How to Choose a Camera? 15 Considerations When Shopping for a Camera

Below, I will discuss the 15 factors to consider before buying a camera. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will have an idea of which device best suits your needs. 

With hundreds of options available on the market, choosing a camera can be overwhelming.

As a hobbyist photographer, I’ve been in your shoes before—intimidated by the immense selection of products and new terminology.

That is why I made it a point to write this article to help you make the right purchasing decision.

This guide will walk you through the factors to consider when shopping for a camera. I will also discuss the best places where you can buy one.

Let’s dive right into it!

What To Look For When Buying a Camera?

Shopping for a camera isn’t exactly a walk in the park. There are so many things to consider. But as a beginner, you are probably clueless about which features will matter and which ones to skip.

In this guide, I’ve included the essential factors you should take note of when buying a camera. I will discuss them in detail below to help you understand why they matter and how they can help you take better images.

However, if you’re in a hurry, I listed a quick summary of the essentials below.

  • Type of Camera
  • Price
  • Sensor Size
  • Size and Ergonomics
  • Image Quality
  • Megapixels
  • RAW Capability
  • Video Recording
  • Speed and Performance
  • ISO Range
  • Lenses
  • Camera Accessories
  • Durability
  • Connectivity
  • Brand

Without any further ado, let’s get on with the buying guide!

Type of Camera

Cameras come in various types, from compact point-and-shoots to bulky yet professional DSLRs. Here is a quick rundown of what makes each one unique and which purposes they are suitable for.

DSLR Cameras

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera

DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflex. It is among the most popular cameras for photographers.

DSLRs feature a glass inside the camera body, hence the name. This glass reflects the light passing through the lens onto a pentaprism and towards the viewfinder. So when you look inside it, you can see a real-time display of the scene in front of you.

Illustration Inside a DSLR Camera

Additionally, they are interchangeable-lens cameras (more on this topic later). But essentially, they allow you to switch between different lenses.

They even offer manual control over the settings to achieve various looks.

Furthermore, they have great battery life and ergonomics to ensure ease of use during extended periods.

All these capabilities make them ideal for all kinds of photography, including portraits, landscapes, or sports.

However, DSLRs tend to be bigger and heavier. They also do not have the best autofocus system and advanced technologies, like their mirrorless counterparts below.

Mirrorless Cameras

Sony Alpha 7C Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

Mirrorless cameras, as their name suggests, do not have a mirror inside the body. These make them smaller and lighter than DSLRs, ideal for traveling.

They are also interchangeable-lens cameras, which offer versatility for users.

Plus, they often offer more advanced technology to meet your specific needs. Notable features include the autofocus system and electronic viewfinder for instant tracking of a moving subject.

Due to these innovations, countless people have deemed that mirrorless cameras are the future.

Despite these advantages, mirrorless cameras usually have a poor battery life (around half the duration of the equivalent DSLR).

And although their smaller frame is beneficial for many, it can affect shooting performance.

For instance, mirrorless models tend to rely on the LCD screen to control camera settings, unlike DSLRs, which have more space for buttons and dials. Don’t get me wrong; a touchscreen display makes everything easier. However, photographers who are taking photos for many years have grown accustomed to DSLR ergonomics.

Nevertheless, as a beginner, the chances are that you do not share this same attachment to DSLRs. So it is best not to worry about the DSLR vs. mirrorless debate. Instead, choose a camera that makes you comfortable and helps you achieve your desired results.

Micro Four Thirds Cameras

Panasonic LUMIX GH5M2 Mirrorless Camera

Micro four-thirds cameras, also known as Micro 4/3 or MFT, are subtypes of a mirrorless camera. They also allow you to attach different lenses for versatility when shooting various subjects.

However, what sets them apart from mirrorless models is their sensor size. I will thoroughly discuss this topic later on, but essentially, they are a mini interchangeable lens camera.

