There are so many choices on the market that choosing a camera can become an overwhelming experience. Each camera manufacturer has developed its own marketing lingo to boost sales on their cameras. But what really matters? And what makes a camera better than the other?
Megapixels are the number one specification being touted by camera manufacturers. Advertisements lead the consumer to believe that more pixels result in better image quality. This is simply untrue. Pixel count is one of the least important characteristics of a camera.
Have you ever gone on a night out with your digital camera and came back home with terrible looking pictures? Cameras capture the light in a given situation, so during low-light times the quality of the image sensor is extremely important. A poorly engineered image sensor will yield “noisy” results. The reduction of available light also forces the camera’s shutter speed to slow in order for it to capture additional light. To combat this camera manufactures add image stabilization as a feature so the camera can take better pictures in low-light. There are different types of image stabilization but generally you want to look for a camera with analog image stabilization.
A lower resolution camera can actually perform better than a higher resolution camera. Many point and shoot cameras come without image stabilization which is necessary for low-light shots. The ability of a camera to capture low-light situations is hugely dependent on ISO performance and image stabilization. Don’t be fooled by a high megapixel count; megapixels only play a small role in image quality.