It is beyond doubt that photography is taking over the blogging world. Quality cameras are the epitome of good photography. Shopping for the perfect camera, however, is overwhelming. So many technical terms are used, leaving most people somewhat confused. I have therefore decided to break some of these terms for you in a simple language.
If you are looking to buy a compact digital camera or mirrorless camera, be it for your blog posts or just as a hobbyist, there are some key terms you will come across. I like to refer to them as the pillars of photography. They are; Shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. The three work together.
Shutter speed means the amount of time that the camera shutter is open for light exposure to the camera sensor. If a camera has a high shutter speed, it means the camera shutter is open for a short time; hence, the camera sensor has low lighting. High shutter speed is ideal for daytime photography. Contrariwise, low shutter speed means that the camera shutter is open for a more extended period allowing more lighting into the camera sensor. This speed is ideal for nighttime photography or when taking photos in a dimly lit room.
Shutter speed is not only responsible for the amount of time the camera shutter is open. It determines the appearance of photos in motion. Taking a picture of a fast-moving car will require an equally high shutter speed as low shutter speed will lead to blurry images. Conversely, slow-moving objects do not necessarily need a high shutter speed.
Shutter speed is in terms of fractions of a second. Therefore you will come across 1/200 to almost 1/8000. For most cameras, it is possible to extend the shutter speed to 30 seconds.
It refers to the opening that allows light to get into the camera. If you set the aperture to the maximum size possible, maximum light reaches the camera. Conversely, if you set it to the smallest scale, the camera will allow very little light to reach the camera sensor. Other than allowing light into the camera, aperture size determines the depth of field (DoF). DoF in layman language refers to how much of a photo is in focus or in other words range of distance that appear very sharp or in a picture. Large apertures are used to give a shallow focus effect, while the smaller ones result in a more in-depth focus. F-stops or F-numbers denote the aperture. Examples include f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, etc./1.4 refers to the maximum aperture, and f/4 refers to the smallest aperture size. Therefore care should be taken to avoid confusion.
Last but not least is the ISO. It indicates how sensitive a camera is to light. A camera with a high ISO is sensitive to light and therefore requires less light. Conversely, a lower ISO means low light sensitivity. High ISO gives bright pictures, but these photos are, in most cases, grainy. The base ISO refers to the lowest ISO, which offers the best quality pictures.
Your set budget, the primary purpose of a camera, and your personal preference are some of the factors you need to consider before settling for a camera. Here is a review of the best cameras that you are in the market.
Nikon Coolpix B500 Digital Camera.
- 16 megapixel 1/2.3 inches BSI CMOS sensor
- Nikkor f/3.0 6.5 millimeter ED lens
- 22.5 900 millimeter (35 millimeter equivalent)
It is the perfect super zoom bridge camera for anyone looking to buy a camera. It is small and very light hence portable and has a sturdy camera body. It is considered a high-end camera that is comfortable to hold with one hand as you get your shot. If you are new to the photography world and are yet to grasp the photography concepts, this is the camera for you. The default settings are in such a manner that they give the perfect picture. It is has a significant grip on the side, which makes it easy and comfortable to hold the camera without dropping it.
Key features and benefits
It has a 16 megapixels backside illuminated CMOS low –light and1/2.3in image sensor. The optical lens can zoom up to 40x. If you need to zoom further, it allows you to activate the digital zoom up to 80x. The 3.0-inch tilting TFT LCD enables the user to take a video or shot without straining. For YouTubers, this Coolpix B500 camera is the way to go. It provides full HD video recording and has an inbuilt Wi-Fi, NFC & Bluetooth. Sometimes it is hard and frustrating to take a clear shot with shaky hands or when in motion. When using this camera, you need not worry as it has an in-built Lens-Shift Vibration Reduction (VR), which reduces vibration enhancing the clear shot. It has a shutter speed of 1/1500 and a light sensitivity of ISO 125-6400. I would recommend this camera to all bloggers due to the high quality of images and videos.
Uses double-Batteries that could last up to 400 shots. I loved this camera because of the quality of telephotos and HD videos you get. I also really like the speed at which the camera can autofocus. The camera is effortless to use. It comes in black and red and costs $256.95, and if you ask me, you get value for your money.
