Things to Consider When Camera Shopping This Summer
Summer is a great time to catch up with friends and family, hang out at the park or beach and also travel if you can! However, don’t get caught up in the hype of which camera to buy – we don’t all need or want massive DSLRs hanging around our necks while trying to take a quick snap by the pool. Here is a breakdown on some of the jargon you may come across when comparing models – and what they mean.
A megapixel is 1,048,576 pixels. The prefix ‘mega’ meaning one million. The word pixel is short for Picture Element. English lesson aside, this is just basically what the images you see are made up of. Each pixel is a dot that holds one colour at a time. Because they are so small, together they make up the various colours that ultimately make your picture. Tip: Just because the megapixel count is higher – it does not mean it is a better camera. If you’re not too technical, try comparing the image quality across the brands while you’re in the store, rather than get overwhelmed in the science and terminology.
These are used to capture the information of the picture you take. They consist of photosites which could be considered as the equivalent of film in “old school” cameras. Every digital camera will have one. You are most likely to come across two types; CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) and CCD (Charged Couple Device). The basic differences between the two are CMOS converts data simultaneously while CCD converts data sequentially. CMOS tend to be the fastest and the cheapest.
You may find yourself looking at numbers with ‘mm’ after them. The ‘mm’ is a metric measurement standing for millimeter. The numbers represent the range of the lens. It is the distance between the camera’s sensor and the first piece of glass of the lens.
- Optical Image Stabiliser
This feature compensates for your shaky hands when taking a photo so your photos don’t blur. It acts in “real time” so it doesn’t affect the outcome of your photo.
There are two resolutions in high definition video – 720 and 1080. They are typically followed with the letter ‘p’ or ‘i’. The ‘p’ stands for progressive and the ‘i’ stands for interlaced. They describe how the image is being presented to you. If you’re really interested these details are a good place to start your research. As camera’s are getting “smarter” there is a lot more jargon printed on the packaging but at least you have some basics now. Also remember to check out the battery life, the SD card type (they’re not all the same size) and if the accessories you want are compatible with the camera you’re eyeing. If all else fails you can always just pick the prettiest one.