Audio Buying Guide

Cameras Buying Guide

Digital imaging is changing the way we use cameras and camcorders. This guide is here to help you through this technical revolution and find everything you need to take the very best photos and movies.

Just click onto one of the links below to find out more.

Compact Cameras

These pocket-sized cameras are ideal for a variety of situations and come in a wide range of styles to suit your needs. Everyday cameras are perfect for general use, combining excellent image quality with an easy-to-use and intuitive menu system. With a range of wide-angle and zoom lenses to choose from, there are also features such as GPS tagging and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as creative filters for changing the look of your pictures.

Activity Compacts:
Waterproof, drop-proof, dust-proof and more- these cameras are built to survive anything you throw at them. If you're after a camera that will keep up with any adventure or something sturdy for younger hands, these are the ones for you.

Check your cameras sensor for premium image quality
At the heart of every digital camera is an image sensor which converts the scene into a digital image- and the size and type of sensor will affect the quality of your images and video. Smaller compacts have CMOS or CCD sensors, both capable of capturing rich detail- while larger compacts boast more advanced sensors, re-engineered for increased performance.

Choose a battery that'll last for longer shooting
Most compact cameras are supplied with a rechargeable lithium battery pack which are lightweight and quickly charged. If you're often away from your charger, pick up an additional battery or choose a camera which includes AA batteries, which can't be beaten for convenience. Rear LCD for composing- Compact cameras use the read LCD screen to frame up pictures as well as reviewing your images and videos. Some models offer touch screen technology as well- so if you don't want to get bogged down with button pressing, choosing a compact with touch screen is the best option. A zoom lens offers more picture taking versatility- Most compacts offer a zoom lens to give plenty of framing options. The larger the zoom range, the greater the versatility and the wider the selection of images you'll be able to take- they're ideal for use while travelling or at sports events.

Suggested accessories for your Compact cameras

Power: keep your spare batteries charged so you're ready for anything
Memory: To complement your camera choose a fast, reliable memory card. Don't forget to check if your camera needs Micro SD or normal SD.
Cases: Protect your camera with one of our wide ranges of cases; we've got lots of sizes and colours to choose from. Just check the size of your camera before purchasing.

Superzoom Cameras

With long optical zooms built in as standard, these cameras are fantastic all-rounder's for capturing life from a distance without any reduction in quality. Ideal for travelling and everyday use, these feature-rich cameras will help you capture your best pictures.

Advanced Compacts
If you want a little more from your compact camera or are seeking a more portable partner than a digital SLR or CSC, have a look at our range of advanced compacts. Higher quality sensors and RAW shooting capabilities ensure premium quality shots and greater control.

Bridge Cameras

Packed with features and long zoom lenses, bridge cameras offer great picture taking versatility.

Between DSLR's and compacts sit bridge cameras. They typically offer super long optical zoom that enable you to shoot a wide range of subjects and many advanced feature, plus DSLR-like styling so they're easy to handle. These cameras are popular with those who want a robust camera that's rich in technology.

Compact System Cameras

Combining the creativity of interchangeable lenses with the portability of a compact.
For the imaging power of a digital SLR combined with the portability of a compact camera, you can't beat a CSC. Light and easy to carry, interchangeable lenses provide creative options, while large sensors produce pin-sharp images rich in detail and tones- plus optional adaptors open up a world of DSLR lenses as well.

Compact styling- By removing the bulky pentaprism and flip up mirror used inside both traditional and digital SLR cameras, CSC designers were able to make their cameras smaller, lighter and more compact. Some CSC's are barely bigger than top-end compacts- making these cameras ideal for travel or use on the go.

Advance functionality & digital SLR-grade features
It's not just pure imaging power that CSC's have inherited from digital SLR's- some of the more advanced creative features offered by high end DSLR's have also found their way into these tiny, technology rich cameras.

Larger sensors for improved low light performance
Most CSC's boast larger sensors than those found in compact cameras and a large number of them actually have the same sensors as those found in digital SLR's. A CMOS sensor promises improved low light performance, better sensitivity in low-light and finer detail capture- the same as you'll find in a DSLR.

Enter a world of changeable lenses
Many users step up to CSC's in order to get that professional background blur in their images- but that's not the only benefit to changing lenses. Being able to swap between optics opens up a wide range of creative options, and with specially engineered macro lenses, fisheyes, telephoto zooms, pancakes and primes now available- plus adaptors so you can make use of your systems DSLR lenses-the only limit is your imagination.

