Cameras buying guide

The first question you need to ask yourself when buying a new camera is what you want to use it for. After all, you need a special way to preserve those special memories. This guide outlines the various models available, and what to look for when buying a camera from Tesco.

The user model

We have assigned a user model to each of our cameras, to help you choose the right one.

  • Point & Shoot: digital cameras have revolutionised the way we take photos. New technologies are constantly being developed to enhance the quality of the pictures we take. This range offers entry level cameras with some great value offers.
  • Advanced: including 'Superzooms' this range offer some of the newer features without the expense of the digital SLR range, perfect for those who want to improve on snapshots without taking on the bulkier top spec models.
  • Performance: these cameras offer cutting edge technology and breathtaking performance. Our digital SLRs and camcorders are amongst the most competitively priced in the sector.

All our cameras have the added benefit of the optional Tesco electrical 3 year warranty.

Camera technology explained

Buying the right camera is not easy, especially if you don't understand all the technical jargon. Here are some of the more common technical features you may come across when buying a camera, as well as some useful features to look out for.

  • Megapixels: the number of megapixels affects the print quality of the photo. 7 megapixels are more than ample for the 6x4 size prints. For larger prints opt for 8 megapixels or more.
  • Memory card: memory cards are used in conjunction with the digital camera to increase the storage capacity. These come in a number of types and sizes. Types include XD, SD, memory stick, the bigger the GB size the more they hold.
  • Zoom: the zoom of the camera allows you to magnify an image. Optical zooms allow you to do this without losing quality, unlike digital zooms. Superzooms are higher ratio fixed optical zooms.
  • Battery: a lot of these cameras now come with a rechargeable batteryrechargeable battery as standard. This can be useful however some people still prefer the flexibility offered by regular batteries.
  • Screen: in most cases the screen has replaced the view finder on the rear of the camera. Obviously the larger and brighter the screen, the easier it becomes to capture great shots.
  • Image stabiliser: image stabilisers compensate for shaky hands when taking photos, preventing blurry images.
  • Face detection/recognition: the camera focuses on faces and automatically adjusts the focus and exposure to give the best possible picture. This is particularly useful when taking pictures of large groups.
  • Red-eye reduction: this function eliminates red eyes in your photographs. The function works by releasing a burst of short flashes prior to the main flash.
  • Video mode: some digital cameras allow you to record digital movies. Usually, these clips last only up to thirty seconds and the quality is designed for streaming on the Internet or sending via email. Some cameras do offer HD (high-definition) resolution and built-in speakers for playback.

Digital SLR cameras

A digital SLR (single reflex lens) camera gives your photos a more professional look and improves on a compact digital camera through increased control. This allows you to vary the factory settings and experiment with your photos.

There's a wide array of digital SLRs available ranging from basic (for those new to SLR photography) through to feature packed models for the experienced photographer.

  • Use the right lens: choose a lens that's right for the situation to ensure you get the most from your shot. The type of lens you need depends on the subject matter.
  • Zoom: zoom lenses offer flexibility, giving the equivalent of two or more fixed focal length lenses in one unit.
  • Wide-angle: either indoors or out a wide-angle lens will capture everything you see in front of you.
  • Macro: macro lenses bring small things into full size view. These are ideal for close up, detailed shots of smaller objects such as flowers and insects.
  • Telephoto: all digital cameras come with a USB connector, a common way to connect to your computer or photo printer. If you want to show your images on a TV screen you may want to look for additional AV connections.

Digital photo frames

Digital photo frames show off your digital photos without you having to print and frame them. Some models have a slide show format which changes the image on the screen every few seconds and, because these frames take up less space than a photo album, you can have your favourite photos on display whenever you like. Many frames also have multimedia features enabling you to play music and videos on the screen.