Camera Buying Guide: Types, Essential Features, Lenses & Accessories


If you’re just getting into photography, or you want to capture some amazing moments when traveling around Australia, you’ll be looking for a digital camera to fulfill your needs. There’s countless of models of digital cameras so choosing the right one might be hard. There are all sorts of features that go along with them – there are some weird letters and numbers written all over them, countless accessories which are somewhat pricey which can make it hard to be sure whether you need them or not. Let’s look at some common types of cameras, features that you should be looking for, types of lenses and useful accessories. You can look to buy these things in camera stores Melbourne wide and all over Australia.


Types of Cameras

There are two types of digital cameras that can be found in the camera stores Melbourne wide nowadays – more basic ones (point-and-shoot) and advanced ones (DSLR).

  • Point-and-shoot cameras work pretty much like smartphones, you set them on scene mode or auto mode and shoot. These cameras have limited capabilities and features.
  • DSLR on the other hand, are much more flexible, have higher picture quality and interchangeable lenses.

Essential Features

While some point-and-shoot might not provide some of the features I’m about to list, almost all DSLR cameras do. Some of them might be more useful in some situations, while others might benefit the image quality in other situations.

  • Megapixels are important to a certain extend, while you might not spot much of a difference in quality when using a 10 megapixel camera and a 12 megapixel camera, you want your camera to be around the double digit area. More megapixels means a higher image quality, but it also means more card memory space, so you might be able to store less pictures on your SSD card.
  • Zoom type is also important. You’ll generally hear about two types of zoom: optical and digital. While digital zoom does enlarge objects (think going close to the TV), optical zoom is what most modern cameras have and they usually have them of at least 3x length. Some cameras will have x12 optical zoom.
  • Sensor Size is the chip inside the camera that captures the image. Larger sensor means better performance, so you want to buy a camera with the largest possible sensor you can find, if your budget allows it, of course. Cameras that have sensors with over 1-inch (12.8×9.6 mm) are considered advanced.



Looking for lenses can be a bit intimidating with all the long numbers and letters, especially if you’re a new user. However, you can ignore most of them to start off with, and focus on these few features of the lenses:

  • Focal Length – Len’s angle of view;
  • Image Stabilization – Optical stabilization unit that counteracts blurring effect of hand shake;
  • Aperture – Amount of light the lens can gather;
  • Lens Mount – Decides if the lens will fit your camera or not;
  • Format – Decides whether lens is compatible with the sensor size.



There are many accessories, some can be considered essential, some esoteric. Price will depend on the model of camera you buy. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  • Memory Card – Your camera might come with a smaller memory card, which might not be enough if you intend to take lots of pictures. Transferring pictures from the card to your computer on daily basis might be troublesome. If you can afford it, buy an extra card for emergency situations.
  • Camera Case – This will protect your camera, which can be expensive to fix or replace. So it’s always a good idea to have your costly camera protected at all times. There’s a wide range of styles, types and prices. Look for the one that will fit your budget.
  • External Flash and Extra Lens – These accessories are required if you’re looking to go deeper into the art of photography. An external flash will improve image quality in indoor spaces, while different lenses might change the whole experience and quality of the photos.