Suggested accessories for your CSC

Power: keep your spare batteries charged so you're ready for anything
Memory: if you're a prolific shooter, you need a large capacity card.
Filters: Protect your lens from scratches, marks and dust with a filter.

DSLR Cameras

The ultimate choice for imaging power and fine control over your photography.
Professional photographers choose digital SLR's for a reason. These top-end cameras are armed with the very latest in imaging technology, super-large sensors, extreme low-light sensitivity plus compatibility with a huge range of lenses and accessories to help you get great shots. Beginner models now have built in live guides to help newcomers.

Interchangeable lenses for creativity
The key feature of a digital SLR is the ability to change lenses to suit the photo you'd like to take. Select a telephoto for a distance subject, or choose a Macro for working up close- and with a huge variety of top-quality lenses available for all systems plus those created by third party manufacturers, there's a lens for every style of photography.

Professional-grade performance
Professional photographers arm themselves with top-end digital SLR's for a reason- the fine detail and accurate colours offered by large sensors, coupled with responsive controls and fast performance, make digital SLR's the first choice for those who value their pictures.

See the whole picture with an optical view finder
Most digital SLR's offer optical viewfinders with wide fields of view, so you can see exactly what you're about to capture in a frame.

Review images & video or compose using Live View
Most DSLR's now offer Live View for a compact-style framing using live display on the camera's rear LCD screen. Some also have touch screen control and vari-angle LCD screens that swivel or flip out for more comfortable shooting from creative angles.

Suggested accessories for your DSLR

Power: keep your spare batteries charged so you're ready for anything
Remote: Investe in a wireless remote to keep camera shake at bay.
Memory: Some DSLR's shoot at super fast speeds. Keep up by choosing a super fast extreme memory card.
Filters: Protect your lens from scratches, marks and dust with a filter.
Bag: Keep everything protected and in one place with one of DLSR bags.
Tripods: For shake free shots choose from our great selection of tripods.

Camcorders

If you'd rather shoot video than stills, we've got a range of camcorders to suit all budgets and needs- everything from waterproof pocket camcorders to top end premium models.

Enjoy HD quality movies and still images- HD camcorders capture improved detail compared to older non HD camcorders, and you'll see the benefits during playback on your computers screen as well as through all modern HDTV's. Don't forget that you can also use your camcorder to capture still images- often taking photos while the camera is still recording.

Super-long zooms to get close into the action. Camcorders come into their own when it comes to zoom- most models offer super long optical zoom that can be extended even further by using digital or intelligent zooms. If you're working at the end of a zoom range or using your camcorder on the go, be sure to select a model with Optical Image Stabilisation as even the most stable hands can cause camera shake that'll make footage blur.

Touch screen control & large screens for playback- Modern camcorders have large flip-out screens with simple to use touch screen functions to control playback, video editing and more besides. Some models have rotating screens for easier shooting in unusual positions, while others boast built-in projectors for your own mini cinema.

Robust design & waterproofing- If you're a fan of the great outdoors, you'll need a camcorder that's as tough as you are. Check your camcorders spec to see how well built it is- our range of pocket camcorders are portable and most are waterproof for use in the rain or holidays.

Suggested accessories:

Power: keep your spare batteries charged so you're ready for anything
Tripod: Choose from one of great selection of tripods for shake free stills and HD Videos
Memory: To keep up with fast burst rates and HD movie shooting invest in an Extreme memory card.

Lenses

Selecting the right style of lens is essential. We've got a wide range suit all but what type do you need?

Wide Angle: Great for capturing the whole scene, these lenses squeeze a lot into a single lens frame.

Macro: A dedicated Macro lens is an essential purchase for anyone who enjoys close-up photography.

Prime: A high-quality, fixed focal length lens that usually offers wider apertures than a zoom.

Telephoto: Used for getting close to far off subjects, a telephoto will give you extra magnification.

Zoom: Having a zoom in your bag gives you the flexibility of multiple focal length in one lens.

Superzoom: Covers a greater range of focal lengths from wide-angle to extreme telephoto.

Lenses explained:

Filter thread: The filter thread allows you to securely place a filter on your lens, which can provide invaluable protection or add creativity to your image making.

Automatic or manual focus mode: Most lenses offer a manual focus mode as well as autofocus. Use the switch on the lens body to swap between modes. Manual focusing can be useful to pre select a focus point when shooting fast moving objects- or for fine tuning close work.

Lens Hoods: Using a lens hood will protect your lens and reduce the possibility of stray light causing lens flare. If your lens comes with a hood, pop it on when shooting toward direct light source. Working without a lens hood may result in your images looking washed out.

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