Its Holiday season again and I know You will be itching to buy a new gadget this time.Recession has made us a little conservative on resources but we are never too late to satisfy our gadget hunger.Digital cameras have gotten cheap now days.With the flurry of available products and loads of camera jargon is sure to drive you crazy if you are buying them this fall.Brace up,here is a definitive guide to buy a digital camera.
When it comes to megapixels, the more the better. I recommend a minimum of 2, but 3 or 4 is great. We did a test to see if a camera with 2.3 megapixels (actually 1.92 - 1600 x 1200) could produce a good quality 8x10. Make sure its the actual resolution not the software enhanced resolution.
Turns out it can, if you have the right paper and printer. We used HP Premium Plus photo paper with an HP 970 series printer and made a fantastic 8 x 10. The resolution at 8x10 (we had to crop in to make the picture proportional to 8x10) was only 150 DPI. Most printers would not make a real good 8x10 at that resolution, but this one did. So, if you want to be sure you can get good 8 x 10s, you may want to go with a 3 megapixel camera or better (that gives you around 200 DPI at 8x10 size, still not quite the optimum 300 DPI, but it looks good with the right printer).
Optical VS Digital Zoom
The optical zoom magnifies (zooms in) using glass.Zoom (range encompassing at least 36mm to 130mm, 35mm equivalent) is necessary requisites for camera’s of today.The digital zoom basically crops out the edge of the picture to make the subject appear closer, causing you to lose resolution or to get an interpolated resolution (i.e. the camera adds pixels). Neither of which help image quality.
Finally, make sure you get enough (optical) zoom. A 2x zoom isn't going to do much for you. A 3x is the average you'll find in most digital cameras will probably be good for most uses. More on lenses later.
How does the camera connect to your computer? If you have a USB port in your computer, you'll want a camera that can connect via USB as opposed to a slow serial connection.Firewire is the way to go if your pc supports it,its the fastest means to transfer the data from your digital device to your pc.
Most cameras use removable storage memory to record images. The most popular forms of removable storage memory are Compact Flash cards, Sony Memory Sticks, and Smart Media Cards. Most digital cameras come with one 16MB card. The capacity (size) of the image memory storage will determine how many images you can store.Compact Flash, Memory Stick, xD-Picture Card, or SD/HC are the cards that are supported by the camera’s of today.
Most digital cameras are equipped with a liquid-crystal display (LCD) viewfinder that allows you to see what your picture will look like before you take it. LCD viewfinders also permit you to view saved images and delete the ones that you don't like.
When you're trying to decide on which digital camera to get, check and see how many different picture formats it supports.
You want something that can produce both uncompressed (usually TIFF) and compressed (usually JPEG) images. I personally use the high quality JPEG setting on my camera for most of my shooting. TIFFs are just too big and the difference in quality is not ascertainable by mere mortals.
You also want to be able to shoot at a lower resolution than the camera's maximum. That way, If you're running short on memory, you can squeeze a few more shots on your memory stick.
Auxiliary Lens / Flash
This was a biggie for me. While a 3x zoom may work for the "average" user, I needed something that allowed me to do some wide angle work as well as have a good telephoto lens.Automatic, fill, red-eye reduction are type of lens modes to look for in a digital camera.
In addition to lenses,good flash is a must have for a digital camera.. The flash that is built into most of these cameras gives you a top range of 15-20 feet - at best. If you need more reach than the small built in flash can deliver, then make sure you can attach an external flash to any camera you consider.As an added bonus, if you get a camera that can take an external flash, you can place that flash on a bracket and eliminate red-eye.
Limited battery life is one of the biggest problems with digital cameras. The more you use the LCD viewfinder, the faster you will go through batteries. Many digital cameras are packed with battery chargers and rechargeable batteries, but some are not. Rechargeable batteries and a charger will typically add from $30 to $100 to the cost of a digital camera.ISO
The ISO reading indicates how sensitive your camera is to the light. A higher ISO indicates you can take pictures at low light too, but at the expense of quality. Higher ISO is especially useful in taking pictures indoors or in parties. For film cameras, you would have to buy film with certain ISO ratings. But in dig cams you can set this value when you are shooting(if the feature is available).
Speaking of flashes, make sure you check the distance the built in flash is good for. You don't want a camera with a wimpy flash that only travels a few feet (well, unless you can get an external flash for it as described above).
This may not sound important, but it is. Anyone who owns a digital camera can tell you they eat batteries the way a sumo wrestler eats at a buffet. Make sure the camera can run on regular (or rechargeable) "AA" type batteries. You don't want a camera that eats through expensive lithium batteries every 10 shots or so.
One thing to remember about digital cameras, they do eat through batteries. I recommend getting some Nickel Metal Hydride rechargeable for it. I have some for mine and they have saved me a fortune.
Choosing a digital camera is not easy,but still I think you have enough metal to cut your teeth through the market.Finally, buy the BEST camera you can possibly afford or wait until the price drops on one with the type of features you want.
I hope you get the best out there.
Till then Keep learning.
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