Choosing a new camera is not at all easy for the quantity of models that exist on the market and for the different specification and technical characteristics. Taking into account personal and individual needs, with our test we can help you in your choice.
Today’s cameras are very versatile, however, before buying one it is good to understand what the needs are – as professionals, as aspiring ones or as simple enthusiasts – and what are the contexts in which we will use it, family photos, travel, nature, photos of sports in motion, reportage, video. Once this is done, it will certainly be easier to orient yourself in the choice, since there are various categories of cameras on the market. Let’s see which ones.
Types of Cameras:
Cameras are available in different types, shapes and sizes and there is no single way to classify them: our approach is to divide them based on certain technical characteristics that they have in common. Those who have very specific needs (for example a machine with a powerful zoom but that can fit in a jacket pocket) can first address a type and then check its zoom factor, weight and size on the product page.
We currently divide digital cameras into 6 categories.
Medium small cameras, they are also defined as compact cameras (albeit improperly because, despite being compact, they fall into the category of standard cameras but are not exclusive to this category), they are typically the cheapest and easiest to use cameras but also those with less sophistication: simplicity, lightness and size are favored but often this is to the detriment of the overall quality of the photos that must be checked and is not affected too much.
Since the advent of smartphones, their market shares have been significantly reduced but still retain an advantage over these devices: the possibility of having an optical zoom that produces better results.
Super Zoom cameras, as the name implies, are characterized by the fact that they have a very versatile lens with a high zoom factor (from 20x upwards). This allows you to have, in a single camera, a wide angle suitable for glimpses, landscapes, photos of groups of people and a pushed canvas to capture a distant detail, a wild animal or enlarge an architectural detail.
Magnifications are the masters, but often end up becoming a lark mirror: already at 200mm equivalent it becomes difficult to photograph without support, at 600mm and beyond a tripod or a support surface become indispensable. The stabilizer helps, but does not work miracles: it is still good to check that it does its duty well and that the quality of the photos is equally good.
Although the ‘zoom’ in the collective imagination is a large and bulky lens, some machines of this type are very compact: the size of the lens depends in the first instance on the size of the sensor.
These machines are very sophisticated and allow complete control, deactivating all automatisms, on all laying parameters. It is also possible to save photos without the internal pre-processing that machines normally apply: this allows you to process the photos more easily later with photo editing programs.
The advanced, very heterogeneous category that manufacturers often identify as ‘bridge’ cameras because they are the bridge between reflex and compact cameras, are usually combined with medium-sized sensors (1 “and above), but sometimes it happens to come across even in a full frame.
The optics are on average of better quality than those mounted on other fixed lens machines. Also in this field, it ranges from fixed focal length lenses (usually a 35mm) to very versatile and powerful zooms. It all obviously depends on the type of photography you practice.
If you want a very selective focus, it is also important to consider the aperture: for close-ups or portraits it is better to choose a camera whose lens allows apertures lower than F / 4, even better if F / 2.8.
These machines are designed to be used outdoors, under bad weather and withstand shocks, vibrations and falls. Some can be immersed in water and continue to function. They are machines designed for those who play sports, for free time and for children. Unfortunately, the quality of the photos is quite low because the optical part is a bit sacrificed to be sufficiently robust and compact to be inserted inside a resistant shell.
There are two characteristics that define the modern digital SLR:
The ability to change the lens to choose the one that best suits the purpose;
Being equipped with a rear optical viewfinder where you can see the scene as it is shot from the lens. For this reason they have always been a favorite of professional photographers and photography enthusiasts.
These are medium heavy and bulky devices. The price, on the other hand, is very varied and there is something for all budgets, even for those who would like to start with the hobby of photography but are not willing to risk spending too much.
These cameras have interchangeable lenses like the SLR but lack the optical viewfinder. Like other digital cameras, the preview is shown on a rear screen or on an electronic viewfinder. The advantage is that the photographer can see a preview of what the sensor captures.
For years, mirror less cameras have been considered the younger sisters of SLRs and have been unfairly snubbed by photography purists. Today, however, there are high-end mirror less cameras that have adequate performance even for professionals. There are compact mirror less cameras, often smaller than the lens they are fitted with, as well as mirror less cameras as large and bulky as DSLRs. The cost also varies greatly; the entry levels are also accessible for the budget-conscious hobbyist, while, of course, the best ones cost thousands of dollars.
Pay attention to lens compatibility:
For both DSLRs and mirror less cameras, it should be borne in mind that anyone who buys an interchangeable lens camera must deal with the lenses and their attachment system: each manufacturer has a different and proprietary system and, moreover, , the attachment systems for mirror less and Reflex are different, which is why changing from one brand to another also means changing your lens park.
Fortunately, there is a thriving second-hand market where you can buy and sell lenses for which to abandon one brand for another or switch from a reflex to a mirror less, you can also do it with an eye on your wallet.
Reflex and mirror less cameras typically use medium-large format sensors: the most sought-after are those with a ‘full frame’ sensor, the size of a 36x24mm film. The framed area, the depth of field and the ‘feeling’ are equivalent to those of a film camera, with all the advantages of digital technology.
Where to buy the camera?
Now that you have all the elements to be able to choose the ideal camera for your needs, all you have to do is consult our test to buy the best product at the best price. We can help you by showing not only the results of the laboratory tests, but also the characteristics of each machine so that you can choose the one that best suits each one. Find out where it is convenient.