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How to choose a camera: an overview of the best models and reviews of manufacturers
How to choose a camera: an overview of the best models and reviews of manufacturers

This article is intended to help those who are going to buy (but do not know how to choose) a camera. Experienced users may also find useful information on the most popular alternatives.

How to choose the right camera: essential features

Don't buy a camera if it lacks at least one of the following features that have become standard in today's models.

  • Image stabilizer. Shaky hands can ruin a shot, but the best cameras are equipped with optical stabilizers to keep your shots sharp. Cheaper models use digital correction, but it is not as effective.
  • LCD screen. A good display should be bright and clear so that you can view the photo or sight even in strong sunlight. The standard is a 3” diagonal screen.
  • Manual setting. In the price range above 10 thousand rubles, even basic digital cameras provide, at least partially, manual control, while high-end models give you full control over focus, aperture, shutter speed, etc.Some cameras allow you to set custom functions.
  • Strong optical zoom. Most modern digital cameras provide adequate optical zoom.
  • HD video. Many modern cameras can record high-definition videos. However, some models only provide 720p recording. High performance cameras can usually record 4K video.
  • Timer. All digital cameras allow you to set a time delay so that the photographer can join the shooting group.
  • Wireless connection. If you want an easy way to back up or transfer photos to your smartphone or tablet, then before choosing a camera, you need to check if it supports wireless Wi-Fi. Some models also allow connected devices to remotely control the camera.
  • Autofocus. Most digital cameras can automatically focus on the subject.
Olympus Tough TG-5

What to decide?

Cost. For $11,000, you can get a compact, handy camera for quick shooting with limited creative control. If you need higher image quality, longer zoom or the ability to change lenses, the price will increase to 14 thousand rubles. and much higher for the best SLRs.

Size. Modern cameras can fit in a jeans or jacket pocket. Compacts with interchangeable lenses are usually larger. Such devices weigh about 140 g, so they do notmake your backpack or jacket too burdensome for outdoor adventures.

Is protection needed? Good cameras, as a rule, are not made of plastic, but of durable light metal. The best of them are sealed to protect against dust and rain. But you can find surprisingly durable and waterproof cameras for less than 28 thousand rubles. The quality of their photos will not be professional, but sufficient to please the photographer himself.

How many megapixels do you really need? Some of the best digital cameras only have a 12MP image sensor. Some offer 24 megapixels or more, which delivers crisp details when printing large photos. However, practice shows that not everything always works this way, so you should not judge the camera only by this indicator.

Are you planning to shoot moving objects? If so, before choosing a digital camera, you need to check the shooting speed. The fastest cameras can capture 16 or more frames per second. Again, don't judge by numbers alone: ​​the best models are equipped with fast processors that can quickly handle such a stream of data, but many make you wait until the data is written to the memory card.

Will special effects and modes be used? Even cheap cameras provide at least a few of these features. For example, you can give a photo a nostalgic sepia tone or make it look like a miniature model.

Sony Cyber-shot RX10 Mark III

Is it necessaryshooting in RAW format? Most basic digital cameras only record images as JPEG files that are pre-processed in-camera (sharpening, smoothing out grainy noise, etc.). Some photographers prefer to shoot in RAW format and later process the photos on a PC, thus gaining full control over the editing process. Advanced digital cameras can record both RAW and JPEG files.

How to choose a camera by type?

Digital cameras of the basic level. They are in the price range up to 14 thousand rubles and are suitable for beginners or those who need a pocket, simple camera that will not burden the family budget too much. Some models of this type are truly tiny (slightly larger than a business card and less than 2 cm thick) and inexpensive. While no camera in this category matches the professional quality of the best cameras, with the right choice, you can get some decent shots. Will photos be better than on a smartphone? Probably not, but even a cheap camera has more zoom (and battery life) than any phone.

Protected models. Whether you're swimming or climbing rocks, boating or skiing, you don't want to risk your smartphone, so cameras that are shock and splash resistant come in handy with features that let you take pictures without worry.