MFT cameras are considerably smaller than DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. They also only accept tinier lenses, which are often lighter and cheaper. These make them an ideal choice for traveling.

However, a smaller camera system doesn’t necessarily mean better. Due to its restricted space, it offers fewer controls and dials as well as a less comfortable grip.

MFT cameras also have smaller sensors, which further limit their abilities in photography and videography.

Point-and-Shoot Cameras

Panasonic Lumix 4K Point and Shoot Camera

Point-and-shoot cameras feature fixed lenses attached to their bodies. They are not interchangeable lens cameras, which makes them less versatile. And with the exception of action cams, they also have the smallest sensors on this list. That affects the overall image quality you will get from such models.

Nevertheless, point-and-shoots still take quality photos similar to your phone—sometimes even better. Just make sure to lower your expectations as they are not comparable to DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

On a more positive note, point-and-shoot cameras are incredibly small and lightweight. They fit your hands and pocket easily, making them convenient for everyday shooting like your phone.

They also offer a simplified interface with fewer buttons and dials for ease of use. All you need to do is point at the subject and start shooting, hence the term point-and-shoot.

Finally, they don’t have to cost you a fortune. They are one of the best options for beginners and those who are not interested in multiple lens options.

Bridge Cameras

Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom Camera

As you can probably tell by their name, bridge cameras fill the gap between DSLRs and point-and-shoots. They are relatively small and lightweight but not nearly as compact. They are like a mini-version of a DSLR without its bulk.

However, bridge cameras feature fixed zoom lenses instead of interchangeable ones. They also offer manual controls for those who want flexibility but don’t want to worry about changing lenses. They are another great all-in-one option for beginners.

The only significant downside is that they usually have small image sensors. These can negatively affect performance in low-light situations.

Action Cameras

Action cameras are specifically engineered to capture videos. They can also take photos, but image quality is not the best due to the smaller sensor. And most of the time, photos appear distorted because of the fish-eye angle of view.

On the bright side, they are extremely small and lightweight, even more so than point-and-shoots. They can easily fit your palm or mount on your body for capturing a unique first-person perspective.

But don’t let their small size fool you! Action cams are usually rugged and waterproof. They are the ideal choice when recording your outdoor adventures.


One of the most important factors to consider when buying a camera is your budget.

Ask yourself if you are willing to splurge on advanced features and professional-like results. Or invest in a small, compact, and relatively inexpensive camera.

Regardless of your decision, it is essential to set a realistic budget. Spending too little on a camera can only get you average image quality. In contrast, spending too much will put a dent in your wallet.

If you want to buy a new model with better image quality than most phones, be prepared to shell out around $500 or more. Besides superb quality, you can also expect a faster shooting speed, reliable low-light performance, and sturdier construction.

Those who want bang for their buck can also consider getting older cameras. They still offer valuable features, but their technology is already outdated.

Finally, consider your skill level and what you want to achieve.

If you are a beginner, I recommend spending no more than $1000 on an interchangeable lens camera. It is best to hone your skills first before buying a more advanced and expensive model.

Sensor Size

Digital cameras use various types of sensors to capture images. Each one varies depending on the camera you buy, which can be confusing for beginners.

We listed the top four sensor sizes you may encounter when choosing a camera.

  • 1-inch or smaller – This sensor size is common among compact cameras, including point-and-shoots and action cams.
  • Micro four-thirds sensor – It is found in mirrorless cameras manufactured by Panasonic, Olympus, and a few more brands.
  • APS-C – This sensor size is larger than micro four-thirds and is common in DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and advanced compacts.
  • Full-frame or 35mm – It is reserved for advanced compacts, mirrorless cameras, and DSLRs. This sensor size is also among the largest in digital cameras.
the differences in size in commonly-used image sensors

Professional photographers usually choose a camera with an APS-C or full-frame sensor.

That is because the larger the sensor—which lets more light in, the better the image quality.

A larger sensor size, like 35mm, also offers a greater dynamic range. This feature helps retain the detail in the images, even when they include overblown highlights or underexposed shadows.