Nikon Coolpix P900 Digital Camera.
- 16MP CMOS sensor; 6 level brightness adjustment
- 24 2000-millimeter 35-millimeter equivalent focal length. Sensor size:...
- 83x optical zoom Nikkor super ED VR lens
This camera comes a close second. It is a fantastic, ultra zoom bridge camera. It is relatively small and weighs about 2 pounds. It is an excellent choice. This camera is perfect for vlogging and blogging. Just like the Coolpix B500, it has a deep chunky grip, which makes it easy to secure with one hand. However, since it weighs almost two pounds, holding it with one hand for extended periods could pose a challenge. The camera is aesthetically pleasing.
Key features and benefits
The Coolpix P900 is well known for its zooming specification. It has an 83x zoom range, which is equivalent to 24-2,000mm on a full-frame camera, which is mind-blowing. Nikon has stated that it can reveal what the naked eye is unable to see, for instance, the surface of the moon. It has a 16-megapixel sensor and can capture videos of 1080p full HD for amazing video quality. The sensor size is 1/2.3 inches, which in my opinion is quite low. The electronic viewfinder has a 921K-dot resolution find, which is pretty impressive.
The tilting TFT LCD screen 3-inch screen makes it easy to use. Other than the Inbuilt Wi-Fi and NFC, it has GPS enabling you to geotag pictures, thus suitable for a travel blogger. It also has a shutter speed of 1/4000 sec, light sensitivity ranging from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. Battery life is at about 360 shots which is below average. However, for only $ 496.95, this is a great camera.
I love this camera because it comes with a tripod stand slot; thus, it is an excellent choice for YouTubers, and it is easy to use.
Canon Power Shot SX540 Digital Camera
- Powerful 50x optical zoom with optical image stabilizer for...
- 20.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor with DIGIC 6 Image Processor helps deliver...
- Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC allows for easy sharing and transferring of...
If you are looking for a camera that is light, small, and with a high image resolution, this is the one. It weighs less than 500 grams and measures 120 x 82 x 92 mm. Like the other two, it has a chunky grip that is comfortable. Unfortunately, the TFT LCD screen is not articulating. However, the LCD screen has a resolution of 461k dots but is not a touchscreen. I like this camera because it has a simple design with high specifications. If you have used the Canon mark ii or Canon eos then you will be very familiar with the menu options and settings
Key Specifications and benefits.
It has a 20.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor. This resolution is quite high, and therefore the Canon SX540 takes good quality pictures with minimum noise and can record full hd video. The 4.3-215mm lens has 50x ultra-zooming capabilities with wide-angle to capture details. The inbuilt intelligent IS enables the photographer to take clear shots in spite of shaky hands or when in motion. It has a shutter speed ranging from 1/2000 of a second to 15 seconds, and the light sensitivity ranges from 100 ISO to 3200 ISO. It has an autofocus processor that uses 9 AF sensors, which is impressive. The camera has inbuilt Wi-Fi, NFC, and GPS. It is thus an excellent choice for a travel blogger or entry level user.
Most photographers don’t get the perfect photo in a single shot; Canon power shot SX540 enables the user to take quick and continuous shots. It also allows the user to control the camera with a smartphone and use features such as time-lapse and panoramic.
For $259, this camera is worth every penny.
Panasonic Lumix Fz80 4K Digital Camera.
- Point and Shoot Long Zoom Camera: 18.1 megapixel MOS sensor plus...
- High Resolution View Finder & LCD Display: High resolution 1,170K dot...
- 4K video Capture: 4K QFHD video recording (3840 x 2160) with three...
It is yet another super zoom bridge camera. Measuring about 3.7* 5.1* 4.7 inches and weighs 1.4 pounds. Therefore it is relatively small and light. It has a deep handgrip with the camera shutter at the top. This camera has a pop-up flash for when you are taking photos at night. The LCD is not articulating and has a resolution of 1040k dots. I love this camera because it is one of the few that shoot 4k UHD videos and 4K photos modes.