Digital cameras with superzoom. This is another type of camera that smartphones cannot match. The longest telephoto cameras of this type with 83x zoomallow you to study lunar craters in detail. They are great for leisure and sporting events as they capture everything from wide angles to extreme close-ups.

Digital cameras of the middle level. These working tools provide better photos and can handle difficult situations like dim light, close-ups and fast motion. They give you more control over the settings so you can get creative with your shots.

Compact cameras with interchangeable lenses. Also known as hybrid or mirrorless. They allow you to change lenses like bulky SLR cameras, but much less. Can match DSLR quality.

Canon PowerShot SX620

Best digital camera for beginners

Canon PowerShot SX620 HS offers an impressive 25x zoom lens in a rather small body. The size of a deck of cards and a thickness of 2.8 cm, it will not fit in a tight jeans pocket, but it can easily be carried elsewhere. Experts and users cite this camera as the best choice among entry-level digital cameras in their camera selection tips.

What is a 25x magnification? It's enough to get a close-up of your favorite football player, even if he's on the other side of the field, or to take a picture of a child performing on stage from the back row of the school assembly hall. Users like this optic, as evidenced by the levels of sales in online stores.

But this camera is more than justnice zoom: The 20.2-megapixel sensor outperforms the competition in low-light conditions, and the built-in image stabilization system perfectly suppresses shake. Battery life is excellent: according to Canon, the battery lasts for 295 shots (or 405 in eco mode, which dims the screen when the camera is not in use) or 1 hour of 1080p video. Charger and strap included.

According to owners, the SX620 HS is comfortable to hold thanks to a rubber grip on the front and a small finger notch on the back, which is not available on cheaper models. The 3” screen (standard for this class) takes up most of the rear panel, while Wi-Fi and NFC support make it easy to transfer photos to your phone, tablet or computer.

Best Inexpensive Camera

How to choose a quality camera in this category? Expert and user reviews recommend purchasing the Canon PowerShot Elph 190 IS. It doesn't have all the features of the SX620 HS, but the 10x zoom lens gets you closer to your subject than any smartphone. The 20-megapixel camera with image stabilization, Wi-Fi and NFC allows you to shoot crisp and clear 720p video. The camera is slightly larger than a business card and weighs about 140g. The 2.7” screen takes up most of the rear panel. Strap and charger included. According to the manufacturer, the battery is rated for 190 shots (245 in eco mode) or 50 minutes. video.

However, before choosing an inexpensive Elph 190 IS camera, you should check whether you plan to shoot in low light conditions. Dim indoor scenes in the photolook blurry, especially at full zoom.

Canon PowerShot ELPH 190IS

Olympus Tough TG-5

When deciding which camera is better to choose for extreme recreation, you should pay attention to this particular model. The camera can be submerged under water to a depth of 15 m, dropped from a height of 2 m, subjected to a pressure of 100 kg and used at temperatures down to -10 °C. According to experts, this is the best protected model that you can buy.

The TG-5 has replaced another popular camera, the Olympus TG-4. It comes with advanced features including 4K video, 20fps RAW image capture and a 12MP sensor that captures amazing footage in low light.

Despite its rugged body and sophisticated features, the TG-5 is a business card-sized compact camera just over 3cm thick with a 3” LCD screen. The lens has a 4x zoom and is compatible with the Telephoto Tough Lens Pack, which expands the focal length of the built-in lens from 100mm to 170mm and zooms up to 7x. There is GPS and Wi-Fi. Includes charger, micro USB cable and strap. A full battery charge allows you to take approximately 340 shots (or 50 minutes of video).

Nikon Coolpix P900

The camera impresses with its 83x zoom lens. Experts warn that image quality isn't the best, but owners aren't complaining: the 16MP P900 is touted by hundreds of users, and forums are filled with pictures taken from 1.5km or more away. According to user reviews, the ability to rent a compactcamera, such as a bird that can barely be seen, encourages many.

