Today at the electronic store I saw people looking at cameras and it was obvious they had no idea which is which and would be looking purely at the size and color. Like a lot of regular consumers they probably end up buying something, set it on auto and take photos. When dSLR went mainstream lots of people bought one for their casual shooting and then realizing it was over their head. Till today I see lots of secondhand ads of people saying their are selling their dSLR because it is too much for what they need.
I realized that it’s the modern day syndrome, a lot of choice and a lot of different technology. Non-tech people will just buy the newest, the biggest or the smallest because they assume it’s the best. So I decided to share the steps I take when deciding which camera to buy.
Make a list for yourself of what you what in a camera, for example:
- small sized
- HD video capability
- a lot of zoom
- which brand
Start at dpreview and look for the latest cameras and their reviews, if you don’t want to spend too much money look at cameras that are already a minimal of six months on the market. Make a selection of 2 to 4 cameras that are to your liking.
Next go to Steve’s Digicams for an in depth review. I personally don’t read every word but I read the final conclusion, the pros and the cons. The sample photos are nicely done too compared to other review sites.
And then in my opinion the best site to decide on a camera, Flickr. You just search the model number and you’ll get hundreds of photos taken with that camera and groups/discussions dedicated to it. On Flickr there are all kind of users with photos taken in different situations such as nature, street or night. You can see their photos, what they can produce with said camera and read opinions. This way you can get more feel if someone knows what they are talking about, then some John Doe with no profile in a review forum.
As for myself I just spend two days reading up on compact digital cameras looking for ones that pack more power then regular point and shoots. And it’s like this with everything, even a simple external hard drive I won’t just go out and buy one on a hunch. While I will always stay price conscious I will read up on the products and the choices there are before I set foot in a store. Makes one miss the simpler days when there was only one iPod.