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Camera buying guides: how to choose the best option for you

We've curated the camera buying guides below based on sensor size, camera type, ability level, feature set and the genre of photography they're best suited for

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There has never been a better time to pick up photography. While photographers even just a decade ago were cutting their teeth on big, clunky, still-primitive DSLRs, camera manufacturers today have really hit their stride. Manufacturers have found ways to pack incredible technology into smaller bodies, streamline the menu systems and give photographers unprecedented control over the image-making process. But with this wealth of tech at our disposal comes the challenge of choosing the right camera for your needs. Here at Camera Jabber, we’ve shot with and extensively tested every new camera and know their strengths and weaknesses. To help you choose the best model for you, we’ve created the specialised camera buying guides below based on genres, ability level and features.

How do I know what camera to buy?

Knowing what camera to buy really depends on several factors:

  • Your budget
  • Your level of ability
  • What you want to shoot

Budget will really dictate here, but let’s say for the moment that budget isn’t a concern for you. A good rule of thumb is to buy a camera that is appropriate for your level of ability but also gives you room to grow.

Some of the entry-level models in our camera buying guides, for instance, have guided modes for brand new photographers. These interfaces take you step-by-step through how to achieve different types of shots and effects. But once you master these you may find yourself needing other features or capabilities to take your work forward that these basic cameras don’t have.

Think about buying a camera like buying a house. When buying a house, if you can stretch your budget to buy someplace with a bit of extra space, it future-proofs your family. The same principle applies to buying a camera. If you’re serious about photography, then it’s wise to invest in a camera you can learn with now and grow into as a photographer.

And if you have specific goals as a photographer, you’ll want to buy a camera that caters to these needs. For instance, if you know you want to become a wildlife photographer or shoot sport, you’ll want a camera that can shoot at high frame rates and has an excellent AF system. If landscapes are your bag, then you’ll want a camera with maximum resolution. Our camera buying guides below will help make this process easier for you.

Which is better, DSLR or mirrorless?

A few years ago, this question provoked some real debate. But these days, the debate is pretty one-sided. Mirrorless cameras offer the better experience overall. Mirrorless cameras are smaller, more portable, provide better AF performance, faster shutter speeds and are better equipped for shooting video. DSLRs may offer a wider choice of lenses and a longer battery life, but on the whole they have been usurped by the mirrorless camera and its innovative technology.

The DSLR isn’t yet dead, but it is certainly on its way out. There will always be a core group of dedicated DSLR users, but for the average photographer we would recommend buying a mirrorless camera.

Which camera company is best?

Every camera company brings something unique to the table, and we explain these in our branded camera buying guides below. Most professional photographers would probably point to Canon, Sony and Nikon as the leaders in the market. The big three certainly lead in terms of sales and market share, but their technological advancements over the years have helped push the industry forward.

However, the collaboration between Panasonic and Olympus in developing the Micro Four Thirds mount helped bring mirrorless photography to the masses. Olympus was a pioneer in in-body image stabilisation. Fujifilm has innovated its mirrorless medium format GFX series, providing ultra-high resolution imaging in an affordable body, and its APS-C X series cameras are some of the best APS-C models you can buy.

Every brand has contributed something to the market and made its mark. The answer to which camera company is best really depends on which camera feature is most important to your work. Again, our camera buying guides below examine current cameras by features and the genre of photography they’re best suited for.

Best cameras for wildlife photography
Modern sensors both full-frame and APS-C format offer fantastic dynamic range and ISO performance, perfect for working with wildlife

Camera buying guides to help you choose

The following list of camera buying guides looks at the best cameras you can buy according to sensor size, camera type, feature set and the genre they are best suited for. As we publish new buying guides, we will update them here.

Camera buying guides for video

Which camera brand do I choose?

Which cameras have…

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1 year ago

I choose a camera to take photos for my site myself. I don’t want to pay big money, but I want to get professional photos. Is it possible to find a cheap but good camera?