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Black Friday Camera Deals Buying Guide
BLACK FRIDAY CAMERA DEALS BUYING GUIDE 2018
Buying a camera can be daunting, especially as technology now overlaps between models. Do you need a digital still camera that also takes videos, or a video camera that also can take photos? You can take pretty good photos and video with your smartphone these days, but when is it worth upgrading to a specialized device to get better quality?
When it comes to taking still pictures, you have got plenty of options to choose from: –
- your smartphone
- a digital camera
- an HD camcorder
- or an action cam
Any of them are fine for still shots taken in bright light, but add some adversity to the scene like low light, and a digital camera is how you will get the best quality still photos.
Video superior footage typically requires a specialized video camera often dubbed a camcorder or action cam. Some high-end SLR cameras also can take excellent quality video but generally only in 30-minute intervals.
BLACK FRIDAY DIGITAL CAMERAS
Digital cameras are not that different from conventional film cameras. Instead of capturing an image by focusing light onto a piece of film, digital cameras focus light onto an image sensor which records it electronically. That image is stored as a collection of millions of tiny dots or pixels in a digital file, usually on a memory card inside your camera. Megapixels images are made up of pixels. One million pixels make one megapixel. A camera that captures 16 million pixels is called a 16-megapixel camera. It is important to remember that megapixels alone do not determine the quality of the photos you capture, but the number of megapixels does determine how large you can print those photos and the amount of cropping you can do without them looking grainy or blurry. Most smartphones have at least 8-megapixel cameras. For general use, 10 megapixels is all the resolution most people need, so don’t let a salesperson push a camera solely based on its megapixel count. The quality of the lens has a much greater effect on image quality.
Most still cameras can be divided into two categories: –
- point-and-shoot models with fixed or attached lenses
- and system cameras with interchangeable lenses and other accessories
If superior grade pictures shot in very light conditions are your primary goal, standalone cameras are the way to go. They have more versatile lenses and larger sensors that allow more flexibility, particularly in low-light, where your smartphone may not do such a great job. Compact models are small lightweight and easy to use because most don’t have any manual controls to adjust the exposure or focus by hand. Some also come with touch screen LCDs or lenses that can zoom up to 23 times. They are best for everyday events like family gatherings.
BLACK FRIDAY SUPER ZOOM CAMERAS
Super zoom cameras got their name because of their ability to zoom in close: 24 times or more. Some models can go as high as 83 times optical zoom. They are generally bigger and heavier than compacts and are great for sports, travel and nature shooting. Most include GPS features for geo tagging the location of your photos. They can also handle being dropped, since they are designed to be rugged and waterproof.
ADVANCED POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERAS
Advanced point-and-shoots are the lightest advanced cameras out there and many allow you to add an external flash for low-light conditions. Unlike basic point-and-shoots, they also boast plenty of manual controls: like manual focus. which lets you precisely control the focus of your shot. These models are great if you want the ease of use of a point-and-shoot, but still want the versatility and control of an advanced camera.
Mirrorless cameras have a lot of the advantages of SLRs, like interchangeable lenses, but are smaller and lighter. For that reason, many people choose them as a high-end travel camera. They have the same size image sensor, but as their name implies don’t have the mirror SLRs do. Because of that, they also lack a through the lens viewfinder.
BLACK FRIDAY SLR CAMERAS
SLR stands for single lens reflex. These cameras are generally larger and heavier compared to point-and-shoot models. They are used mostly by people who want higher image quality, more creative options and better performance when shooting fast-moving events such as sports. SLRs single lens, means the image you see through the eyepiece is a reflected image. Reflex refers to the image being bounced off a mirror as you press the shutter. The mirror flips up and the camera captures the image on the sensor. All SLRs use interchangeable lenses and have large sensors. The larger the image sensor, the shallower the depth of field the camera can produce, allowing for more creative photos: such as focusing on a subject and blurring out the background. Most SLRs have plenty of manual controls, such as an exposure compensation dial to quickly brighten or darken the scene. There are also full-frame SLRs. Their image sensor is the size of one frame of 35mm film. A full-frame sensor allows the camera to more accurately capture both bright highlights and dark details in the same image.
Most cameras now have digital displays, the screen on the back of the camera that lets you frame and review your photos. Some even have touch screens like those found on the smartphone. More advanced cameras may also have a viewfinder to frame your shot. These can be helpful when you’re shooting in bright light and cannot see the image on your display.
A flash is available on almost every digital camera to help illuminate your subject. There are two main types: a built-in which can be on board or pop-up and an external flash which is sold separately. An external flash provides a lot more light than a built-in flash and lets you illuminate a greater area from a longer distance.
BLACK FRIDAY ZOOM LENSES
There are two types of zoom lenses: optical and digital. Optical zoom is a true zoom feature because it uses the moving lenses of the camera to bring the subject closer without losing image quality. Almost every standalone camera uses optical zoom. Digital zoom only makes an image seem close-up by magnifying the centre of the frame without increasing picture detail. You will almost always lose image quality using it a digital zoom, like the one found in most smartphones.
Nearly all still cameras these days can capture HD video. Some can also capture Ultra HD or 4k video, which has a higher resolution, four times the number of pixels of regular high-definition video. But you’ll need an ultra-high def TV to take full advantage of 4k. One convenient video feature now found on many cameras is a dedicated video button, so you can quickly switch between still images and video.
BLACK FRIDAY DIGITAL CAMCORDERS
Many of today’s digital camcorders deals can fit in the palm of your hand and weigh as little as half a pound yet still have at least a 10 times optical zoom. Many features available on HD camcorders are very similar to those of digital cameras. The primary difference between cameras and camcorders is their form factor or shape. For example, while cameras are ergonomically designed for you to take the best still pictures, camcorders and some action cams are formed to provide a more comfortable grip while shooting video. The same goes for the placement of the video record button, the flip out LCD panel and the optical zoom features. Camcorders are a good option if you plan to take a lot of video for long stretches and you don’t want to lug around a heavy SLR.
Action cams are designed for people who like outdoor sports and activities, such as jet skiing and snowboarding, and want the ability to capture hands-free video. Because they are so light and compact, they may lack features like a viewfinder or an LCD. Although some have a waterproof exterior, many have a rugged and waterproof housing or removable case. Part of the appeal of action cams is that you can attach them almost anywhere. Handlebars, a helmet or even a drone. Also important is that an action cam has simple OneTouch controls and even Wi-Fi, so you can control the camera from your smartphone while your hands are busy.
MEMORY CARDS AND PRINTERS
Instead of film digital camera camcorders and action cams store your images on flash memory cards. Since so many cameras offer Wi-Fi, you can transfer them wirelessly to your computer, your smartphone or even your printer. You also can insert the memory card from your camera into your computer or a card reader (a device that attaches to your computer to read memory cards) Some printers also have card slots allowing you to quickly print photos without a computer.