Furthermore, full-frame cameras can fit more elements into the frame than a micro four-thirds sensor, for instance. It is more suitable for capturing a wider perspective.

The only downside is that cameras with larger sensors are considerably more expensive. If you are a professional with enough budget, they might be a worthy investment.

However, beginners and enthusiast photographers can consider investing in APS-C or micro four-thirds sensor cameras instead. These come in a lightweight, compact, and relatively affordable package.

Size and Ergonomics

The size of a camera is usually overlooked when buying a camera, but I think it is one of the most important considerations. 

If you choose the smallest model on the market, expect that it is not suitable for those with big hands or long fingers. On the other hand, a bulky camera might be too big and heavy to carry.

Besides the grip, the size of the camera also affects the button placement. You may deem some small cameras comfortable to hold, but their buttons and dials are too close together. These make them awkward to operate.

Choosing the right camera size is really more of a personal preference. What might be small and comfortable for you will be too big and cramped for someone else.

Thus, it is essential to try out the camera in person. Doing so will help you determine how the camera and buttons feel in your hand.

But if you cannot go to the camera store in person, I highly suggest reading reviews and comparing the camera’s size—based on the dimensions given—to your phone.

Image Quality

This factor is pretty difficult to evaluate because you probably haven’t captured images using the camera.

I recommend checking out user opinions, professional review sites, and sample photos taken with that particular camera. Doing so will give you an idea of how clear and detailed the image looks.

It is also important to note that the image quality depends a lot on the lens you will attach to the camera. You might want to get an interchangeable lens model instead of a fixed lens camera. In that way, you have a multitude of options that will allow you to achieve better results. When you go with a fixed lens camera, the included lens usually does not provide the clearest image possible.

I will talk about lenses in more detail below to help you understand how they affect image quality.


Megapixels refer to the resolution of the image. A single megapixel is equivalent to one million pixels.

The more megapixels the camera has, the better the printed image quality it offers. A high number of megapixels, like 24MP, also allow you to crop into a photo without losing detail than a 16MP camera.

However, cameras with more megapixels produce larger file sizes. That means images can take longer to store, send, and edit.

A lot of people also mistakenly think that megapixels are the determining factor of the camera’s image quality. However, this is not the case at all. Pixel size is more important, which depends on the sensor size.

For instance, a 40-megapixel point-and-shoot camera does not come close to the image quality you get from a full-frame DSLR with 24 megapixels. That is because the sensor of the DSLR is considerably larger than the point-and-shoot model.

Always keep this fact in mind when you are shopping for a camera.

So unless you need to print large and highly detailed prints, a 20MP camera is more than enough for your everyday needs.

RAW Capability

By default, most digital cameras can only process and compress photos as JPEG files once you’ve captured them. 

Although JPEGs work for most purposes, they can severely limit your creative freedom during editing. That is because the processing step involves the instant application of color correction to the image. 

For this reason, some cameras now offer the ability to shoot in RAW mode.

RAW refers to the unprocessed image you capture with a camera. This image format records all of the photo’s information and saves it to a specific file format unique to the camera manufacturer.

RAW shooting mode allows you to adjust camera settings, such as exposure, white balance, and saturation, after capturing the image. Thus, it offers flexibility during post-processing, making it useful for enhancing the image or correcting mistakes.

So if you are serious about photography, you may want to get a camera with RAW capability. Almost all DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and micro four-thirds models offer this feature.

Video Recording

Today, all digital cameras can record video. However, if you want to ensure high-quality footage, it is best to consider the following features.


The larger the video resolution, the better the image quality you can expect from the camera. It also gives you the ability to crop the scene without losing detail.

With such benefits in mind, it is best to look for a camera that can shoot at least 1080P footage.

Fortunately, almost all cameras can now film at such a high resolution for sharper results. You can even find models capable of recording up to 4K, which gives you clearer and highly detailed footage.

