Whether you’re mastered your old point-and-shoot and started feeling limited by its capabilities or you’re simply looking to upgrade your existing setup, getting a new camera can be an intimidating experience. With so many options readily available and spreadsheets looking crazier by the model, camera companies are making it harder for an average consumer to find the right camera that best suits their needs and their wallets. Bellow, we’ve prepared some advice to help you find your way in the messy world of cameras and camera equipment.

Megapixels aren’t everything

Megapixel count directly correlates to the resolution and overall quality of the pictures you’re taking. The more megapixels a camera has, the better a photo will be. That said, having a camera with a high megapixel count does not correlate to making a good photograph. Even the professionals say that they still use their old point-and-shoot whenever they can, so it all boils down to personal preference. Just make sure you don’t get so distracted by the specs, that you overlook any other issues a camera could have.

Be careful with the zoom

People tend to let this fact slide without giving it much thought, but there’s a substantial difference between optical and digital zoom. Optical zooming is achieved using an array of lenses positioned in such a way that it lets the user focus on a single point or a subject they want to zoom into. Digital zoom, however, uses software to blow up a certain part of the picture, which results in pixelation and overall a poor quality picture. Pay close attention to the spec sheet and if you’re going to invest in a zoom lens, try not to go overboard with the price, as they can get quite expensive.

Purpose of use

This is the single most important aspect you need to consider when getting a new camera. There’s a big difference in cameras and not every model is suitable for every type of photography. Most people are more than satisfied with the automatic presets the majority of cameras have and can get by using just a simple point-and-shoot to get the job done. Nonetheless, there are those two require much more control when shooting a photograph and like to fiddle around with the manual mode. Although you want a camera that gives you the most control over your photos, what model you will pick depends heavily on the way you’ll be using it.

equipmentWatch out for build quality

As there are hundreds of manufacturers and millions of models to choose from, finding a camera with an excellent build quality is imperative. You don’t want to see your camera in pieces after accidentally falling from just a few feet. There are no specific rules when it comes to build quality and it varies not only from one manufacturer to another but also from model to model. If you’re unsure about the quality, you can always check for digital cameras online or at your local camera shop.

Accessorize

Depending on the type of photography you’d like to be doing, having a good camera can mean nothing without the proper equipment accompanying it. Carrying bags, cleaning kits, batteries, memory cards and tripods, all of these are used to get the most out of your photography experience. Granted, you don’t need to carry every piece of equipment with you all the times, but having at least have a few spare battery packs and extra memory cards is recommended, as they go through the most use during a shoot.

Getting the right camera that suits your particular line of work can be a tricky business. With numerous manufacturers, countless types of models and various price points, an average person can be somewhat overwhelmed when trying to make that decision. Always compare different models and manufacturers and study the specs thoroughly before wasting all your money. Bear in mind that you don’t really need the latest and the most expensive edition and that you can get a model that work just as good as the top of line one, for a fraction of the price.