Are you planning to expand your photography creativity from the basic smartphone photography to the next level? Which one should you buy a point and shoot, a bridge camera, a budget SLR, a semi-professional SLR, or a professional SLR? Still confused to find the right cameras for you? Then this guide is for you. Here are some of the best camera for all of your needs.

Before jumping to buy a camera, you must decide what you are going to do with that camera. Do you have any specific requirements like videography, wildlife photography, travel photography, etc.? In these 5 steps you can decide your camera type and purpose.

Step 1: What do you need the camera for

The first step is, to find out what camera do you need a point and shoot, a bridge camera, a budget SLR, a semi-professional SLR, or a professional SLR. The type of photography like sports, portraits, landscapes, macro, aerial that you want to take. Think the lighting condition that you want to take photos of, do you want to take photos of party, functions, indoors activities, outdoor trips, low light or night photography.  Are you ready to experiment with manual settings, are you ready to learn the photography principle and settings, or you need a simple auto exposure? Do you need a long zoom camera, is your camera requires good image stabilization to correct motion blur? Finally, think of the budget. How much money you want to invest in your photography creativity.

2) Sensor size and type

Sensor size is the dimensions of the array of photoreceptors in your camera that creates an image. The sensors in point-and-shoot cameras are small at 1/2.3-inch, in camera phones the sensor is 1/3- or 1/3.2-inch in size. Cheaper point-and-shoots still use CCD (charge-coupled device) sensor technology. CCDs are slow and poor for video. If you need a video camera,  how much resolution do you need ? The 1080 refers to 1920×1080-pixel resolution, commonly referred as Full HD. The full frame sensor camera has sensor size same as the old 35 mm film size. Crop sensor size means sensor smaller than a full frame sensor. The most common type of crop sensors are APS-C and micro 4/3 systems. Full frame sensor provides broader dynamic range and better low light performance. Crop sensor offers extra reach from the crop sensor multiplier.

3 ) Features You Need

The manual mode in camera offers full creative control over the exposure. If you are a semi-professional and professional photographer manual control is essential. ISO in camera decides how sensitive the camera’s sensor is to light. To shoot pictures in darker conditions without a flash, increase the sensor sensitivity by adjusting the suitable ISO. Camera resolution is specified in Megapixels (MP). The greater the number of megapixels, the larger the quality of picture and the larger sharp prints can make from the photos. The Nikon D850 has a 46MP backside-illuminated CMOS sensor. The more megapixels always does not mean more quality. Better sensor and better lenses produce clearer images.Look for other features like optical image stabilization for shooting video in hand. Features like panoramic mode, time-lapse movie shooting, automatic sensor cleaning are avaible in almost all DSLR cameras.

4) Type of Connectivity

A digital camera with built-in Wi-Fi  can easily transfer photos without a cable. You can view the live screen on your mobile by using the mobile app. You can take photos, videos or adjust exposure settings from your mobile phone without looking at the cameras viewfinder. Built-in GPS (global positioning system) is good to save locations inside the photo file.

5) Ergonomics

Check how you feel when the digital camera is in your hands.  Check the controlling buttons are easily accessible with your fingers. Do you need a travel camera, then the camera must be lightweight than a bulkier camera. You need weather sealing. If it is for traveling purpose, weather sealing is a must.  Do you need a touch screen to adjust the camera settings?Touchscreen helps to navigate easily through menus. You can also touch the subject on your touch screen to bring it in focus.

What type of camera should you buy?

There are different types of cameras avaible on the market based on the usage. As per the usage and application the camera segment can be divided into different segments. Each segment is suited for some specific purposes.

Point and Shoot

These are basic cameras, now almost replaced these segments by smartphone cameras. If you need a basic digital camera to shoot family pictures then this is right for you. It can take better pictures than your mobile phone.

Megazoom Bridge Camera

These are mega zoom fitted point and shoot cameras intended for beginers who wants to play with creativity. We cannot change the lens of the camera and the fitted lens is sufficient for most needs. The Sony HX400V, Panasonic FZ1000, Panasonic Fz2000/2500 are bridge cameras. These cameras offers the feel and look of a DLSR with easy-to-use controls. Buttons and features are carefully placed and easy to reach like a professional camera. With the mode dial, you can select aperture or shutter priority. The Sony RX10 IV camera helps to capture more stunning stills and movies with its 1.0 type  stacked phase-detection AF Exmor RS CMOS sensor with DRAM chip and 25X zoom range (24-600mm lens).

Entry Level DSLR Camera

This is best DSLR for beginners. Nikon D3500, Canon 1300D are some basic DSLRs.

Semi-Professional DSLR

This is best for amateur photographers and photo enthusiasts. Nikon D5600, Nikon D7200, Nikon D7500, Canon 80D, are some of them.

Professional DSLR

These are aimed for professionals and serious photographers. Sony alpha7M3, Nikon D750, Nikon D850, Canon 5D Mark IV, Sony alpha 9  are advanced cameras.

Camera Lenses
All camera mnaufactures have  there own set of lenses you can choose from. In the case of a DSLR, if you are buying a DSLR means you are moving into an ecosystem. If you purchased a Canon camera, you need to buy different lenses for diffrent purpose. You need to buy other accessories to shoot better pictures and videos. 
Bottom line
For the enthusiast or anyone with an inkling of passion for the craft of photography, even an entry-level interchangeable lens camera will provide a much more fulfilling experience, not to mention better results. To find the right cameras for you, head into your local digital camera shop and ask to see and play with them.