Last updated: June 19, 2020

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There is no doubt that a picture is worth 1,000 words, and taking a great one can preserve a place in time forever. This is why so many people love photography and photographs. By freezing time in a photograph, we hold on to moments that would otherwise be lost.

In order to take great shots, however, you need to be in possession of a good quality digital camera. You should bear in mind that different digital cameras are better suited for different kinds of photo-taking. You might just want a little point-and-shoot to whip you spontaneously if the moment strikes, or you might want something professional-grade that requires more time and planning. The below guide will help you, regardless of your intentions.

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Key Facts

  • Never spend your entire budget on just the housing. Always consider that you are going to need accessories as well, and that these cost money. A lens, for instance, can be almost as expensive, if not more so, than the camera itself if you are buying a DSLR.
  • Buying a reflex camera is only a good idea if you really want to get into the technical world of photography. If you just want something high quality to take travel photos with, a compact digital camera is a better choice.
  • Also factor in body design, battery life, and if a camera has video capabilities. If you want something that is good for sports (especially extreme sports), you will want a specific kind of digital camera for that.

The best digital cameras on the Canadian market

At first glance, it might seem like the digital camera market has died a bit. The reason for this is obvious: smartphones. The cameras built into new phones can be astonishingly high quality, but they come with one fatal flaw: they don’t deal with light. No matter how far the technology has progressed, the camera on your phone will never be able to provide you with the same kind quality as a good digital camera can.  But you have to know what to look for to buy the right one. Below is a list of some of the best and most popular digital cameras on the Canadian market.

Canon – PowerShot SX420

Canon is a name that is synonymous with quality when it comes to digital cameras. Beloved by professional photographers and obsessed amateurs equally, you know you are getting something top-notch when you buy a Canon product. The PowerShot SX420 is one of the company’s most popular digital cameras, and for good reason. With 42x optical zoom capabilities and an optical image stabilizer, this is a fantastic digital camera for those who want a nice blend between the quality of a DLSR and the ease-of-use of a digital camera.

The built-in WiFi and NFC makes uploading and sharing photos dead easy, and the 20MP sensor with DIGIC 4+ Image Processor gives you hard-to-beat image quality for a digital camera. This camera also lets you film 720p HD videos with crystal clear sound, so you can capture the action however you want. You also get a surprising amount of control over your photos with this camera, so even those who prefer DSLR will find this a great product.

Sony – DSCHX80

Sony is another name that instantly evokes quality and precision when it comes to digital cameras. With this digital camera, you get 30x optical zoom and 60x clear image zoom for incredible photos from distance. It also features highly versatile video with super high quality XAVC 5, AVCHD and MP4 formats. Easy to connect to any smartphone via WiFi for instant uploading and sharing, this higher-end digital camera is great for those who want point and shoot, but who are unwilling to compromise on image quality.

This camera takes one lithium-ion rechargeable battery (which is included) and is a great, compact travel camera. Another nice feature of this camera is the pop-up electronic viewfinder that lets you get amazing eye-level framing. The 180 degree tilt screen is also fantastic for taking great 18.2MP selfies at any angle. The reason this digital camera takes such amazing photos is thanks to its low light Exmor R sensor and ZEISS lens with 5-axis stabilization.

Canon – EOS Rebel T6

Canon’s EOS Rebel T6 is a great entry-level DSLR camera that features 18MP CMOS image sensor and a high-performance DIGIC 4 Plus Image Processor. With this camera, you get a fantastic combination of speed and quality, at a price that will not break the bank. Like most good modern digital cameras, you also get built-in WiFi and NFC capabilities with the Rebel T6, so you can instantly upload and share your great photos with friends and family.

This is a great entry-level DSLR because it has a highly effective autofocus capability, so you can learn to set your photos up manually while still taking incredible shots. This is definitely a step-up in quality if you have only ever used a smartphone or a point-and-shoot camera in the past. You get a nice range of light sensitivity settings (from ISO 100-6400) so you can adequately capture almost any scene, day or night, that you might want to.

Nikon – COOLPIX W100

Nikon has been making the COOLPIX for many years now, and W100 is a great little point and shoot that even experienced photographers like to have around for those moments when they don’t want to pull out the DSLR. This camera is waterproof down to depths of about 33 feet, so it is great to take to the beach, into the jungle, or anywhere you are likely to get it wet or want to take underwater photos. It is also designed to withstand shocks from drops of up to 5.9 feet.

This is also a surprisingly powerful camera for the price, though don’t expect the same kind of customisability as you would get from a more expensive digital camera, and certainly not from a DSLR. It features a 13.2MP low-light CMOS Sensor that lets you take great pictures in a wide range of different light settings, which is especially great for underwater. The video quality from this camera is full HD, and the stereo sound, while not perfect, still compliments the videos nicely.

