There are many digital camera manufacturers out there, although a small number make up a very large proportion of the market. Once you are sure on the type of camera you are after, then you should carefully consider which make and model to go for. When choosing a compact or bridge camera this is a reasonably straight forward task of matching your needs with a camera that offers the right quality and features for your budget. For DSLR buyers the choice is more difficult, as the camera body you buy will tie you into a certain range of accessories. Taking the time to make sure you get it right now will help make sure you don’t regret choosing a camera later on.
One of the two biggest players (alongside Nikon), Canon have an established reputation at all levels of the market and a as popular with everyone from professionals to those just wanting something easy to use for holiday snaps.
Very much on a par with Canon, Nikon also offer a wide of highly regarded consumer and professional digital cameras. Although Nikon had played second fiddle to Canon in popularity in the digital SLR market since it’s inception, the last few years have seen them reach parity. Their latest and greatest cameras tend to have larger, full-frame sensors and are known for their innovation and performance in low light conditions. Nikon also produced the first digital SLR to record video, a feature found on many modern digital SLRs from other manufacturers.
Panasonic are the first of the general electronics companies to be listed here, but don’t necessarily let that put you off. They offer a range of highly regarded cameras, particularly in their compact range. The G-series of interchangeable lens cameras offer a real alternative to traditional DSLRs, utilising the same Four Thirds lens system as Olympus.
Fujifilm are an established camera manufacturer, and one of the first to develop bridge cameras (so called as they attempt to ‘bridge’ the gap between a point and shoot and DSLR). Fuji currently offer a wide range of compacts, from the budget friendly to the high-end. Fuji have maintained a reputation for their superior low light performance across many models in their compact range, so if you envisage wanting to take photos at night or at partys/bars/clubs without relying heavily on the flash then you should seriously consider Fujis offerings.
Olympus are a well established digital camera manufacturer, offering a full range of compacts, digital SLRs and their small form factor PEN range of interchangeable lens cameras. Whilst some of their lower end compact models lag behind the competition, the PEN compact system offers a very real DSLR alternative and their full-size DSLR range has a relatively small but loyal following.
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