It has 18 megapixels and 1/2.3 inch BSI-CMOS Sensor. The lens has 60x zooming capabilities, which is very high. The camera has an inbuilt electric viewfinder with a resolution of 1166k dots and 100% coverage.100% Coverage means that the image that appears on the viewer is the same image that will be in the photo. Thus reducing unnecessary image cropping. The sensor is a little bit small, but it works perfectly well with this camera. The camera is easy to use and would be an ideal fit for a beginner. The Lumix FZ80 can take ten frames in one second, and ten fps with autofocus locked for up to 13 raw frames.
With a shutter speed ranging from 1/1600 to 60 seconds, the light sensitivity of ISO 80 to ISO 6400, this camera takes a high-quality image. The Lumix FZ80 is a good investment for all the bloggers as the quality of photos is exquisite.
This camera saves the videos in a raw format allowing you to post-process. It also has a shoe where you can mount your external flashes. The camera is 297.99 dollars, and it is worth every penny.
Canon PowerShot SX530 Digital Camera
- Powerful 50x Optical Zoom lets you capture the details that make your...
- Equipped with built-in Wi Fi and NFC to make wireless sharing of...
- Fully compatible with Canon's photo and video storage device: The...
It is the ideal super zoom bridge camera suitable for all bloggers and vloggers. It replaced the Canon SX520. The Canon SX530 is light small, and light, therefore portable. Just like all the other cameras discussed above, it has a deep grip. It also has a fixed 3 inch LCD screen with a resolution of 461K. I prefer articulating monitors, but this works just fine. The image quality that this camera produces is beyond any other camera in its price range and makes it a suitable blogging camera.
Key features and benefits
It has a 16 megapixels and CMOS 1/2.3 inch image sensor. The camera allows the user to zoom up to 50x, which is equivalent to 120mm. For anyone on a budget and wants a camera with excellent zooming capabilities, this Canon SX530 camera is the way to go. It has no viewfinder; however, it comes with an builtin flash. The in-built optical image stabilizer analyzes camera movement; thus, taking clear pictures takes high-quality pictures in good lighting. This camera can also provide 1080p full HD video recording. The Canon SX530 has in-built NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity allowing you to transfer data remotely. The light sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, shutter speed ranges from 1/2000 of a second to 15 seconds. There is also a continuous shooting mode which makes it perfect for a sports blog.
The camera has 46 creative filters available to enhance picture creativity, very high-speed autofocus that helps you focus an image in motion. Last but not least, this camera is user-friendly; you need no professional skill to use it. For only $239, you get value for your money.
Sony DSCH300/B Digital Camera
- Get everything up close with powerful 35x optical zoom
- Operating temperature:-10 ~ +40℃ (operation)/ -20 ~ +60℃...
- Minimized Blur with optical SteadyShot image stabilization
The Sony DSCH300/B is small and light, thus portable and offers great features. It has a protruding grip on the side, allowing the user to shoot or record with one hand. On top of the camera are a shoot button, zoom button, and a flip switch, which allows you to switch through different modes. It comes with an inbuilt flash. If you are on a budget, I would recommend you get this camera mainly because it takes high-quality pictures both in low lighting and in a good light. These photos are perfect for social media and other photo sharing sites.
Sony DSCH300 is a point-and-shoot camera with 20.1 megapixels, and a 1/2.3 inch Super HAD CCD image sensor. The sensor enables quality HD videos of up to 1280 x 720p. With a zoom lens of 35X, this camera can take quality pictures from a distance. What I love about this camera is the optical image stabilizer, which gives you sharp images without too much hustle. The 3 inch LCD screen with 461k dots enables the user to monitor pictures. So if the camera is this nice, why is it number 6?
The camera requires four double-A batteries, which is one of the reasons the camera is number six on my list. It also lacks wireless connectivity making it hard to transfer data and there is no tilting touchscreen. Also it has a fixed lens so you will not be able to swap out any interchangeable lenses with this one. All in all, the pros outweigh the cons. This camera cost approximately $85.
Canon PowerShot SX420 Digital Camera.
- Powerful 42x Optical Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer for...
- Aspect Ratio : 16:9 / 3:2 / 4:3 / 1:1. Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC allows...
