s the price factor that deliberately try to change your heart. A decent digital camera for a starter can come within range of ₹30,000, while a more than decent specs with hefty lens can come within ₹60,000 and for professional photographers the range shoots up and above ₹1,00,000 and lens cost is additional. Definitely, if you want to purchase a high-end camera with all features that are there to offer you need to spend a lot more. While some low-end cameras offer complete manual control for amateur photographers who wish to experiment, some stick to the strict point-and-click function.

Here is the bonus, Click the link to find out more about Cameras.

YouTube video by Tech Gear Talk channel talks about bunch of cameras and it’s Ultimate Camera Guide can be helpful. You can go through it and decide which camera suits your budget and will be most useful for you.

So these are the factors you need to keep in mind while deciding what Camera you want to buy. Make sure you fulfill your dreams! 

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