However, 4K cameras are notorious for creating large files. These clips require a longer time to share, save, or edit. They also take up too much space on a memory card.

So while 4K capability is nice to have, you may want to consider a camera with 1080P video instead. It costs less and saves a lot on memory space and handling (sharing, editing, etc.) time. And unless you are a professional filmmaker or have the budget for advanced cameras, 1080P video is good enough.

Frame Rate

Video or film is a combination of individual images, known as frames, that are played back to give the impression of movement.

Frame rate determines the speed at which these images are captured by the camera and displayed on a screen. It is measured in frames per second, or simply FPS.

Below are the frame rates you can use and what effect you can expect from them.

  • Less than 16 FPS – It mirrors the look of the silent era or black-and-white movies.
  • 24 FPS – It offers the most cinematic look, making it popular among filmmakers.
  • 30 FPS – It is common among TV shows and live sports.
  • 60 FPS – It is excellent for recording people walking or blowing candles.
  • 120 FPS – It captures people running and nature, such as waterfalls, in accurate detail. This frame rate is also ideal for creating a slow-motion effect on your clips when editing them on software.
  • 240 FPS – It records water splashes or balloons exploding in slow-motion.
  • 480 FPS – It offers impressive playback of skiing, surfing, skateboard tricks, and any fast movements.
  • 960 FPS and above – It is suitable for capturing hyper-slow motion scenes. Think about the kitchen sequence with Quicksilver on X-Men: Days of Future Past.

However, it is important to note that most cameras only allow you to choose between 24 FPS or 30 FPS. They are the standards for recording video because they offer the most natural movement as perceived by our eyes.

If you want to use faster frame rates, you can consider investing in advanced cameras or action cams. The former usually enables shooting up to 120 FPS for slow-motion, while the former can go up to 240 FPS. Anything higher than that is reserved for high-end cameras that will cost you a fortune.

Image Stabilization

Image stabilization is an essential factor to consider when choosing a camera.

This technology minimizes vibration and shakiness when shooting handheld or without a tripod. It also reduces the blurry video effect that you get when recording in low-light situations.

Some manufacturers will include this feature in their cameras. Meanwhile, others—specifically Canon and Nikon—offer optical image stabilization in the camera lens itself. This stabilization mechanism is more effective than a digital stabilizer, which is software that only works in the camera.

Recording Duration

Most cameras—including DSLRs and mirrorless cameras—have a limit to how long they can record at one time.

The Nikon D90, one of the first DSLRs to offer video recording, only comes with a 5-minute recording limit.

Fortunately, the latest models from top camera manufacturers have a longer maximum recording time at 29:59 seconds. These allow you to shoot videos for extended periods, perfect for beginners and casual users.

However, there is still a limit, which can prove problematic for event videographers and those who need to film longer clips. That is because once a DSLR record beyond 30 minutes, it is already considered a dedicated video camera. This equipment is subject to higher tax laws in some countries, especially those part of the European Union.

Unfortunately, some manufacturers refuse to produce cameras with unlimited recording because they want to avoid such taxes. Should they pay for these, they also need to increase the cost of their products. Higher prices can drive consumers away because not everyone solely focuses on the video aspect of their cameras. If you want to learn more about video recording limits, you can read this article.

Luckily, you can now find a few camera makers that sell models with no video recording cap. Some notable models include the Panasonic GH5S, Sony A6600, and the Sony a7R IV. 

Do note that these are more expensive than cameras with a recording limit. So before buying one, ask yourself if you really need to record for longer than 30 minutes.

File Formats

Unless you are a serious filmmaker, you probably don’t need to worry about the file formats. This factor is similar to the RAW vs. JPEG topic that I’ve previously discussed above. But instead of JPEG, different cameras use various file types for recording and saving video. Below are the most common ones.

