Whenever the time comes to invest in a new camera there are five major things I consider when making my decision. And when I say ‘new camera’ I’m not just talking about a DLSR. I’m talking about any item that is brought into my life which is capable of taking a photo. This includes, but is not limited to, point and shoot cameras, toy cameras for the girls, video cameras, cell phone cameras, cameras built into computers as well as DSLRs. While I am capable of taking a photo in any situation, there is a particular style I like to my photography meaning there are specific things I want a camera to be capable of. Just because a camera is good for someone else doesn’t mean it’s the perfect camera for you, which is why I put forth my major considerations as well as the ones you should ponder when making any camera purchase.
Let’s just get this out of the way, this is a post sponsored by Samsung and while I don’t have the Samsung Galaxy camera in my hot little hands yet, all my social photography parts are tingling in absolute anticipation because when it comes to my major struggles among my cell phone camera (a Samsung Galaxy SIII chosen and purchased by me) my DSLR (a Canon 7D also chosen and purchased by me) and my point and shoot (holy basic Kodak, Batman) The Samsung Galaxy camera seems as though it will step in to fill the gaps between the other three major cameras in my life which makes me think they basically made it just for me as well as people like me, but more on that later.
The five major considerations I have when looking into a new camera are these:
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How quickly can it go from turned off to shutter click? 1 of 5How many times have you missed a perfect moment because you were waiting for a camera to start up? Infuriating right? Right now my DSLR takes the on to shutter click award, with my phone in a close second (I have the camera available immediately from the lock screen) and in third is my point and shoot. She's old. She's tired. Takes a bit to get her going. Another big consideration I used to have which has pretty much been resolved was shutter lag, these days most cameras take a picture as soon as you press the shutter, but it's still a really good idea to double check.
Does it have a macro setting? 2 of 5Macro means you can get up close and personal with an object and your camera. Sadly my DSLR loses this one since I need a special lens to really get my macro on. My phone wins the macro setting round because this? Was taken with my phone. (Point and shoot? You lose this round, no macro setting for you, sorry.)
Can you choose where to focus and how’s the DOF? 3 of 5DOF or depth of field basically means how blurry can the background get when you're focused on something closer to you. f/2.8 is pretty average for most point and shoots and in the right circumstances will give me enough good blur to work with. The lower the f/number the better the camera will do in low light as well. The winner on this one goes to my DSLR and its f/1.4 lens but an honorary trophy goes to my phone with Instagram where I can manually add a little blur where and when needed. (Point and shoot still loses at f/3.5. Womp womp.) As far as selective focusing, both my DSLR and phone win, learning to use selective focusing makes unicorns happy.
How Well Does it Travel? 4 of 5Hey DSLR, you lose this one because not only do you not fit in my pocket? You don't even fit in my purse. Finally the point and shoot gets runner up to my phone which takes all the glory in this category. Does travel well means takes the best photos for the occasion? No, but sometimes you have to rely on the saying "the best camera is the one you have with you."
How easy is it to get photos OFF the camera? 5 of 5My DSLR requires a very specific card reader and computer. My point and shoot requires an even more specific cable or I can take the card out and put it into my computer. There's still all the hubbub of transferring the photos, uploading them, then sharing them with the world. When my phone takes a picture I can send it to a dozen different places at once or I can plug it into my computer and save them all on my hard drive. My daughter once had a toy camera that required a screwdriver and set of pliers to get the photos off (that camera got "lost.")
We are a social generation these days, we take a majority of photos with our mobile devices because they are what is already with us and we can share or lives with our friends immediately. When digital first came on the scene we all knew film was better in a lot of situations but we used digital because it was so easy! Immediate gratification! Mobile photography has become an art form of its own and made the immediate gratification of digital instantaneous.
When you’re looking into a new camera consider what you will be taking photos of, where and when. A majority of my photos are of my kids and my cats in my house where there is really good light. But if you’re a food photographer looking to share your culinary delights? You will need to take an entirely different approach to choosing and selecting a camera, while mobile devices allow you to proclaim your foodie prowess immediately, a good point and shoot or DSLR will allow you to properly capture food in a more visually appealing way.
This is where I get excited about the Samsung Galaxy Camera, all the immediate sharing capabilities of my phone with a quality closer to what I’m used to with my DSLR. It’s a pretty genius idea.
Would you like to win your own Samsung Galaxy Camera? Repin one of the photos from our “Holiday Memories + Moments” Pinterest board with the hashtag #samsungmemories for a chance to win, or upload your own photo onto your personal board with the hashtag #samsungmemories. And from there, we will pick the top twenty photos. Contest ends December 31st, 2012.
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