Olympus – OM-D E-M10 Mark II

Olympus is another name that people instantly associate with quality, and for good reason. Olympus has been around for decades, and some of the most famous photos of the last 50 years have been taken with an Olympus camera. Their OM-D E-M10 Mark II is a high-end mirrorless camera from Olympus that has fast become a best-seller. Its built-in 5-axis image stabilization gives you terrific shots and better image quality, and the 8.5 frames per second burst shooting allow you to capture all the action.

Another nice feature of this product is the 3-inch tilting monitor which lets you make sure you are getting the right shot every time. Olympus has thought of everything with this camera. From the silent shutter that lets you take great photos silently when you need to be dead quiet to the video clips feature that makes sharing video files easier, to the 14 different art filters, this is a fantastic product that will delight pros and beginners alike.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about digital cameras

To capture the present and preserve it for the future, you need a good digital camera. In addition to knowing how to use one of these devices, you also need to know how to go about choosing the right one. How do you know which one to buy? What do different types offer? To find out more, continue reading.

woman photographing tulips

To take the most memorable photographs you need to be equipped with one of the best digital cameras on the market. (Source: Leslie Banks: 12646874/ 123rf.com).

What is a digital camera and what is it used for?

It might seem like a strange question, but mobile phones have made it their mission to make digital cameras obsolete, and some people (especially younger generations) might not see the need for a digital camera. A digital camera is an electronic device used to capture and store photographs in digital format. Many digital cameras can also record high quality video.

Increasingly modern and sophisticated digital cameras make it possible to manage high-quality photographs and videos quickly and easily. Because there is such a wide variety of digital cameras out there, anyone can get something that works for them and their needs. Digital cameras can be compact and inexpensive, or bulkier and professional-grade

What types of digital cameras are there?

Today, the best digital cameras on the market are classified into three types: compact (point and shoot), DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) and EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens). The DSLR is characterised by having a mirror that projects the image of the lens. Meanwhile the EVIL sends the image directly from the sensor to the rear LCD screen.

Advantages Disadvantages
EVIL vs. Compact Generally, EVIL is a better choice than compact because of their larger sensors They are not as manageable. Lenses can cost a lot of money
DSLR vs. EVIL Reflex or DSLR models feature very long battery life a have a high shutter speeds. Inexpensive DSLRs are cheaper than their EVIL counterparts DSLRs usually have lower quality video modes

What are the lenses of a digital camera?

The lens is an element of the camera that projects rays of light toward the sensor. This allows you to adjust and focus the zoom without sacrificing quality. When it comes to lenses, there are two key things to keep in mind: aperture and focal length. You need to be able to customize both of these if you are going to create specialized, high-quality photos.

The focal length is measured in millimetres. It indicates the angle of vision (how much the lens is able to cover) and the magnification of the image. The longer a focal length, the larger an object looks and the more space in the photo it occupies. A lens capable of covering multiple focal lengths is known as a zoom lens. The lens of a camera is classified as follows:

  • Ultra wide angle (less than 18 mm). A great option for capturing landscapes and panoramas.
  • Wide-angle (between 18 and 30 mm). A great option for shooting landscapes and most street scenes.
  • Normal (between 30 and 70 mm). A really nice option for shooting portraits
  • Telephoto lens (between 70 and 300 mm). Very good choice for shooting sporting events and portraits.
  • Super-telephoto (more than 300 mm). The best for capturing high-speed sports scenes, or minute details in nature.

As for the lens opening, this refers to the size of the opening that allows light to pass through and is measured as a number. The smaller the number, the wider the opening. The wider lens allows more light in, which gives you more control over your depth of field. Depending on the aperture there are two types of lenses:

  • Wide opening: a quick lens
  • Narrow opening: a slow lens

What are the sensor size and ISO sensitivity of a digital camera?

The sensor size means the physical size or dimensions of your sensor. These components produce pixels which your camera then converts into an actual image. In general, larger sensors create better quality photos. It also tends to mean a larger, bulkier camera.

On today’s market, there are two kinds of sensors to be found. CMOS is the most common and is most often found in high-quality, compact digital cameras because you get really nice sensitivity in lower light settings. Cheaper cameras, on the other hand, tend to use CCD technology. While pricier CCDs can still take great shots, they tend to not be as good as cameras with CMOS sensors.

In terms of ISO sensitivity, the higher the number, the better the camera will perform in low-light situations. The tradeoff is that the more sensitive your ISO settings, the more noise, or additional light you let in. The decision is this: do you want a camera that allows you to capture the finer details or something simple for general photo-taking?

What is the viewfinder and image stabiliser of a digital camera?