- 20.0 Megapixel sensor with DIGIC 4+ Image Processor helps deliver...
It is yet another bridge super zoom camera by Canon. The Canon SX420 is small and very light; thus, it is portable. Just like the other Canon cameras discussed earlier, it has a deep grip allowing the user to shoot or film with one hand comfortably. One of the downsides of this camera is the fixed 3 inch LCD. I prefer the tilting screen. The LCD has a resolution of 230k dots, which is quite impressive and similar to the Canon Rebel. If you tend to take more selfies this might be a better option as it is smaller and lighter.
The main reason I like this camera is the 42X optical zoom lens. Other than that, it has a 16.1 megapixel and a 1/2.3 inch CCD image sensor. The camera has an inbuilt image stabilization, which improves the quality of the image by reducing blurriness. The maximum video resolution is 1280*270p, which is generally a low quality compared with the current standard.
It has an inbuilt flash and lacks an external flash shoe. The camera has an inbuilt WI-FI and NFC connectivity, which facilitate ease of data transfer. In good lighting, it takes good quality photos; however, the quality reduces with the reduction of light. Another feature I liked about the camera is that it can shoot continuously at a maximum speed of 0.5 fps. It has a shutter speed of 1/4000 sec and a light sensitivity ranging from ISO 100-ISO 1600. Battery life is rated at about 260 shots.
The user has the option of remotely using a phone to control the camera. The camera is worth $149, which I think is a reasonable price.
Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 Digital Camera
- 12x Optical Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer helps you capture...
- Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC allows for easy sharing and transferring of...
- 20.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor combines with the DIGIC 4+ Image Processor...
Last but not least is the Canon ELPH 360. It is a full HD compact camera. It is small, measuring 3.9 x 2.3 x 0.9 inches and weighs about 150g. This camera is the size of most phones making it perfect to take selfies. It has a beautiful sleek design and is void of the many buttons present on other cameras. However, it also lacks a grip.
It has a 20.2MP 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor and a Digic 4+ image processor. One of the reasons I love this camera is because it takes high-quality pictures, even in low lighting. The 3 inch LCD screen has 461k dots resolution, which is quite impressive. The main reason I like this camera is the 12x Optical Zoom lens, which zooms images with minimal effect on the quality. The Canon ELPH 360 also has an inbuilt Optical Image Stabilizer that helps you capture images with flexibility and ease, its a great action camera. Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC allows for easy sharing and transferring of pictures and videos.
The Hybrid auto lets you record up to four seconds of video before each image that you capture, then automatically combines each clip and still into a quick video recap of the day. If you like to travel light, this is the camera for you. It cost $189, which is a reasonable price
You can remotely control the camera with a smartphone, the 1080p HD video capabilities, and an in-built flash.
Before you buy a camera, it is crucial to establish why you are purchasing the camera. You might want to buy a camera and take photos as a hobby or professionally, like a blogger. Depending on your set out objective, you can then set a budget. Some other factors to consider include;
Lens: Should you settle for a DSLR camera, make sure it has interchangeable. The quality of the lens will determine the quality of the images. A high-quality lens produces high-quality photos. Conversely, the vice versa is true.
Camera resolution. Camera resolution refers to the amount of detail that a camera can capture in an image. Cameras with high-resolution produce very detailed images, conversely, the lower the number of pixels, the more the noise in the picture.
What is HD, full HD, and the Ultra HD?. These terms are commonly used to describe the pixel resolution in a video. HD or 720p has a pixel resolution of 1280 x 720.Full HD or 1080p has a higher resolution of 1920 x 1080. Lastly, we have the Ultra HD or 2160p with a resolution of 3840 x 2160. Any HD, Full HD, or UltraHD video is sufficient.
Personal preference. Another factor to consider is what you feel most comfortable using. After all, you will be the long-term user.
I took it upon myself to conduct thorough research and find the best camera for blogging, now its up to you to see which suits your needs; I have broken down the technical terms, analyzed each camera giving the pros and cons as well as the price. All the cameras discussed above are ideal for beginners, relatively light and small, and above all, produce high-quality photos. They are great for vlogging and blogging. Any of the above options will provide you with a good camera.