Guide to Digital Cameras.
So you want to buy
a digital. But whether looking online or in stores, there are
so many features, colors, designs, etc.! Where can a person
even begin? Fear not! All you need is to educate yourself on
just a few basics about digital cameras in order to figure out
what will work best for you.
The first thing you need to think about is what purpose will
you digital camera serve. Will you only use the camera to take
pictures of friends and family? Will you be traveling and
taking pictures of landscapes? Do you want to experiment with
settings so as to create artistic effects? Do you want to make
money shooting portraits, graduations, or weddings? For most
purposes, average point-and-shoot cameras these days have
plenty of features that will suffice. If you are trying to
make money or make photography a serious hobby, though, a
pricier, higher-quality item will be right for you. So let's
dive in and examine some features of digital cameras.
First of all, think about resolution. Resolution has to do
with the number of pixels the camera has. Each pixel
represents a site on the camera's sensor where a part of the
scene is captured. One megapixel is equal to one million
pixels. So what does that mean in English? Pixels are related
to quality of the photograph, so the fewer pixels a camera
has, the less detail and clarity it can capture. Anything
below 3 megapixels will look poor in quality for any type of
use. Most smart phones now have at least 3 megapixels in their
built-in cameras, which often produce decent results. On the
other hand, don't be fooled by marketing ploys that would have
you believe you have to have a ton of pixels crammed in your
camera to take a good picture. Too many megapixels can begin
to detract from image quality, especially in low light. For a
recreational photographer, 5-10 megapixels will work just
fine. On a tighter budget, it won't hurt to stay on the lower
end of the scale, but if you really desire quality for the
photo albums, stay above 6 megapixels. For a more serious
photographer 10-12 megapixels is what you need.
Consider, also, the lens you will need, specifically if you
need a zoom lens. When looking for zoom in a camera's lens,
the number that matters is the magnification factor. The
magnification factor will be displayed in terms of 3x, 8x,
etc. Some may not really find a need for a zoom lens, but they
often come standard and can be rather useful. 3x is ideal for
recreational use, shooting family events, landscapes, etc. The
the serious photographer, who may need to photograph wildlife
or sports, may want a greater magnification, possibly up to
10x. Although for a very serious photographer who is willing
to invest more money in a camera, a DSLR camera, with a
separate lens(es) that can be attached is more appropriate.
But the same principles apply when looking at the features, be
it point-and-shoot or DSLR.
You may additionally want to think about the battery type that
may be more convenient for you. Most either require AA
batteries or a lithium ion battery pack, which must be
recharged frequently. It really makes little difference other
than pure preference. Just make sure to find out how long the
batteries last, and don't get caught at an important event
with a dead camera and no backup batteries!
There are also a few extra features that many cameras have
that you should decide if you want to use. Many come with
video capabilities, voice recording, music storage, in-camera
editing, image modes, world clock, wireless transfer, etc.
Most of these features a person rarely uses, but if you think
you'll find use for one or more of these, be sure to look for
it in the camera you choose.
My suggestion is to make a list of the individual features
that you prefer in a camera based on the purpose it will
serve, along with a reasonable budget, and you should be able
to find a camera that suits your needs. If you are worried
that you will pick the wrong brand, be sure to read through
some product reviews online and find out if other consumers
had any problems with particular brands or styles. And of
course, I recommend never purchasing a camera until you have
stepped into a store and held it in your hands to test it out.
You don't have to buy it there, but there's nothing like
getting a feel for the camera in person!
Camera shopping can be quite confusing, but by remembering the
pointers in this buyer's guide, you will be snapping pictures
in no time with a camera you love.