There are already some advantages to digital photography. You don’t have to deal with film, wasted shots or negatives. However, how do you pick out the perfect digital camera? You’re looking for the perfect camera for your needs: one with quality photos, convenient features, and great battery life. You also need to make sure that your new camera will fit into your budget. What should you look for to narrow down the playing field?
Guidelines to Picking The Perfect Camera
Resolution and Zoom
The camera’s overall resolution and photo quality will, understandably, be your first concern. The resolution of a camera is represented in pixels. Two megapixels is the minimum that is usable; two megapixels is currently one of the standards in most cell phones. Cameras start at a higher level. Lower-end point and shoot cameras often start at ten megapixels. Ten to twelve is a common resolution in most point and shoot cameras now. The higher the resolution, the higher the quality of the picture.
When it comes to zoom, there are two types: digital and optical zoom. Digital zoom enlarges the pixels, while optical zoom actually involves usage of the lenses to magnify the image. Classic film cameras only offer optical zoom, while digital cameras often offer both, especially in the higher end Canon lines.
If you need a camera with heavier zoom, a camera with an extended optical zoom feature is your best bet. You can manufacture digital zoom with a good photo program, while you cannot recreate optical zoom that way.
At Home or Professional?
A lightweight, small digital camera often has fewer features. It has a lower resolution (closer to the ten megapixel range) as well as less zoom and often lower battery life. The lightweight cameras are more commonly considered ‘point and shoot’ cameras that require little specialized training to use. While they are less powerful, they are typically all that the modern user will need to photograph their life. The camera handles all color balance and shutter speed automatically.
If you’re wanting high resolution, professional quality photos, you may want to look toward the DSLR range of cameras. These cameras are more expensive and significantly more bulky, with lens attachments, larger base lenses, and extensive manual features. These are typically meant for advanced photographers that have experience adjusting focus, aperture, white balance, and shutter speed.
Many higher-end digital cameras offer a hybrid between the automatic and manual settings. You can use one touch style choices to streamline the photo taking process if you are less familiar with manual settings. These one touch settings are optimized for a variety of situations, such as a sunny beach or a snowy landscape.
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Most digital cameras feature a large, colorful LCD screen to preview photos and choose settings. Most point and shoot cameras only feature this screen to choose photos and allow you to see what you are shooting. If you want a more professional camera, DSLR cameras come with an optical viewfinder as well. The digital screen is still used to preview photos that have been taken, but the viewfinder can be used to take photos.
A large LCD screen will also allow you to modify or delete photos as needed. Some touch screen models will allow you to do slight color fixes or ‘write’ on the picture before you upload it to your computer.
Memory and Battery
Very few digital cameras have an extended internal memory. Most use memory sticks and SD cards to extend the amount of photos that can be saved in one round. As technology has become better, you can now get SD cards over 32 gigabytes; this is more than enough storage for most people. SD cards also allow you to directly transfer your photos without the use of a cable.
Be sure to evaluate how large of an SD card your camera can hold. It’s also important to note whether the camera requires any special software. This is typically included with the camera and is proprietary to the maker of the camera.
Most point-and-shoot cameras today have a rechargeable battery option. This allows you to have one fully charge battery to the side to swap out in case you run out of battery power during a vacation. However, there are still the odd cameras that require AA or AAA batteries to run.
If you want a camera that you don’t have to worry about in terms of battery life, make sure that it supports rechargeable batteries. This means that you will not have to worry about finding more AA or AAA batteries in the middle of an important event. Purchasing single-use disposable batteries becomes expensive quickly and more of a hindrance.
If you’re looking for the perfect camera, make sure to evaluate your needs. Do you need a simple, light weight point and shoot camera to keep up with your kids? Alternatively, are you looking for a professional camera for your own use or to start a photography business? Evaluate your needs and then begin to narrow down the long list of wonderful digital cameras that will suit your use.
Jamie Blue, the writer, is a hobbyist on photography and digital cameras. He has written several articles about tips on taking great photographs as well as some useful ideas on digital cameras. He is currently giving several tips online via Paxtons