What features should I look for when buying a digital camera?

Parul Gupta October 30, 2012

I need to buy a point & shoot digital camera, but they all look similar to me.
What features should I look for?
Feel free to recommend me some. Budget= $125 more or less.

  1. Achim D
    April 21, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    It really depends on what you are planning to shoot. If it is just for some Holiday and Family shots you can use really any camera. Here are few things that you should have in a camera:

    1. Megapixels
    Generally more is better. The picture quality increases with more Megapixels. You can get some great photos with a 10MP camera. Today you can get more. If you want to print really large prints from your photos get as many megapixel as possible. If you only use the photos in online sharing 10 or less is enough.

    2. Flash
    Make sure the camera has a flash. I dont think there are any without but it is worth mentioning.

    3. Integration with your computer
    It is important that you can download images easily to the computer. Some cameras allow wireless download which I regard as a feature all cameras will have in the next 5 years. Here is a great camera that makes shring your photos real easy: the Samsung Galaxy Camera that has its own mobile connection: http://ad-photography.biz/samsung-galaxy-camera-ek-gc100-8gb-white-android-os-v4-1-jelly-bean-3g-unlocked-hsdpa-850-900-1900-2100/

    4. Lens
    What kind of lens does the camera have and how fast is it. Normally a camera has a value of what the maximum aperture it support. The smaller that value the wider the lens opens. It normally says something like f/4.3 on the lens.
    The reason you want this is that in low light you can shoot longer freehand

    5. ISO
    Last but not least how much ISO does the camera support. ISO is the sensitivity of the camera and how clean the photos look in low light. The higher this value the better.

    Hope this helps. You can find more information at http://ad-photography.biz/

  2. Abba Jee
    November 29, 2012 at 8:57 am

    1- its lenz
    2- Mega Pixel Pics , Video
    3- L.C.D panel
    4- Software
    5- Most Important ( Price )

  3. Aditya Roy
    November 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    i would recommend Nikon Coolpix S3300

    • Parul Gupta
      November 8, 2012 at 7:25 am

      thanks for your answer. i have finalized Canon PowerShot A2300

      • Aditya Roy
        November 8, 2012 at 7:35 am

        i would suggest you do compare them before you order

        • Parul Gupta
          November 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm

          i already did. why so?

        • Aditya Roy
          November 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm

          well... it had an extra optical zoom for same prize. :P

        • Aditya Roy
          November 11, 2012 at 6:08 pm

          U should have gone for atleast A2400 coz it only a few hundred extra bucks and has optical image stabilization.

  4. Aditya Roy
    November 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I would recommend go for nikon. they have better features than canon for same price and cheaper than sony.

  5. Erlis D.
    November 1, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    The most important thing to check is optical zoom and megapixel!
    You can find a camera with 5-10x optical zoom and 14-16 Megapixel, for around $180-$200.. For your budget, I would suggest a 12-14 MP and 5x zoom.. Look for a Nikon or Cannon model, since you can find them cheap too! You can find Olympus even cheaper, but I don't like them.. And I don't want to suggest them to you!

    • Parul Gupta
      November 4, 2012 at 7:15 am

      In India one can can get a canon with 5X optical zoom, 16 MP cam
      in 6500 rupees, which is $120.
      i myself prefer canon. nikon and sony.

      • Erlis D.
        November 4, 2012 at 9:00 pm

        I think we are the same about the type of camera we like! :)
        Btw, I talked with the prices in europe.. But I think in India, prices could be lower!

  6. susendeep dutta
    November 1, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Have a look at the article link below -


    It has given some points to be considered while looking for camera under $200 budget and also suggests some good camera too.

  7. Harish Jonnalagadda
    October 31, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    An image sensor makes a huge difference over the other criteria. As most of the click and shoots have similar features, I would suggest going for the A2300.

  8. Rob Hindle
    October 31, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    There's no easy answer. You've had a few useful suggestions already (and sadly, as seems to have become all too common here, several that have nothing to say, they are just trying to get points and ranking on Make Use Of). Anyway my shortlist is:
    Buy a premium brand
    Decide whether you prefer good but expensive camera-specific rechargeable batteries or the convenience of being able to buy AA or AAA cells just about anywhere (but that limits choice a lot)
    A good lens is more important than high megapixels
    Take no notice of "Digital zoom" optical zoom is all that matters
    High optical zoom is useless without image stabilisation (unless you use a tripod small movements of your hand when you press the shutter are amplified by high zoom)
    Decide how important low light photos are to you (i.e. indoors without flash) Large aperture lenses will capture more light.
    Think about the environment, if you are likely to be using it in wet or dusty places some cameras are better than others.
    Size may be important, one of my criteria is "must fit in a shirt pocket". Cameras with large optical zoom tend to be fatter.
    If Video is important to you then cameras at this price level are probably not the best choice.

    The cost of compact digital cameras has come down a lot and features have improved over the last couple of years in response to the improved capabilities of the camera features in mobile phones. So if your requirements are not too demanding it's possible that a phone upgrade may be an alternative. On the other hand because the premium brands have had to cut price and improve features, the saving by going for a cheap brand is much smaller than before and there are few "bad" cameras at your price point.