However, a pocket camera can not be called. The P900 is no smaller than a DSLR with a standard lens. But a DSLR with the same zoom would need an optic the size of a 4 year old. Thus, the P900 is incredibly compact.

Nikon COOLPIX P900

Blurred photos are a big disadvantage of long zoom cameras, but Nikon's excellent image stabilization system allows you to capture sharp pictures and even 1080p video. The problem is photos in low light conditions. While ISO 1600 is acceptable, the P900 is not the camera to use for indoor photography. No RAW mode.

Thoughtful additions include a flip-out, swivel 3” screen, electronic viewfinder and built-in GPS, Wi-Fi and NFC. The P900 comes with a neck strap, lens cap, micro USB cable and charger. The battery charge allows you to take 360 ​​pictures or record 1 hour 20 minutes. video.

Advanced Digital Cameras

This type of camera represents the next step up from compact models. They are slightly heavier and larger, but with more extra features and functionality. They are more expensive and designed for enthusiasts rather than casual users who want a simple camera for everyday use. But how to choose this type of camera?

The 24-megapixel Fujifilm X100F won the hearts of owners and critics. It has everything a premium compact should have. compactthe camera captures SLR quality images. Distinguished by the presence of a rangefinder, which critics find beautiful. 35mm optics do not zoom, but this is not a problem, since you can choose a lens for the camera. Available in wide angle 28mm and standard 50mm.

Professionals love the intuitive controls and reliable manual controls. The built-in flash works great, and the sync contact allows you to install an external one. Pictures can be saved in RAW format, but reviewers agree that pre-rendered JPEGs look good without any adjustments, even at ISO 3200. There's a hybrid eyepiece viewfinder or 3” display. Video is 1080p, but the lack of image stabilization means footage will appear washed out without a tripod.

Wi-Fi makes it easy to share pictures. The X100F comes with a shoulder strap, lens cap, USB cable and charger. The battery lasts for 390 shots with the optical viewfinder, 270 shots with the electronic viewfinder, or 1-hour video.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III

The camera features a 25x zoom and a 20.1-megapixel sensor. It is larger than Fujifilm and fits the size of a compact SLR camera. Photo quality is excellent, as is video, recording up to 4K resolution and built-in image stabilization keeps images sharp at all but the longest focal lengths.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10

Before you choose an inexpensive but good camera, you should familiarize yourself with the 20-megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10. This isa great alternative to the above models. The camera is small enough to fit in a jeans pocket, has a 3x zoom lens, and can shoot 4K video. Serious photographers will appreciate the excellent image quality and advanced features (including the ability to record in RAW format), although it lacks the sophisticated JPEG processing, optical viewfinder, sync contact and some manual controls found on more expensive models.

Fujifilm X100F

Fujifilm X-T2

Compact interchangeable-lens cameras, often referred to as hybrid or mirrorless cameras, take center stage between compacts and DSLRs. This type of camera allows for the use of interchangeable lenses, providing greater versatility without the inconvenience of larger DSLR bodies.

Fujifilm X-T2 (approx. RUB 109k with 18-55mm lens) wins almost every award in this category. According to experts, this is the best mirrorless camera you can buy.

Designed with a beautiful retro style, the compact body is made of tough magnesium alloy and carefully protected from adverse weather conditions. Stunning 24MP images, 4K video, a handy 3” swivel display, and an electronic viewfinder are all but flawless. According to owners, the choice of lenses is amazing, and autofocus is fast and intelligent. There is no built-in flash, but it is included in the kit (along with a sync contact cap, lens mount, shoulder strap and charger). The battery capacity allowstake 340 shots or record 40 min. 4K video.

Best DSLRs

How to choose a camera for a novice user of SLR models? Less expensive cameras can help you learn the basics of this type of device without putting too much pressure on your budget. But these are not stripped-down models. They offer most of the features of more expensive cameras and, according to experts, allow you to take photos of the same quality.

