If you’re looking to buy a new point-and-shoot digital camera, then this article is aimed at you. In this article I am going to first look at the most important features of most digital cameras. Then finally, we will take a look at the main digital camera makes available these days.
Most important Features of a Camera
Naturally, all cameras have their own unique set of features, but without some features, a modern digital camera would be almost useless, for instance:
LCD Screen: You can view your photos once you have taken them.
Various Auto Settings: Makes it easy to quickly take photographs using roughly the correct exposure settings for the particular situation.
Zoom: Enables you to get close to the object.
Image Stabilisation: Many cameras these days have this feature, which helps make your images sharper when your hand is a bit shaky.
Additional Features of a Camera
As well as the main features listed in the previous section, here are some extra features that you may want to look out for:
Intelligent Automation: In addition to the various automatic modes described above, some new cameras can now automatically detect the current photographic conditions and select the right settings accordingly.
Smart Portrait System: This is a feature of some Nikon cameras, which detects faces and can even automatically take a photo whenever a person smiles.
Auto Panorama Mode: Quickly create wide panoramic views within the camera by taking multiple photos and then letting it automatically stitch them together.
Face Retouch: Some higher end cameras have the ability to make certain edits within the camera, such as smoothing the skin or removing blemishes.
Built-in GPS: Easily find locations to shoot and record your location for each shot.
The Main Brands and their Product Ranges
Canon: $89-$900. Top camera company, with an incredibly broad collection of products (almost 400 of them) to suit all budgets and requirements.
Olympus: $73-$1,049. As with Canon, another major digital camera brand with a broad collection of cameras available (more than 350 of them).
Sony: $80-$700. As with Olympus, there are over 350 products available here for a wide range of budgets and requirements.
Nikon: $75-700. Also, like Sony, more than 350 digital cameras spread across a large price range.
Kodak: $60-$450. Over 300 cameras, covering everything from simple slim point-and-shoots up to more sophisticated fully-featured cameras with full-size lenses.
Panasonic: $89-$586. Similar to Kodak, all kinds of digital cameras across a large range.
Fuji: $80-$1,000. Also a good brand with a large number of different cameras.
Samsung: $80-$850. Once more, another good make with cameras to suit all budgets and needs.
Pentax: $75-$400. A good series of digital cameras to suit almost anyone.
Casio: $80-350. A decent assortment of digital cameras at very good prices, even for the ones with larger lenses and more features.
Vivitar: $20-$120. A decent range of low priced compact digital cameras. Ideal if you don't have much money.
General Electric: $60-$195. Not a very big range (about 70), mostly compacts.
Polaroid: $24-180. As with General Electric, not a very big collection, and of the compact type. However, if you're struggling money-wise, there are some extremely low budget ones here.