  • Quicktime (H.264/MOV) – Both Nikon and Canon cameras use Quicktime file containers with H.264 codecs for producing video files. Other camera makers, such as Panasonic and Sony, also use the QuickTime formats but with different codecs like MOV.
  • MPEG-4 (MP4/M4V) – It refers to a broad category of file formats, common when shooting video using your Android, iPhone, and iPad.
  • AVCHD (MTS, MP4) – Some Panasonic and Sony models use this format.
  • RAW (.R3D, .ARI, .MXF, .DNG) – Professional video cameras, such as Red and Arri, offers RAW recording. This feature gives you greater flexibility when editing the footage. 

Most cameras will offer Quicktime or MPEG-4 file formats, which is ideal for most video recording applications. They do not have large file sizes, making it easier to share and upload your files on social media.

But if you want to adjust video settings to achieve a certain look, you may want to consider a camera with RAW capability. Just be prepared for large file sizes and a steep cost.

Rotating Screen

Although this feature is not related to the video quality, it can help make the recording process easier and more comfortable.

A rotating LCD screen enables you to film yourself in selfie mode, ideal for vloggers. It also allows you to record high-angle or low-angle videos without craning your neck all the time. 

I highly suggest looking for a camera with this feature for greater flexibility when shooting.


You might also want to consider getting a camera with video connectivity options. These include an external mic input and a clean HDMI out.

The former allows you to attach an external mic to the camera. This device will then record clear audio for overall better sound quality in your videos.

Meanwhile, the latter allows you to record and save footage to an external capture device. For instance, you can connect your camera to the computer via an HDMI cable and use it as a webcam. It is suitable for live streaming or previewing footage on an external screen while filming.

Speed and Performance

Another factor to consider when choosing a camera is the speed and performance. It encompasses buffer rate or FPS, startup time, and the general operational speed of the camera.

DSLRs and mirrorless cameras usually have faster performance than point-and-shoot and bridge models. 

They also enable you to snap multiple frames per second (FPS) during continuous shooting or burst mode. This feature is useful if you want to take sharp photos of fast-moving subjects.

The higher the FPS, the better suited it is for capturing high-speed objects.

However, shooting several frames per second is not always the best thing. You also have to consider how large the buffer of the camera is.

Buffer simply refers to how fast your camera will be able to shoot again after writing all the burst images to the memory card. You want something that can “clear” relatively fast, so you can resume taking photos in burst mode.

Besides the image buffer, you should also consider the overall speed of the camera’s operation. No one wants to buy a camera that lags every time you start it or change settings.

In this aspect, DSLRs and mirrorless cameras also win because they usually run faster than their point-and-shoot counterparts.

With that said, compact cameras can still perform fast, especially advanced models. But unless you spend more money on them, you shouldn’t expect them to rival the speeds of DSLRs and mirrorless models.

ISO Range

ISO affects how sensitive the camera’s sensor is to light. It is one of the settings that can control exposure level; hence it plays a significant role in image quality.

I recommend looking for cameras that offer at least ISO 3200. This range is highly sensitive to light, which allows you to shoot in dimly lit situations without a flash.

The good news is that most cameras today can now shoot as high as ISO 25000 up to ISO 102000. 

However, using a high ISO setting introduces more noise into the photo. It results in a grainier appearance, ultimately affecting image clarity.

So before buying a camera with the highest ISO range, it is best to research the model first. See if you can find sample images taken at different ISOs.

If the photos look grainy at low ISOs, like ISO 400, you may want to consider a different camera. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t notice too much noise on your images at ISO 1600 or lower.


The lens you attach to the camera affects the image quality. I won’t discuss everything about lenses since this article is all about choosing a camera. Instead, I will tackle the essentials you need to consider.

The most important thing you need to know is the difference between fixed and interchangeable lens cameras.

Fixed lens cameras already have a lens attached to the body when you buy them. They can feature a variable focal length (zoom) or a fixed focal length (prime) lens. Regardless of the lens type, you can only use that specific glass on the camera. There is no way to switch between different lenses, which can limit shooting flexibility.