    Some cameras just present you with too many menu choices, buttons, mode selection dials etc, unless you are a photography enthusiast look for simplicity.
    Small things can make a big difference. I had a Panasonic Lumix where the catch mechanism on the battery compartment would not just pop open unexpectedly but the tiny components of the catch would fall out (newer models fixed that). Another camera had an press to turn on button next to and nearly the same as the shutter button so instead of taking a photo I'd sometimes hit the wrong button and turn the camera off.

    My current (Lumix) has a slider switch to turn off/on but there's another similar slider to switch between taking photos and viewing photos leading to a different kind of confusion. Turn the camera on and the lens doesn't extend because the slider is at photo-viewing mode. May not sound like a big deal but a couple of extra seconds is the difference between getting a good photo and being too late.
    Time taken between switching on and the camera being ready to take photos or the minimum time between taking shots varies and may matter to you.

    One approach may be to buy a very cheap camera, use that for a while so you gain a better understanding of what matters and what doesn't for your needs. Then you'll be in a better position to choose a more expensive model.

  9. Ahmed Khalil
    October 31, 2012 at 11:29 am

    optical zoom, then megapixel ,and digital zoom

  10. ha14
    October 31, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Point and Shoot Digital Cameras under $150

    -look for "optical zoom," or the actual capabilities of the built-in lens. you won't find an optical zoom lens with magnification greater than 4x in most inexpensive models.
    -viewfinder or LCD (depends on how much battery LCD use)
    -Effective image sensore pixels (14 to 16 megapixels)
    -Iso sensitivity: Auto, Iso 80/100/200/400/800/1600/3200
    -Image compression
    -Movie format
    -full 1080p HD video capabilities
    -Optical Image Stabilizer for better picture-taking even with a shaky hand,
    -point and shoot without having to worry about which mode setting is ideal for the environment.
    -waterproof from 3-10m
    -drop-proof from 1 to 2 meters
    -dust and moisture proof

    Samsung SH100 wifi enabled

  11. DalSan Mack
    October 31, 2012 at 8:41 am

    The lens type matters (like Schneider Kreuznach) a little more than the amount of megapixels. 10 megapixels or more would be good for less pixelation and bigger prints. Optical zoom always beats digital zoom, so the higher the better. Try to get one with good rechargeable batteries for longer lengths of time for usage (lithium ion). Must major brands will do well, Nikon and Canon being the top, then Olympus, Fuji Film, Kodak, etc. As long as you are good and steady with a camera, good results will come.

  12. Aniket Singh
    October 31, 2012 at 7:01 am

    If you follow the step-by-step plan below, you will gain a detailed understanding of choosing a digital camera based on its specifications. If you don't have time, here are my big three qualifications:

    At least eight megapixels.
    A High Optical Zoom (six to 10 is great).
    Lots of creative modes.
    Two other important qualifications include:

    Versatile storage, preferably on an SD card.
    Wide aperture, F. 2.6 is great for low light situations

  13. Jim Chambers
    October 31, 2012 at 3:55 am

    Most name brand cameras in this price range are very similar. Pick the one you like. Don't pick an off brand.

  14. Naveen Kumar
    October 31, 2012 at 3:50 am

    under $125 you get less features only...........

  15. Adrian Rea
    October 31, 2012 at 1:19 am

    go for optical zoom figures over software zoom

  16. Allan Morris
    October 31, 2012 at 12:12 am

    You should look for a pocketable camera with manual controls, a low noise sensor, and a wide angle zoom. I favor Sony digital cameras, and I would recommend the H-90, which has a 16x wide angle zoom.

  17. Tarek Ramadan
    October 30, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    this is the most helpful website


    • Douglas Mutay
      November 1, 2012 at 10:01 am

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  18. Anonymous
    October 30, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Well, you first have to ask yourself what will the camera be used for. If you want to have a camera for your family events, vacations etc, then you should probably go towards a compact camera.
    On the other hand, if you want to get into printing your shots, fashion photography, microstock photography and you also have money to invest, then a DSLR camera is the way to go.
    Of course, if you are a beginner into photography, they you should get a compact camera - they have a lot of predefined functions that spare you the time to learn how to use at a more higher level your camera.

    • Parul Gupta
      October 31, 2012 at 8:51 am

      please read the question before answering.
      its already mentioned that i need a point & shoot camera.
      point & shoot camera = compact camera

  19. siddharth singh
    October 30, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    best way would be to search for cameras within your budget and compare the features according to you need

    • Parul Gupta
      October 31, 2012 at 9:01 am

      that's what i am doing siddharth, the problem is the features are all so similar,
      A 10k camera has the almost the same features as a 6k camera.
      I am having difficulty understanding whether those slight changes are worth the extra money.

      • Parul Gupta
        October 31, 2012 at 9:14 am

        For example check this 3 camera:
        Canon PowerShot A2300(Price 6.5k)
        Canon PowerShot A2400 (7.4k)
        Canon PowerShot A810(5k)

        All have same features:
        16.0 megapixel Camera
        CCD Image Sensor
        5x Optical Zoom and 4x Digital Zoom
        HD Recording
        2.7 inch TFT Colour (Wide Viewing Angle)
        35 mm Equivalent Focal Length: 28 - 140 mm
        f/2.8 - f/6.9 Aperture

  20. Srinivas N
    October 30, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    I am not into Photography but i hope this will help you for sure to make a wise decision in sync with your requirements

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