For many people, the only camera they need to have is the one on their smartphone. But arguably now more than ever is the time to invest in a quality camera. The rise of Instagram has made social media increasingly image-centric. It can be pretty hard to stand out among Instagram’s billions of monthly users. One way that doesn’t involve hiring anyone to optimize your outreach is by having high-quality photos on your feed. The easiest way to achieve that is with a digital camera.
Even if you’re not using your camera for social media purposes, you might find that a camera purchase is one that could actually have a quick return on investment. Whether for special occasions or for making a new website, you might find that people start asking you to take photos for them. And even if they don’t, you could very well develop a lifelong love of photography.
There are a lot of different kinds of cameras on the market, and it helps to know some key differences. DSLR stands for digital single lens reflex, and DSLR cameras use a mirror to reflect the image into the viewfinder. This offers great precision but makes for a bulky device. Mirrorless is the most recent technology and offers many of the benefits of a DSLR while reducing weight, but these are typically more expensive. Point and shoot cameras are simple, affordable, and compact but typically don’t offer the level of precision as DSLR or Mirrorless.
If you’re ready to step up the quality of your photos, we have suggestions on great cameras that can help.
1. Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera
Ready to make the dive into DSLR cameras? This Canon makes a great argument first camera with high-quality photos and 1080p video capabilities. For the modest price, there is a lot offered alongside the Canon camera. There are multiple lenses, a tripod, a cleaning kit, a strap, a carrying case and even a couple of SD cards. The camera takes high-quality photos, and the kit makes it an easy all-in-one option for beginners.
Pros: High-quality photos, WiFi compatibility, 1080p video and multiple accessories offered.
Cons: The Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera comes with a big price tag.
Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera
2. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera
Sometimes you want to be able to take professional-grade photos, and sometimes you want a fun way to take photos that you can enjoy right away. Polaroid, the company that pioneered instant camera technology, has had its ups and downs, going bankrupt multiple times in the 21st century. Fujifilm picked up the slack with their affordable Instax cameras. Even if you’re a professional photographer, you can still enjoy the simple pleasure of instant photos with the Instax, which is powered by two AA batteries. Great for kids and adults, the cameras come in a variety of colors, have a selfie mirror, an automatic exposure measurement that helps take great photos, and a macro lens adapter.
Pros: Affordable, enjoy your photos right away.
Cons: Even though the camera is inexpensive, the film packs add up.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera
3. Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom
For a camera that can get close up even when you’re far away from subjects, try the Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom. The camera features a 42x optical zoom and a 24mm wide-angle lens that is ideal for long-distance photography. Users can also shoot in the Panorama mode to capture wide-angle shots, which is ideal for landscapes and large group photos. Photos have a 1080p resolution and users can also capture 720p videos. In-camera editing features like face, cat and dog detection help take great pictures of two and four-legged friends. The Face Beautifier provides filter-like editing capabilities, which is easy to use on the large three-inch LCD screen.
Pros: Excellent zoom capabilities, several in-camera editing functions, high quality video capabilities.
Cons: The Kodak only works with standard SD cards up to 32 GB and won’t take micro SD cards.
Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom
4. Canon PowerShot ELPH
One of the reasons smartphones have become the go-to camera for many is because they don’t add bulk or weight to pockets and purses. With the Canon PowerShot ELPH, users can take great photos and videos without lugging around a heavy camera. The small but mighty camera features an 8x optical zoom with an optical stabilizer that is ideal for capturing subjects while in motion. A 20.0 Megapixel CCD sensor and image processor delivers high-quality pictures. Users can also shoot 720p HD video that benefits from the Digital IS, which reduces camera shake. Ideal for users who are new to photography, the camera includes Smart AUTO, which selects the best settings based on shooting conditions. We also like the fun filters and effects, including Monochrome, Fish Eye and Toy Camera.
Pros: Compact, user-friendly, can shoot film and video.
Cons: Users must buy their own SD memory card but Canon does sell a version that comes with a card.
Canon PowerShot ELPH
5. Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera
The Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera is designed for adventure. For users who want to shoot high-quality images and videos in challenging conditions, this dustproof, shockproof, crushproof, freezeproof and waterproof camera is the way to go. The Olympus has a high-resolution F2.0 lens and 8x optical zoom. A macro system with four macro shooting modes, five underwater shooting modes and three underwater white balance modes all help to produce crystal clear 4k movies. The impressive battery can hold up to 340 images and 29 to 110 minutes of video footage, which can easily be viewed on the three-inch LCD screen. Olympus also sells the camera in a set with a neoprene case and foam float strap.
Pros: Waterproof, durable, high shooting quality.
Cons: The Olympus has a high price point and users should invest time in the manual to properly use all settings.