A viewfinder lets you see the scene you are trying to photograph in real time. Most mid to high-end digital cameras come with a viewfinder. They are great for when you can’t really see what you’re trying to capture through the camera’s LCD screen. This is common when it’s quite sunny out. There are 3 kinds of viewfinders, and their usefulness depends on how and what you are shooting:

If I want You must have
To capture video and see what you’re recording An EVF viewer
To capture action scenes with a lot of movement An optical viewer, as it shows the action while it is in progress
To have total control over what I’m recording A viewer with a coverage close to 100%

As its name indicates, the image stabiliser tries to cut down on camera shake so your photos don’t turn out blurry. There are two options here: optical image stabilisers which are located inside the camera housing; and stabilizers on the lens. In general terms, they are pretty similar, but lens stabilisers tend to do a better job.

What kind of batteries can a digital camera have?

The top digital cameras use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, and there are three main advantages: they last longer; they’re more durable, and they are reusable.

You can still find models that use AA batteries, but these are not typically the ones that you would consider to be high-quality. It’s best to get a digital camera that uses rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. They are better for the environment, and much cheaper over the long-run.

Young female beauty blogger on camera screen. Beautiful girl recording video at studio. Fashion, makeup, technology concept

The camera lens is an element of the camera that projects rays of light onto the sensor. (Source: golubovy: 62997694/ 124rf.com)

What are the continuous shooting rate and video option of a digital camera?

Continuous shooting rate is the number of frames per second (FPS) that a camera can capture. The higher the rate, the better the camera. Be aware that many camera brands out there play around with this value to give us the illusion that it’s higher than it really is. While it is useful to have a high FPS, it’s not essential to taking good quality photos.

Arnold NewmanAmerican Photographer

“A lot of photographers think that if they buy a better camera they’ll be able to take better photographs. A better camera won’t do a thing for you if you don’t have anything in your head or in your heart”.

Thanks to major technological advances over the last few decades, virtually every modern digital camera also gives you the capability to record video. Some of them even let you record in HD and even 4K. Some cameras offer frame rates over 60fps. In this event, you can record video in slow motion.

Shopping Criteria

Now that you know more about the world of digital cameras, it’s time to assess which camera is right for you. To accomplish this, you need to know not only about the technical specs but which type of camera best suits your needs.

Budget

If you are buying a good quality digital camera, you are going to be spending a considerable amount of money regardless. Spending all of it on the camera itself, however, is a big mistake. The camera itself doesn’t guarantee you are going to be taking professional-grade photos, and many types of shooting require specialized accessories and equipment anyways.

When buying a camera, you should divide your budget into two parts: the camera part, and the accessory part. You can buy a cheaper camera, but get great accessories and still take amazing photos.

Ansel AdamsAmerican Photographer

“The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it”.

Use

Ask yourself what you are going to use your camera for. Do you want something durable to take travelling? Then a giant reflex camera with enormous lenses is not ideal. Do you want to learn as much about photography as possible and maybe even dedicate your life to photography? Then the most sophisticated product you can afford is a worthwhile purchase.

You should take some time getting to know more about the various functions and features of the camera you are interested in. You might not even know what some of them are, and therefore, don’t know if they are even worth paying for.

Lens

Your camera’s lens is one of, if not the most important features. Good quality digital cameras let you use a wide range of different lenses to tailor your photography accordingly. People who are just getting into photography often overlook this.

This is quite obvious when you consider that many people buy reflex cameras that have built-in lenses. Lenses, however, go far beyond this. Do some research on the kinds of lenses that are compatible with your camera of choice, and which lenses you plan on using. Different lenses will completely change your photos.

Video

More and more users of digital cameras are looking for models that allow them to record videos. This is why it’s hard to find one that doesn’t shoot video too. Years ago, only compact digital cameras could do this, but almost all high-end cameras now have that functionality too.

If the digital camera you want to buy is going to be used frequently to record videos, you should pay close attention to this aspect of the camera. Pay close attention to the kind of video quality you want, and if you want to be able to shoot video in slow-motion or extreme activities.

Manual control and retouching

If you are looking for a digital camera that is professional-grade, make sure you get one that lets you edit your photos in RAW format. This format makes editing in Adobe applications easier. While they look slightly less natural, they will still look incredible. Everything depends on what you want as a photographer.

If you want to make the most of your camera and take truly original photos, look for a camera with a high level of manual control. Having complete control over all your settings is how you learn the art of photography. Understanding all of the different functionalities and capabilities will also help you develop your own style.

Summary

The best digital cameras allow you to shoot truly impressive images. Always keep in mind, however, that it is the photographer that creates the image. You need a mind like a lens, and an eye like a shutter to really see and capture beauty. It is also important to keep in mind that getting something that suits your needs is paramount.

You also need to think about what you want the camera for and study the different features of each camera, such as: lenses, ISO sensitivity, battery type, viewfinder or whether it offers the possibility to record videos. Get something you think you will use and that fits your needs; don’t rush to buy the best, most expensive item on the market.

If you found this guide to digital cameras helpful, share it with your friends and family on social media. Additionally, you can drop us a comment in the below section and let us know your thoughts!

(Source of featured image: stokkete: 43015990/ 123rf.com)

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