How to Pick a Digital Camera for Your Blog

By Amy Lupold Bair, Susannah Gardner

When you take photos for your blog, you want to make sure you have a camera that takes good photos. Digital cameras come in all kinds of price ranges and with tons of different features.

When you take a photograph, the image is saved on a storage card or small hard drive, and many cameras have a nice preview screen that lets you see the results of your photography right away.

When you need your photos, you can remove the storage card from your camera and then insert it into the card reader hooked to your computer, or even into a printer.

You may want to have a removable storage card if you plan to take a lot of pictures because you can easily carry several cards with you, switching them out when you fill one. Some cameras can also connect directly to your computer.

Digital cameras usually come with several quality settings that determine the resolution of your image and the sizes that look good when you print your photograph.

If you choose higher-quality settings, the resolution is higher, and the file sizes are also larger. This means fewer images fit on your storage card, but the resulting photos look better, print more sharply, and can be resized more easily than lower-quality images.

Web images are usually compressed so that the file sizes are reasonable for visitors to download, but taking images at higher-quality settings (which usually means that the resolution is also higher than is needed for the web) gives you more options down the line and better looking photos even after compression.

Today, even relatively inexpensive digital cameras and even some cell phones take high-quality images suitable for use in almost any medium, so the real challenge is to pick a camera that suits your picture-taking style.

Be realistic about how you plan to use the camera and how comfortable you are with it when you look at the options:

  • Digital SLRs: If you’re a professional photographer or a dedicated amateur, you likely want a high-end dSLR camera. But these cameras are quite large, which makes them awkward to carry and use unobtrusively on a day-to-day basis. They can be expensive, too.

  • Low-end point-and-shoots: If you’re a photography amateur, super lightweight cameras can get a lot of admiring glances. But they might lack important features, and their tiny size might also make them hard to use and hold steady.

  • Midrange: If you’re not a professional photographer but want more than just the basics that low-end cameras provide, look for a camera in the midprice range. These cameras come in a range of styles and sizes and with a wide range of features designed for use by completely inexperienced to professional photographers.

  • Mobile cameras (phone cameras): Almost all cell phones come with cameras built in — convenient, but the photos may not look as wonderful as those taken with higher-end cameras. If you plan to use your phone to take pictures for your blog, keep that in mind when selecting your phone.

After you have an idea about what kind of camera you’d like to purchase, visit a site such as CNET or Digital Photography Review to read reviews of specific cameras in your preferred category. Even if you find the best price online, you should visit a store first to make sure that you feel comfortable handling that particular camera.