If you plan on shooting a lot of close-ups you will want a camera with a powerful optical zoom; at least a 3x.
Decide whether you want your camera to hook up to just a PC, or whether you want the option of notebook computer compatibility, or viewing photos over the television.
Now that you have narrowed down what features you most desire in a camera, take another look at what you are willing to pay, or what you can afford. You may need to make camera feature or cost adjustments. For instance, if you must stay in the $200-$300 price range, and picture quality is of the utmost importance, you might have to forgo some of the optional features you wanted for a model with higher resolution (megapixels).
Do research on-line for digital camera models, features, and prices before making your purchase. This will help insure you have a realistic idea of what is available, and in what price ranges. Take note of top consumer choices, and reviews.
Even if you decide to buy online, visit stores that sell the name brand and model of the digital camera you have decided on; stores that allow customers to handle the cameras. Decide how the camera feels in your hand; clumsy, or comfortable? “Play” with the features, and take special note of the LCD screen.
Even if you don’t think you need one, an LCD screen comes in handy, so be sure it is easy to see and shows good detail.
Does the camera use a rechargeable battery pack? If not, the purchase of rechargeable batteries and a re-charger for a camera that requires standard batteries might be wise. Remember, digitals require a lot of power. You don’t want to risk missing out on great shoots just because the batteries died.
Once you have decided upon a particular model, shop around for the best price. Check on-line, and for sales in electronics stores. Oftentimes you will discover that purchasing a digital on-line will offer a greater selection for a better price.