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Digital Cameras Best Buys Tips And Tricks

Jun 14, 2008
Which digital camera should I buy, is a pretty open ended question. It's the kind of question that begs the asking of other questions. Questions like: "How much money to you want to spend?" . . . "What do you like to take pictures of?" . . . "How much do you know about photography?" . . . "What kind of cameras have you owned before?" . . . and so on, and so on. Since obviously, I don't know your answers to any of the previous questions, I'm going to assume a few typical answers. From those assumptions, I've come up with three typical buyer persona's. Just for the fun of it, let's call those personas Britney, Paris, and Lindsay. Let's see what would be the best cameras for each of them to purchase.

Let's start with Britney. Brit doesn't have a big budget, but is looking to spend no more than $150, and takes pictures mostly of family, friends, and pets. She's never owned a digital camera before, and the whole prospect of spelunking through mountains of digital camera reviews and technical sales speak just sounds boring. She'd like to have a camera that's fairly portable, so it can slip into a pocket, purse, or backpack. Britney plans on loading the pictures up to her computer, iPod Touch, and maybe her FaceBook and MySpace accounts. Ease of use is important, as she basically just wants to be able to pull the camera out of her pants pocket and take a few pics on the spur of the moment.

What Britney is looking for, and something that a lot of younger YouTube generation types would like is termed an ultra-compact digital camera. A small low profile camera that's easy to use, and can be tucked away into any small corner of your clothes or bag. Something like a Canon PowerShot SD1000 7.1MB Digital Elph, a Canon PowerShot SD750 7.1MB Digital Elph, or a Sony Cybershot DSCW55 7.2MP Digital Camera would fit the bill here. Just enough functionality, size, and cool factor for a card carrying member of the YouTube crowd.

As we move on to Paris, we also move up the ladder in the digital camera food chain so to speak. Not only in size, buy also in functionality, image quality, and of course, the all important price tag. Paris, is not so concerned in size and portability, but more in the quality of pictures and features her camera can offer. She doesn't plan to carry her camera just anywhere she goes, but will definitely bring it out for specific occasions . Birthdays, Christmas, vacations, and other holidays are all important events in the life of Paris, as her family grows. She wants to capture those moments on film (or disk these days) and be able to look back on them for years to come. Being a busy mom, Paris doesn't have time to fiddle with f-stops,aperture settings, and white balance. She doesn't even know (or want to know), what those things are. Simplicity is still important here.

For Paris, it's time to move into a more mainstream point and shoot digital camera. These digitals, often have better lenses (sometimes with zoom), better flashes, good viewfinders, and more menu options with features like face recognition, and image stabilization. Nice digital features, that still fall under the heading of easy to use. Just point and click. Some great cameras in this category would be the Canon PowerShot A570IS 7.1MP Digital Camera, the Canon PowerShot SD850IS 8.0MP Digital Elph Camera, or even the slightly more adventurous Canon PowerShot Pro Series S5 IS 8.0MP with 12X optical image stabilized zoom. The S5 is slightly more money, but still simple to use, has lots of features, and room to grow into.

Speaking of growing into, lets take a look at our somewhat more mature Lindsay, with her matching mature taste in the realm of digital cameras. Lindsay has had her fill of the ultra simple compact point and shoots with their mediocre image quality and flaws. Her interest in photography has been peaked when viewing some of the photo's of a professional photographer friend, and would like to begin taking better pictures. She's heard of SLR cameras, and has some inclination of what they can do, but still appreciates some of the simple joy of taking pictures on the spur of the moment without a lot of fiddling. Price is not a big concern, as she's willing to spend upwards of $1000.

A great camera for someone ready to learn more about photography, but who still appreciates the graceful simplicity of the point and shoots would fall into the entry level SLR category. These cameras are kind of a comfortable easy bridge from the simple to the complex. It's also a very popular niche, as the plummeting price of digital cameras, has pushed manufacturers like Canon, Nikon, and Olympus to offer some very nice cameras at very attractive prices. A great short list to choose from here are the Canon Digital Rebel XTi 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm lens, the Nikon D40x 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens, and the Olympus Evolt E510 10MP Digital SLR Camera with CCD Shift Image Stabilization and 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 and 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6 Zuiko Lenses. These are all amazing cameras, and even more amazingly, they're all currently priced under $650 brand new. That's a lot of camera for anyone like Lindsay with a bit of budget, and a desire to do some serious photography work.

Well, there you have it, something for everyone. All our girls are happy. And you should be to. A camera for every taste, and room to grow. If you still can't decide which digital camera you should buy, then what the heck, take one of each. With a little careful shopping around, you should be able to buy one camera from each category for a grand total less then $1000. Then the hardest decision you'll have to make, is which one to grab on your way out the door to your next big photo adventure.
About the Author
If you like to see the absolute digital cameras best buys tips, or simply browse through a listing of the digital cameras best buys tricks in your inbox be sure to visit http://foolishmumbles.com/DigitalCameraRecommendations/
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