The needs of the camera are important to figure out first, since this determines what features the camera should have. Someone using the camera for simple candids has different needs than someone looking to take professional-level landscape portraits. Features like the zoom range and resolution tell a lot about a camera, but there are no perfect standards.
A good idea for finding the right camera is to find people that take good photographs and ask what camera was used for those pictures. Camera companies are also a good resource, since they employ experts that are able to find each individual a camera for their specific needs. Some features to look at include the zoom, aperture and types of lens.Learn more about Technology