Camera Buying Tips for Making the Most Out of Trips

Photo By Itzel Quintana / el Don

cameraBy Itzel Quintana

Summer vacation is around the corner and many students are planning to take advantage of their break from school.

Whether it’s going down to the beach or taking a vacation, it is important to create a checklist of what to pack for any trip. One of the top items on any list should always be a camera, because pictures will preserve a trip long after it’s done.

“On trips I always pack my camera before my clothes because I like to share the photos I take with my family,” Christopher Rea, a sociology major at Santa Ana College, said. “It’s like they went with me.”

Many people rely on their smartphones to capture images. The photo quality of cameras in smartphones has increased over the years and the creation of various photography apps allows users to manipulate their built-in cameras.

“I don’t own a camera because the one on my phone is enough for me,” Ethan Mach, a criminal justice major at SAC, said.

Digital camera sales have declined as much as 29 percent since 2006, according to a 2012 study by Mintel, a consumer market research group.

Although smartphones make it easier to snap a quick picture, the image quality and ability to control the settings of digital cameras can influence many to make an upgrade.

However, it is easy for first-time buyers to make mistakes when taking take the next step up.

“Many people make the mistake of buying the Ferrari of cameras, not knowing how to work with the features and settings of the camera,” Chair of Art and Photography Phillip Marquez said.

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It is important to get a feel for the camera, to understand all of its features and how it functions before making a purchase.

Marquez recommends that buyers steer away from purchasing their first camera online because they lose the customer service element that is found at a local store.

The two best digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera brands for new users are Canon and Nikon.

“Canon [cameras] are more user friendly because their buttons make it easy to use, but the lens glasses on Nikon are superior,” Marquez said, “But you’re really splitting hairs when comparing the two.”

Fujifilm’s Instax is an easy-to-use, snapshot camera that instantly produces images on Polaroid-like film. Apps like Instagram have emulated the idea of instant cameras such as the Instax, making them popular among users of the app.

“[Instax cameras] are cool because they’re bringing back components of analog cameras,” Marquez said. “A new generation can experience and revitalize a bygone era.”

Stores like Samy’s Camera on Bristol Street sell new and used DSLRs and SLRs, a variety of instant cameras and lens kits for smartphones. They also offer a student discount to customers that provide a valid school ID.

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