Last week's photo tip was to always take a camera with you so you don't miss a great shot. So now you're probably wondering what kind of camera to use to take all those great pictures.
I think a small camera is the answer to this one. If your camera is too heavy, you won't want to carry it around with you. The camera manufacturers have packed a ton of features into today's new model digital cameras and they will easily fit in a pocket or purse.
As far as what camera brand to buy, you should stick with one of the major popular brands. Off-brand cameras are often cheaper but cheap often means inferior quality. I personally like Canon brand cameras. My first professional camera was a Canon and I have never had a reason to try any other brand. The quality of the cameras, the variety of lenses available and customer service has always met and exceeded my needs. I'm sure Nikon cameras are very nice too but it's similar to the Fords vs. Chevrolets debate and it ends up as a matter of personal preference.
Good quality consumer level digital cameras range in price from around $150 to $450. My best advice is to pick a model in your price range that has the features you can't live without. Two features that I think are critical are the camera must have a rechargeable battery and the display to view your images on the back of the camera must be large. Rechargeable batteries are great since they will save you money in the long run and you won't be filling up the landfill with used batteries. The display size on most of the new model cameras are at least 2.5 inches and some are 3 inches. This makes it easy to quickly see that you have the shot you were expecting. The main thing is that you want the camera to be easy to use and not an aggravation so you can create great memories.
(Brent Kepner is the Owner and Photographer at Foto 1 Pro Photo in Elkins. He is a Master Photographer as well as a Certified Professional Photographer.)