If you're new to photography or looking to upgrade your equipment, choosing the right camera can be a daunting task. 

With so many options available, it's important to find a camera that suits your needs and helps you capture the images you want. 

In this article, we'll explore how to choose the right camera, with a focus on understanding the key factors that go into choosing a camera that's right for you.

Determine your budget before buying a new camera

Determine your budget

One of the first questions beginners ask themselves is “how much should a good camera cost?” but, this question often goes back to another question, “how much are you willing to spend?”

The first thing you need to do before buying a camera is to set a budget. Something that you are comfortable with. Of course, you could be flexible. However, do not be tempted to go overboard especially if you are just starting out.

Camera prices range from a few hundred dollars and can go as steep as a couple of thousand. You would not want to spend that much and end up giving up on photography after a year or two.

Moreover, you should also consider the additional costs of owning a camera. If you have a point-and-shoot then set aside a budget for memory cards, bags, and other camera accessories. The same goes if you have a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, you need to consider the lenses that you will purchase.

On the other hand, if you are a professional photographer and you want to take the next step forward, you also need to set your budget and find a camera that fits your needs.

Three cameras side by side

What type of camera to buy

Once you have set your budget, the next step is to determine what type of camera to buy. Mirrorless cameras are on the frontline but, DSLR cameras are still viable. Point-and-shoots are worth considering but, they have their own genre to fill.

Let’s talk about the first camera type – mirrorless cameras. This type of camera is becoming more popular today due to its size and performance.

It can produce top-notch images without the bulk and weight of a DSLR. It features interchangeable lenses and super fast AF systems as well.

Meanwhile, Digital Single Lens Reflex or DSLR cameras are on a decline with their sales getting eaten by mirrorless cameras.

This does not mean that they are not a good choice though. DSLRs are more than capable of beginner and professional work. 

However, most camera brands are shifting their focus to the mirrorless camera market and you might end up without an upgrade path soon.

Lastly, point-and-shoot cameras are great for street photography or for scenarios where you need to bring a camera. 

The challenge with these compact cameras is sometimes a smartphone is more than enough already especially now that smartphone cameras are getting better and better.

The decision on which camera to buy boils down to the type of photography you want to do. Beginners would opt for an all-around camera while professionals would focus on several factors such as AF speed, build quality, and resolution among others.

Film camera with exposed sensor

Sensor size: which one is the best?

The next thing we are going to talk about is the sensor size. Which sensor size is the best? Well, some photographers would argue that the larger the sensor, the better. That is true to an extent.

Large sensors produce high-quality images with great dynamic range and excellent low-light performance. But, you need to prepare your waller as these cameras come at a higher price tag.

On the other hand, APS-C sensors are also capable of producing high-quality images. They have an acceptable dynamic range but others offer blazing-fast AF speed as well.

Another sensor size is the micro 4/3. It is smaller than APS-C and can also produce excellent images.

There are different sensor sizes you can choose from. Remember though that each sensor size has a different price tag.

Ultimately, the best camera sensor size is the one inside the camera you can afford.

By the way, check out our comparison between APS-C and Full frame sensors for wildlife photography. It will give you a glimpse of the differences of the two.

Camera with a lot of lenses

Consider the Lens Options

DSLR cameras have a wide range of lens selections since they have been around longer than mirrorless cameras. Each major brand has its own catalog of lenses that will fulfill any photography genre.

Different lenses have varying focal lengths and apertures. This means you need to check if the camera type you are going for has the lens for the type of photography you are doing.

There is no one lens to rule them all. You need to consider multiple lenses before pulling the trigger on a camera system.

However, the standard kit lens for DSLR and mirrorless cameras will give you an idea of what type of lens you should get next.

To sum it up, check out the lens options before buying a camera. Some brands have pricier lenses compared to other brands too so that is also worth checking out.

Choose a camera with manual settings

Check the features

When choosing a camera, it's important to prioritize features that are essential to your type of photography.

Modern cameras have a lot of features, from basic to advanced, so it's important to choose a camera that will aid you in your chosen photography genre.

These features include image stabilization, autofocus, and video capabilities. 

Image stabilization helps to reduce camera shake and produce sharper images, while fast autofocus makes it easier to capture sharp, in-focus images.

Moreover, video capabilities allow you to capture high-quality video footage in addition to still images. This is a needed feature if you want to practice videography as well.

Keep in mind that more advanced features often come with a higher price tag, so it's important to prioritize the features you want before buying a new camera.

Canon eos R5 review

Do your own research and check reviews

It's important to read reviews before making a purchase. Do your research to ensure that the camera you're considering is a good fit for your needs. 

Look for reviews from other photographers, especially those that shoot the same type of photos as you. Better yet, consider visiting a camera store and trying different cameras thoroughly. Compare each and every feature while you are at it.

Reading reviews and doing your research can help you get a better idea of the camera's strengths and weaknesses. For instance our Canon R5 review is a good benchmark on how the camera is until now.

This will also give you a better understanding of how it performs in real-world situations. 

You can also look for sample images taken with the camera to get an idea of the image quality and overall performance. Popular camera models have a lot of samples online. Make sure to check the images that fit the work you want to achieve.

You can make an informed decision by doing your due diligence and choosing a camera that fits your needs. Think of it as custom gloves that only you can wear. A camera that is tailored to your needs is the best camera for you.

Girl wearing a Canon EOS camera

Let us sum it up

Choosing the best camera is a challenging task but, hopefully, you now have an idea of what 

camera to get.

Do not forget to consider several factors such as budget, camera type, sensor, and lens options. From there, you can then slim down your options and see which one works best for you.

Always remember, the best camera is the one you have right now. Make the most out of it and it will give you the best images it can. 

Always remember, the best camera is the one you have right now. Make the most out of it and it will give you the best images it can.

Aim Orallo