Which Digital Camera Do You Recommend?
Unfortunately we are not able to recommend specific brands or models of camera. However, we can provide pointers to help you decide if a particular camera will suit your needs.
Digital cameras have a large range of costs and capabilities and you largely get what you pay for. It all depends on what you want to do with the images. If you can afford the higher end of the digital camera range, it is well worth researching further, or contacting JISC Digital Media through the JISC Digital Media helpdesk enquiry service.
At the cheaper end of the digital camera scale, the quality can be remarkable for the price. A camera costing between £300 - £500 can provide a good enough quality for many pragmatic purposes but will never be able to compete in terms of quality or productivity with a camera costing £10,000, for example. There are, however, various features that should help you differentiate between cameras.
Points to consider:
- Look for cameras that can save files in a Raw format. Saving your image as a Raw will provide you with a higher quality image to work from and a better image for long term use
- Choose a camera with an optical viewfinder as well as an LCD screen as LCD screens can use up a lot of battery. However, be aware that viewfinders on compact cameras are offset from the lens and do not accurately reflect what you see with what the lens captures
- Find a camera with minimal 'shutter lag' and a fast start-up time. An annoying feature of some digital compacts is the lag between clicking the shutter and the camera taking the shot. Some cameras take a long time between switching them on and being ready to take a shot
- Ensure that the camera has a good quality lens. Look for a quality brand camera with a good glass lens (not plastic) with as wide an aperture as possible
- Digital camera quality and the size of the created images are continually rising. As a general rule you will need at least 1800 x 1400 pixels (2.5 mega pixels) to print up to 6 x 4 inch with good quality. Note that it's now quite hard to find even a compact camera with a resolution lower than 4 megapixels, which means you can concentrate on the other features
- Choose a camera with a large buffer memory. This allows a number of images to be taken before stopping to allow them to be downloaded and processed
Identify the key camera features that are essential for the project today and any features that may be of value in the future e.g. high definition video. You can then draw up a shortlist of cameras from which you make a final decision.
You might also want to take a look at our other advice:
- Using a Budget Digital Camera for Teaching, Learning and Research
- The Digital SLR Camera for Teaching, Learning and Digitisation
- Digital Cameras