Decision Made On What Sort Of Digital Camera You Want

By: Allison Thompson

You have now decided to go a head and purchase a digital camera, but like many other electronic devices available to consumers now days the digital camera is changing all the time. You may find that for the same amount of money you would have spent a few months ago on a camera you will now get one with more and more features such as megapixels, storage space and zoom facilities. This article will hopefully provide you with a few hints and tips on what you should be looking for and how to choose the best camera for you.

There are a number things that you will need to consider when making this all important purchase. Firstly you need to work out how much you are willing to spend, some can cost from as little as ten dollars to ones that will cost a thousand dollars or more. You will also need to decide what you will be using the camera for as well as how much you are going to spend. The best way of solving this is by writing down a few simple questions such as will I be using it to take family pictures? Will it be used to take photographs of the landscape? Will I be traveling a lot? Will I need it for taking lots of flash photography? By having these questions in mind it will make your choice of camera easier.

Now that you have decided on how much you want to spend and what it will be used for you can look at a range of potential cameras that fit in to your criteria and build up a list of the ones you are interested in and include details such as price and the features that each one has to offer.

Below I provide a list of features with a short explanation that should be included when you are making up a list of features for the cameras that you are interested in.

Firstly there are Megapixels. Many cameras now come with an ever increasing number of megapixels and many people ask if the more megapixels a camera has is better. Having more megapixels all really depends on whether your are going to print photographs (especially enlargements) or you want to zoom in and crop the fine detail out of large photographs. Or is it just that you want to look at them on your computer and may be occasionally print of a few small prints. I would suggest that you look at using a 2 megapixel camera for the latter as you will find that most computer screens have a resolution of 1024x768 which even when viewing a photograph on a full screen which equates to less than 1 megapixel. Even a photograph (4x6) printed off will have a DPI higher than 300 which will be more than enough to produce a high quality print.

However, if you plan to print enlargements of your photographs then you need to look at the different print sizes and what megapixels are required to produce high quality prints. The table provided below shows you the photograph size and the megapixel required.

Photo Size - Megapixel
4x6 - 2
5x7 - 3
8x10 - 7
11x14 - 14
16x20 - 28
20x30 - 54

However, if money is no object where the purchase of your camera is concerned then the more megapixels you have may out weigh other features that could be available to you. For example should you spend money on the extra megapixels or a better lense, or an external flash unit? Really, it all depends on how you camera will be used. So remember to decide what your camera will be used for and make the decision on what is more important to you based on this.

Next is the Zoom feature. In some cases it is very handy to have the use of a good quality zoom on your camera, especially say when you want to take a good quality portrait photo where the object/person’s face fills the complete photo frame, whilst when taking a photo of a group of people you want to make sure that everybody is in it.

You will find that there are two types of zoon now available, optical and digital. The optical zoom works by physically moving the cameras lense and changing the focal length of the picture. By changing the focal length you are able to make objects or subjects appear bigger than they are and that will fit the full photo frame. Whilst a digital zoom works by using built in software in the camera to clearly define a certain section of the photo that you are interested in taking. Then once this has been chosen the software inside will remove the rest of the photo surrounding the area and will then enlarge the chosen section and this will fit into a complete photo frame. Unfortunately the one downside of using a digital zoom is that the quality of the enlarged photo is less than that of the original photo taken.

So in conclusion if you are serious about taking photographs and not just to use it for taking those all important holiday snaps I would suggest you opt for the optical zoom and from a practical point of view a digital zoom should not be considered as a zoom lense at all.

However you need to be careful when looking at a camera you are thinking of buying as not always do the manufacturers stipulate whether the zoom figure specified is actually optical or digital. It can become quite confusing for those people who do not understand the difference between these two. So for example if a camera says it supports a 5X optical zoom and 10X digital zoom then is being advertised as a “10X zoom camera" you can see how the confusion can arise. A 10X digital zoom can be done to any camera just by using some simple PC software.

Once you have compared different cameras zooms then always compare their optical zoom capabilities as well. Really you can totally ignore the digital zoom figures that you will be provided with.

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