On the more positive side, fixed lens cameras are usually small, lightweight, and compact. Notable examples include point-and-shoot and bridge models.

Meanwhile, interchangeable lens cameras come in either body only or with a kit lens attached to the frame. They allow multiple creative shooting opportunities. They can also produce better image quality if you choose the right lens.

However, the myriad of lens options can be overwhelming for beginners and hobbyist photographers. Some products also add a hefty weight to the camera itself.

Choosing between fixed and interchangeable lens cameras depends on your needs and preferences. Ask yourself if you are content with having only one lens attached to your camera, or you want flexibility. 

Camera Accessories

When shopping for a camera, you might encounter models bundled with various accessories. However, only a few camera gears are needed at first, especially if you are a beginner.

Here are the essentials that I think you need to buy together with your camera.

  • Memory card – You will need one to start recording videos because most cameras do not have built-in memory.
  • Spare batteries – Some cameras can only last for an hour or two of continuous shooting. You may want to invest in extra batteries if you want to shoot for extended periods.
  • Camera strap – This accessory ensures your camera won’t slip your hands while shooting or traveling.

You may also want to consider buying any of the accessories below. This helps make the shooting experience more convenient or enable better camera performance.

  • Camera bag – Get one if you need to keep your camera and lenses in one place when traveling. It is not necessary for action cameras and point-and-shoots.
  • Tripod – It is ideal for capturing videos and long exposure photography.
  • Filter – This accessory attaches to the front of your lens to deliver various purposes, such as protecting the glass from dust (UV filter) or reducing reflections (polarizing filter)
  • Battery grip – It provides longer battery life and better grip for those with larger hands.
  • External flash – The built-in flash of your camera produces harsh light and shadows. You may want to get an external flash to get more natural-looking photos.
  • Remote control – If you want to take selfies or group photos, this accessory helps you trigger the camera remotely.

However, do not go overboard with accessories. Remember that the more camera gear you have, the heavier your camera bag. It can make you less likely to pick up your camera and go shooting.

It best to buy just the essentials to enhance your photography experience instead of making it unpleasant.


Some cameras claim to be weatherproof, splashproof, or rainproof. However, that does not necessarily mean they can survive underwater.

A camera with weatherproofing simply has sealed buttons and dials. These help keep water splashes, rain, and mist from damaging the internal parts. However, a weather-sealed camera is not designed to be taken underwater.

If you want something that can survive once submerged in the water, look for a waterproof model. Notable examples include action cameras and some point-and-shoots. They are suitable for taking pictures and videos while snorkeling or surfing.

But if you don’t have plans to take your camera on the water, weatherproofing might be more than enough to ensure its durability.

Most high-end DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have this feature. That means a little rain, snow, or splash of water would not damage their internal parts. Thus, you can use them in various outdoor conditions.


Today, most cameras have multiple connectivity options.

The most common one is probably Wi-Fi. It allows you to send and share files to social media without the need to plug your camera into your computer.

Bluetooth is another useful connectivity option. It enables you to pair the camera with your device—whether it’s a smartphone or tablet—for instant transferring of photos and videos.

Moreover, several cameras offer Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. It lets you exchange files or connect an external device to the camera with just a touch, hence the name. It is faster than Bluetooth, but it requires you to place both gadgets close to one another.  

Finally, there is a GPS feature on some cameras. It gives you information about the exact location where you captured each image. It is unnecessary for many users, but it comes in handy for travel photographers who want to geotag their photos.

However, it is important to note that having your GPS active will drain the camera’s battery significantly faster. I recommend turning it off when you do not need it.


Finally, you should consider the brand of the camera before buying one.

Frankly speaking, you probably would not notice significant differences in image quality from various camera manufacturers. Every brand can help you take impressive photos and videos.

However, it is still essential to know what makes each brand distinct from one another.

