Tips For Buying a Digital Camera

Family and friends can be pretty far flung these days, so how do you keep in touch? Snail mail and phoning are good options, but it’s fun to be able to share pictures. With the advent of digital cameras, it’s easy to post pictures on a blog or website, or send pictures via email.

Of course, film cameras will work, as you can scan and convert pictures to digital files, but the easiest way to send pictures quickly and cheaply is to use a digital camera.

How To Find What’s Best For YOU When Buying A Digital Camera

There are all kinds of digital cameras available these days, so the trick is to find the one that suits your needs and budget. If you are buying your first digital camera, the lingo and technology are a bit different than for film cameras, so before shopping take time to learn a little and figure out what you’d like to buy.

First, what kind of photographer are you? Do you like total control over the picture taking process, or would you rather just aim the camera and push the shutter button? Then it’s also helpful to decide what you want to do with your pictures. Do you just want to put them online or send them via email, or do you want to be able to print them, and if so, how large do you want your prints?

If photography isn’t your passion, and you just want to have pictures to share, buying a simple point-and-shoot digital camera is probably best. It has automatic settings, so all you have to do is aim the camera, press the shutter and viola! Instant picture!

However, if you prefer more control over the picture taking process, try buying a mid-range digital camera. There is a wide range in both price and features. For the more serious hobby photographer, there are “prosumer” cameras midway between point-and-shoot cameras and digital SLR cameras. They offer better lens quality and usually more features than a point-and-shoot, though those little cameras can come pretty loaded these days!

Digital SLR cameras are top of the line and more Poly Headset expensive. These work more like traditional cameras, having a body with detachable lens. This gives you more options with being able to change lens, but it’s also much more expensive. Just one lens can cost as much as a point-and-shoot digital camera! There’s also usually a steeper learning curve to figure out how to use all the options on a digital SLR camera.

However, if you’re buying your first digital camera, intermediate, “prosumer” and digital SLR cameras probably aren’t the best choice. All the settings and features can be a little overwhelming for the beginner, and your expensive camera may end up collecting dust somewhere. Try a low to midrange camera first and get a feel for digital cameras and what features are most important to you. Then when you’re ready to move up and buy a Digital SLR, you’ll have a better idea of what to look for before you lay out your hard earned cash!

What To Look For When You’re Ready To Buy A Digital Camera

You can buy digital cameras in all sorts of places these days, from fancy department stores to discount stores, photography/camera shops and many stores online. While you can sometimes find great deals on-line, if this is your first digital camera, go to shops and look at different cameras if at all possible. It helps to pick it up and get the feel of the camera in your hand to see if it’s comfortable and the controls are easy to use, and you can check out what features it has and how they work.

But what exactly are you looking for?

A pixel makes your picture….
One of the first things to check out when buying a digital camera is the MEGAPIXELS. A pixel is a single dot in a graphics image. A megapixel is equivalent to one million pixels. A 1-megapixel camera would produce an image roughly 1200 pixels wide by 900 pixels high, a 3 megapixel would be 2048 x 1536 megapixels, and so on. Higher megapixels mean better resolution, but aren’t the whole picture. The main thing to keep in mind is the more megapixels, the bigger image you can print.

Approximate Megapixels vs. Print Size

-2 Megapixels prints well up to 4×6 inches
-3 Megapixels prints well up to 5×7 inches
-4 Megapixels prints well up to 6×8 inches
-6 Megapixels prints well up to 7×10 inches
-8 Megapixels prints well up to 10×14 inches
-12 Megapixels prints well up to 16×24 inches

For email, websites and printing snapshots, a 3 to 5-megapixel camera is a good choice. If you want to make high quality 8×10 prints or larger, you need more megapixels. Higher megapixels also allow you to crop down to a smaller portion of the picture while still retaining sharpness in prints.

One other thing to keep in mind when considering megapixels and resolution, be sure you are getting optical resolution. This is the actual number of megapixels the camera records. Some cameras offer interpolated resolution to get bigger pictures from the same number of megapixels by using software algorithms to determine what color pixels to add, so the picture becomes bigger at the expense of clarity.