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Helpful Guidelines For Choosing Your Next Digital Camera

Nov 28, 2007
Digital cameras are available in many shapes and sizes, represent various specifications, and offer an impressive array of features in many price ranges. This is why their popularity is soaring all over the world, with many people already using one for their own pictures. They have become an integral part of many geographic and corporate cultures.

Digital cameras have become more than simply replacements for 35-mm cameras, however. They can be used for taking videos as well as still photos by upgrading the camera's memory card to increase storage capacity, allowing them to replace the old VHS recorder as well.

While enjoying significant popularity on their own, digital cameras have also become integrated within a large number of other hand-held tools, such as PDAs and cell phones. Technology now allows these devices to incorporate a digital camera within them, making the use of both devices much more functional and convenient.

Many brands of digital cameras are available today with a wide range of features. All the big camera names of the past, Kodak, Nikon, Canon, etc., offer everything from 35-mm to digital products. Even companies better known for the computer products, such as Panasonic, Sony, and HP, are now offering digital cameras in their product lines.

Digital Camera Considerations

Digital cameras differ from conventional cameras by having a small LCD screen, sometimes including a viewfinder. This screen is similar to a TV screen, allowing the user to better see the picture before snapping it. Some have screens large enough to include much more of the subject and background than has ever been possible before.

Instead of film, these devices have slots to hold a memory card or "stick." The amount of memory available within any device can be measured along a range of megabytes to gigabytes, depending on how much you're willing to spend. Getting a camera with more memory means spending more money, but the extra storage capacity can be worth it.

Another feature to consider before purchasing is the type of battery used. While some units feature disposable batteries, the more expensive cameras use rechargeable batteries for longer energy life. Disposable batteries typically wear out quickly, while a charger is generally bundled with those cameras using rechargeable batteries.

Another consideration when considering which model to purchase is how the pictures are downloaded. Most digital cameras have a USB port to allow easy connectivity to a computer, but some require removal of the memory card and using a reader to download pictures into a computer.

Digital Camera Features

Those considering purchasing their first digital camera should at least know the basic features of an individual camera before spending a lot of money. While snapping a picture is basically the same in all cameras, there are many other features that will influence your decision. The number of megapixels used when taking a picture should be among the top concerns. Megapixels represent the number of pixels, or dots, that make up the picture. The more pixels used in a photo, the greater the clarity will be. Cameras that utilize a greater number of pixels are capable of producing better resolution over a larger image, but these pictures require much more memory space for storage.

Another important feature to consider in a digital camera is the zoom feature. The terms to be familiar with are optical zoom, which utilizes a moving lens and brings the image forward to make it appear closer, and digital zoom, which is used to crop and stretch the image. Most digital cameras have two-zoom capability.

The last feature this article will discuss is the durability of the camera's case. Many buyers don't consider this as important, but camera cases made mostly of plastic are relatively fragile. Some camera cases are made from a combination of metal alloy and plastic that is more durable and can sustain more jarring without allowing internal damage, although neither option can guarantee your camera's safety. It's better to spend a little more for a case that will better protect your investment.
About the Author
To save money on related items, Vince suggests using a Sharper Image Coupon and a Shutterfly Coupon from CouponKathy.com.
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