Photography is powered by Vocal creators. You support Charlotte Burgundy by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Photography is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

Ultimate Guide to Buying the Perfect Camera

Choosing the right camera for you will be easy once you go through this guide to buying the perfect camera.

Image courtesy William Bayreuther 

Many of you reading the title probably have a few thoughts about it. For instance, you may be one of the "there really is no such thing as 'perfect'" crowd, and we are with you on that! You might also know, as one camera expert lamented, that in "today’s photography industry is that there are no bad cameras." In other words, a guide to buying the perfect camera may seem almost impossible. There are too many to suggest, right? Actually, not right, because the simple truth is that there are options that are contemporary and new to the market; featuring the latest innovations and refinements, and they are usually superior to previous iterations.

There is also the personal side of things. In other words, what is the perfect camera for you to buy? Again, as that expert so aptly reminded us, "cameras differ enormously… in how well-suited they are to the types of photos you like to take, how convenient they are to bring with you, and how easy they are to use."

The goal of this guide will be to point each individual towards the ideal; the currently perfect model for their specific needs and goals. After all, selecting the ideal tool for the job is the one way to succeed. As a simple illustration of this, you may be looking at the different cameras and unsure if you need an entry level "point and shoot camera" or one of the more DSLR cameras with lots of manual controls. You may be wondering if mirrorless cameras can get you the high quality shots you covet or if you should think about a full frame camera. There are many advantages of a mirror camera, in fact. There are options for WiFi connectivity in almost any digital camera, and yet buying a camera can be even more complicated than all of that.

And so, we must keep such things in mind as we take a look at the things to consider when buying the perfect camera.

The Needs to Consider When Buying the Perfect Camera for You

The Nikon D750 via B&H Photo

So, just what do you intend to do with your new camera? The experts suggest the following list of "needs" or "goals" will most likely influence or shape your search:

More than a smartphone, but less than a professional DSLR? If you are ready for something a bit more advanced than your smartphone, but you may not want to invest time or money in learning about lenses and camera bodies, it is a "point and shoot" type of camera for you. These are usually small, compact, and quite durable. Where they improve on smartphone cameras is in their sensor sizes and their larger lenses with adjustable sizes and more control over lighting. You'll also find some with settings that let you generate specific effects (i.e. blurred foreground or background, portrait modes, and more). Currently, two of the most highly rated are the Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS with large sensors, powerful zooms, and lots of important features when buying the perfect camera.

Coolpix B500 by Nikon

The Nikon Coolpix B500 is an excellent option if you're not looking to start out with a DSLR. It is currently one of the highest rated cameras featuring a super telephoto lens and 1080p Full HD video.

PowerShot SX720 HS by Canon

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS is another favorite DSLR alternative. Small and compact, the PowerShot features 20 megapixels, 4x digital zoom, image stabilization and 1080p HD video. 

Cybershot DSC-HX80 by Sony

This is an easy to use camera with a great zoom for nature, travel and sports photos. Again, most who want this sort of camera actually want it to be small and portable, but with an effective long zoom. You can find point and shoot options with digital zooms or DSLR bodies with "optical" zooms and interchangeable lenses. The premium superzoom cameras available now include the point and shoot Sony Cybershot DSC-HX80 that is highly portable and offers an amazingly clear 30x zoom. 

Lumix DC-FZ80 by Panasonic

The Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 is a DSLR is a bit more advanced with premium focusing and burst photo modes. Buying the perfect camera for such shots is not always easy, but taking each of these as a whole will be sure to give you the clarity you had not thought possible with digital zooms.

Something a Little More Compact

Fujifilm X-A5 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 15-45mm Lens via B&H Camera

I know how to shoot with my high end DSLR, but want a smaller option with the same features. It is cumbersome to tote the camera body, a bag of lenses and more. Yet, to give up those controls is hard. Mid-range cameras are the best, particularly mirrorless camera bodies. This enables them to be much narrower, but still offer an interchangeable lens camera. Some of the finest available include the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera and the Fujifilm X-T20 Mirrorless Digital Camera, which both have a fast focus, stable images, premium lenses, and more. If you already have a pro-quality camera, or know how to make one work well, buying the perfect camera for portability is possible with those below.

OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera by Olympus

This is the perfect option for a frequent traveler looking for a small camera with DSLR capabilities. It's perfect for people on the go, but not wanting to sacrifice quality. The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II features the micro four thirds technology and moving recording capabilities.

X-T20 Mirrorless Digital Camera by Fujifilm

The Fujifilm features fast focus, stable images, and is lightweight for photographers wanting a premium camera in a small package. It has everything you need including an updated sensor and tilting touchscreen LCD monitor.

X-A5 by Fujifilm

The best starter option is the Fujifilm X-A5 for its amazing image quality, auto modes, manual controls, and excellent lenses. The 180 degree tilting rear LCD screen allows you to get shots from a variety of positions and the built-in Bluetooth allows you to get your photos downloaded quickly and on the go.

D750 by Nikon

You will also find that many suggest buying the perfect camera means the Nikon D750, and you may want to check it out, too. It has all the popular features that Nikons are known for in a professional body. It's also one of the best DSLR cameras for beginners

Or Waterproof...

I need lots of good features, but also need to be able to take my camera almost anywhere. This might be more of a challenge since not every camera has professional features in a durable body. You can get options that do wide angle and zoom without additional lenses, but you may not have a large enough electronic viewfinder, making buying the perfect camera of this kind tough. However, the experts suggest the Olympus PEN-F Mirrorless Micro four thirds digital camera and the Nikon COOLPIX W300. Though radically different, both are meant to provide professional quality "street shooting" and yet take substantial amounts of wear and tear.

PEN-F Mirrorless Micro by Olympus

It's one of the first mirrorless cameras on the market and still a favorite among professional street and travel photographers. Get quality shots on the go with the micro four thirds mirrorless technology and TruePic VII image processing.

COOLPIX W300 by Nikon

Similar to the Olympus PEN, the Nikon CoolPix is another favorite amongst photographers looking for a lightweight camera with professional quality. It's one fo the best waterproof digital cameras available right now.

Clearly, there are many more options available, and many more goals. Yet, this buying guide is meant to address some of the most common needs when someone is buying the perfect camera their specific goals.

Charlotte Burgundy
Charlotte Burgundy

A reformed alcoholic, Charlotte has finally learned to enjoy in moderation. She is a total wine lover who will go wherever the best product is. Wine festivals in New York? Vineyards in France? The simple home of an Italian matriarch? She’ll sip the best of what the world has to offer and tell you all about it.

Now Reading
Ultimate Guide to Buying the Perfect Camera
Read Next
Photos + My Library