Which Camera Should You Get?

It’s about six months before Christmas, just enough time for you to save up on—or inception your parents with the idea of buying you—a shiny new shooter. There are tons of options out in the market though, and if you weren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth, buying the right type is critical towards having an enjoyable photographic experience. We simplify the different camera choices below so you can walk into a store and get the most bang for your buck.

DSLR

The stereotypical photography tool with its sophisticated black build, myriad of buttons, and long lenses.

Flexible in use thanks to manual mode, giving them the oomph they need in different situations.

Lenses, battery packs, and hot shoe add-ons further expand their capabilities. Better yet, adapters are present so you can mix and match brands to your liking.

The downside? The whole thing is bulky and a bit inconvenient to just whip out and go. Going deeper into the ecosystem is also a pricey affair.
Entry-level ones sell for below PHP 20,000 while bleeding edge models reach the PHP 500,000 mark.

MIRRORLESS

Mirrorless units are able to produce high-quality photos that rival those from DSLRs, all in a form factor that’s lighter and much more manageable.

Like the DSLR, various add-ons can be purchased to supplement the mirrorless experience.
However, due to the relative newness of these kinds of cameras, options are not as robust. Accessory agnosticism is also not as widespread.

On the plus side, they’re generally easier to deploy and they usually boast the latest technologies that allow them to perform well across all aspects, including autofocus speed, low-light shooting, image stabilization, and video capture.

The technological innovations crammed in a small body entails DSLR-esque price tags.
POINT AND SHOOT

This old type of camera may have been overtaken by smartphone-ography in the last few years, but recent technological developments should see this segment making a comeback.

We reviewed a couple of point and shoots in the GadgetsLab in the past months and it’s hard to distinguish shots between a DSLR, mirrorless, and point and shoot of the same price range.

Accessories and aftermarket parts are virtually non-existent.

Pocketable and, as the name implies, entails pointing at your subject and pressing the shutter button.

You can find ones for as low as PHP 3,000, with image quality and functionality both getting huge boosts the more money you shell out.

ACTION CAMERA


The most rugged of the cameras listed here, action cameras are built with the adventurous in mind.

Camera quality varies between price tiers, but those at the middle of the spectrum boast great video outputs at frame rates up to 60 fps.

Their small bodies can withstand a lot of things, including drops, dives, and dirt.

Comes with plenty of accessories such as mounts, poles, floaters, and what have you either out of the box or aftermarket, official or non-official, and store-grade or homemade.

Most accessories are cross-compatible with products from other brands.

Available for as low as PHP 3,000 all the way up to PHP 30,000 for brand-name ones.

Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE June 2016

Words by Chris Noel Hidalgo

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