Choosing a Digital Camera

Choosing a Digital Camera
First-time purchasers also often make the mistake of purchasing a digital camera solely because of its appearance, brand name, or price. There is a wiser method of determining which camera to buy.  First and foremost, determine the purpose for the camera.  Will it be for semi-regular personal use, to take photographs as a hobby, or for professional purposes?  Only after determining ‘why’ the camera is being purchased is it time to move on to what specific features are most desirable in a camera. Maximum camera resolution is very important.  The resolution determines how many pixels make up a photo.  The term ‘Pixel’ is short for ‘picture element.’ Each pixel refers to a single point in an image. Pixels are usually measured in horizontal x vertical resolution.  The higher the resolution is, the sharper the picture.  For the most part, higher-end cameras are capable of a higher resolution; lower priced cameras usually offer lower resolution capacity. Because a higher resolution takes up more memory, most cameras offer several resolutions to select from.  If you want to e-mail photos to friends, a low resolution like 640 x 480 work’s fine.  If you want to print photos, a higher resolution is necessary for a clear picture that isn’t grainy. Compression is another important aspect.  It is the process that shrinks a photo’s file size.  Pictures saved as JPEG files take up less memory space.  Compression also makes it faster to save and download photos; it makes it easier to send and download e-mail pictures.   However, compression affects image quality. Because compression causes a small amount of data loss, if you want to take pictures for professional purposes, you might want a camera that can take uncompressed photos. Memory to a digital camera equals film to a conventional camera.  It is storage space for pictures.  If you plan to download pictures from your digital camera to a computer or other source often, a camera with higher memory capacity might not be important.  However, if you take many pictures at one time without downloading, you will want a camera that has a lot of internal memory, or one with expandable memory so that you can purchase a large-capacity memory card. These important aspects, along with required power source and connection functions, and consideration of extra features such as an LCD viewfinder, self-timer, built-in flash, and capacity for audio recording – and the price – should all enter into the decision making process when it comes to purchasing a digital camera.

Additional Features to Look for When Purchasing a Digital Camera

You've done your homework, and you can hardly wait to purchase your very first digital camera. You've carefully considered “why” you want the camera, and what function it will serve. You've also determined what resolution, compression, and memory capacities to look for when determining what camera to buy. In addition to those listed above, there are several other things a wise consumer will want to consider. One such consideration is power source. That is because digital cameras require far more power to function than traditional cameras. Digital cameras use either traditional batteries, or a rechargeable battery pack; some also come with an AC adapter. If the camera you select uses traditional batteries, you may want to invest in rechargeable batteries and a re-charger. Even if the camera comes with a rechargeable battery pack, consider purchasing an extra one so you never risk being without power. Connection source and method are also important considerations. All digital cameras come with the software required to download pictures to a computer. Make sure the camera you select is compatible with your computer. Most high-end cameras come with software and connections for both Mac and PC computers.

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