Digital Cameras – A Guide To Buying

30 Aug

Digital camera sales are going through the roof. As the quality of images from digital cameras improve, they are becoming much more affordable and the sales are simply not surprising. Consumers are also becoming more comfortable with the whole idea of taking photographs digitally.

In choosing a digital camera take into account your basic needs and what you plan to use the camera for.

Whether you’re shooting film or digital images, there are basically three types of cameras you need to consider. These are point and shoot cameras, prosumer cameras and professional quality cameras.

1. Point and shoot cameras operate automatically. They do everything for you except for framing the subject. Exposure is decided by the camera as well as whether a flash is needed or not. All you need to do is point and shoot.

2. Prosumer Camera. This camera is a step up from your typical point and shoot because it allows the photographer not only to shoot in a fully automatic mode but also to have control over various aspects of the exposure. The term “prosumer” is a cross between professional and consumer. When a camera is dubbed a prosumer model, it usually refers to a point-and-shoot that has advanced features such as manual exposure control and RAW format image capture. Such cameras are usually targeted at enthusiasts.

3. Professional Quality Cameras. These top-of-the-line cameras deliver high resolution, best-of-class optics, and extensive manual controls. Like less-sophisticated cameras, they are capable of functioning fully automatically, but also offer an extensive range of manual controls. All support uncompressed image formats like RAW and TIFF in addition to the standard JPEG format, making them ideal tools for photographers who use image editing software to optimize their work. Like traditional film cameras, digital SLRs offer the added advantage of using detachable lenses. Though certainly not cheap, these cameras deliver professional-quality performance and the ultimate in creative control.

Resolution

It doesn’t matter what sort of camera you decide to get you will have several decisions to make regarding the resolution of the camera.

The salespeople of most electronics superstores are quick to tell you that the most important thing to consider when buying a digital camera is how many pixels there are. Now while it is important it is not the end all of digital image quality. Pixels are tiny squares and in some new models they’re starting to use other shapes as well. The more pixels you have in your image the sharper the detail of the image will be. Most current digital cameras on the market today produce an image with more than 4 million pixels. That’s enough resolution to easily print images up to 8 x 10 with good image quality. It’s not likely that you will print images larger than 8 x 10 and so most of these camera should meet your needs.

Try various digital cameras before you purchase.

There is a wide selection of digital cameras on the market with various image qualities even though they may have the same number of pixels. There are different kinds and sizes of image sensors, which is the chip that actually records the picture. It is recommended that you take a memory card into the store with you so that you can put it in each camera and take sample photographs that you can then take home to view on your computer to compare.

The technology is constantly improving and digital cameras will be constantly changing. Don’t be surprised if several months after you purchase one there is a new and better one with more pixels in the market. If you take the time to choose a good quality digital camera which makes good photographs you’ll be able to enjoy digital photography for a long time in the future.

If you do make the move into digital photography remember this. Many people using digital cameras simply put their photos on their computers and never actually make prints anymore. It is easy for these photos to get lost and therefore it’s recommended that you print special photographs for generations to enjoy.

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