For instance, you might not be able to use Nikon lenses on a Canon body or attach full-frame lenses on a micro four-thirds camera. That is because each brand produces native lenses which are only compatible with its roster of camera bodies. Of course, there is always a third-party adapter solution, but it does not ensure image quality and fast performance.

Below, I will briefly discuss the five popular camera brands.


When you think about buying a camera, Canon is probably the first brand on your mind. It is still among the top manufacturers of cameras today. It held the largest shares in the global digital cameras market last year at 45%.

Canon offers one of the widest selections of cameras and lenses. Whether you are looking for a compact model, mirrorless camera, or a full-frame DSLR, this brand got you covered.


Nikon produces cameras along the entire spectrum, from point-and-shoot models to high-end DSLRs. It also offers a myriad of lenses and accessories.

Alongside Canon, it used to lead the global camera market. However, recent statistics show that Nikon is now falling behind the next brand.


Sony is famous for its mirrorless models, which can rival the Canon and Nikon’s high-end DSLRs. It offers models with seemingly more advanced features than its competitors. There is also a wide selection of native lenses you can choose from.

Thus, many photographers have switched to this brand, making it the second-largest share in the camera industry last year.


Fuji is another brand that produces high-quality mirrorless cameras, specifically those with APS-C and medium-format sensors. But instead of focusing on technical specifications, Fujifilm is famous for its unique products and aesthetically pleasing cameras.


Panasonic is just one of the only few brands that create micro four-thirds cameras. Like Sony and Fujifilm, it is popular for its mirrorless models. However, its strongest suit is video recording, making it a top choice among videographers.

Choosing between these brands can be overwhelming for beginners. But do not be peer-pressured into picking one over the other based on user reviews and sites like these. If you can, I suggest trying out cameras from each brand and determine which ones feel better to you.

Where to Buy a Camera?

By now, you are probably ready to buy your own camera. But where do you begin?

Fret not as I’ve got you covered! I recommend checking out cameras in the following places.


You might already know this—but you can shop for cameras online.

B&H is one of the biggest online camera stores, and for good reasons. First, it offers a wide selection of camera gear and regularly provides flash deals. It even has a physical store in New York where you can shop for cameras in person.

Amazon is another popular e-commerce store where you can buy a camera. It features hundreds of cameras and accessories sold at low prices. It also offers free shipping and returns to its Prime customers.

Other notable online shops to check out include Adorama, eBay, and Samy’s.

The only downside to online shopping is that you cannot test or see the camera gear in person. I recommend buying from a retailer with a fair return and exchange policy.

Local Camera Shops

If you want to inspect the equipment hands-on, consider going to your local camera store.

Here, you can expect to find various camera models, a wide selection of lenses, and accessories. You can also ask questions or opinions from the knowledgeable staff.

Of course, visiting the store in person might not be the most convenient way to buy a camera. However, I think it is still worth a visit, especially if you want to get a feel of the camera before buying one.

Box Stores

You can also purchase cameras in large box stores like Best Buy or Walmart. Expect lower prices and huge discount sales when you browse these physical stores. You may also find their return or exchange policies favorable.

However, it is important to note that box stores often have limited camera options. Their staff might not also be that familiar with cameras. Thus, you probably cannot rely on them if you have questions about the specs.

Local Classifieds

Do you want to save money by buying used cameras? You can check out local classifieds, such as eBay Classifieds, Craigslist, Kijiji, and the newspaper.

However, make sure to examine and test the camera before purchasing it. You can never be too sure of the item’s quality and the seller’s reputation.


Choosing a camera from hundreds of options on the market is not an easy feat. But hopefully, this article on how to choose a camera can give you a better idea of which one to buy. 

With that said, do not get caught up with so many photography terms. Every camera is different, but they serve the same purpose—help you capture great photos and videos.

It is also essential to focus more on your skill as a photographer. Choose a camera and learn how to use it until it reaches its limitations. By then, you can consider upgrading and buying another one.