DSLR reviews show that there are some standout options in this category, but the Nikon D3300 ($32K and up) is unbeatable. Experts often say that the number of megapixels should not be taken into account when comparing cameras, but the 24.2 megapixels of the D3300 knock out analogues whose sensor resolution does not exceed 20 megapixels. It is also smaller and lighter than more expensive competitors.

Nikon D3300 comes with a standard 3x (18-55mm) zoom lens, as well as 50mm and 55-200mm lens kits. This entry-level DSLR is equipped with the image stabilization you need to capture quality photos and a 700-shot battery. According to user reviews, the quality of photos and videos is good, even in low light conditions without using a flash.

Nikon D5500

The ideal camera for beginners combines simplicity and quality. However, after learning the basics of photography, the user may wish for a faster and more advanced camera. This is where entry-level DSLR cameras come in. They are easy to learn for beginners, but they provide enough features that the camera will notgot bored too fast.

The Nikon D5500 is a step up from the D3300 in terms of both price and features. The camera has the same resolution of 24.2 megapixels and shoots at 5 fps, but has a longer battery life (820 frames). It has a widescreen swivel LCD touch screen like a smartphone and can record HD video and create effects such as slow motion playback. Wi-Fi allows you to share photos and control the camera remotely from your mobile device. The D5500 is available without a lens, or with a standard 3x zoom or one of two telephoto lenses.

The absence of an anti-aliasing filter allows the sensor to capture more detail, although images run the risk of moiré on elements such as striped or plaid clothing. According to reviews, the D5500 is smaller than most DSLR cameras and easy to use, although the small size makes the controls cramped, especially for users with large hands. The model is produced in black and red.

Canon Rebel T6S

Similar to the Nikon D5500, the T6S DSLR offers 24MP resolution and a swivel touch display. Supports Wi-Fi and can shoot at 5 fps. The main drawback, compared to the D5500, is the short battery life, only enough for 180 frames. The camera is slower to capture an image - in about 0.7 s versus 0.2 s. The Canon Rebel T6S is slightly larger, which may be more comfortable forusers with big hands.

Nikon D7200

Nikon D7200

At the top of the class are semi-professional DSLRs that experts say will satisfy the most serious photography enthusiast. Models in this category offer faster frame rates, faster shutter speeds, a stronger build, smarter autofocus, and other advanced features.

Nikon D7200 (from 60 thousand rubles) is an update to the best digital camera D7100. The best DSLR camera in this review has a resolution of 24.2 megapixels and can shoot at up to 6 fps or up to 7 fps in crop mode. It weighs a little more than other models, but has a battery life of 1110 hours - 15% longer than its predecessor. Fast start-up time, short lag between shots and wireless connectivity puts the D7200 on par with high-end professional SLRs, with a few extra features such as 2 memory card slots. On the other hand, the D7200's 3.2" display doesn't move like other Nikon models and, surprisingly, it doesn't have a touch screen.

The camera features a newer processor and a larger image buffer (up to 100 frames in JPEG format). In addition, NFC allows you to connect to smartphones and tablets simply by bringing the camera closer to them.

Canon EOS 70D

This is another alternative with excellent autofocus, 20.2MP resolution and a rated battery life of 210 shots. The Canon EOS 70D features an LCD touch screen, built-in GPS andWiFi. The model features high quality video and a shooting speed of 7 fps, which is faster than many other SLR cameras.

According to experts, the Canon EOS 70D can be chosen both as a professional camera and as an amateur one, since it allows you to video and photograph sports events, portraits, landscapes, etc. both indoors and outdoors. The downside of the model is that the EOS 70D takes blurry shots in low light, although the flash does a good job of illuminating objects at close and far distances and provides excellent and even coverage. The 70D shoots better video than most DSLRs (although it's not 4K). Startup time and delay between shots are also better.

Canon EOS 80D, which replaced this model, is also a good camera, although the changes in it are more evolutionary than revolutionary. The upgrade touched the image sensor, the resolution of which has grown to 24.2 megapixels, the processor and the autofocus system.

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