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Digital Camera Consumer Buying Guide


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This guide has been written in order to assist consumers who are looking to buy a new digital camera. As with most technological products, the world of cameras can be a minefield of jargon, where it is hard to make an informed decision. By explaining the main factors that you ought to be concerning yourself with when buying a digital camera, I hope that this guide will prove to be a useful tool. So, whatever your budget, and whatever your required specifications, rest assured that help is at hand.

There are two topics that I would like to focus on. The first is the issue of megapixels, where we will discuss what they are and how many of them is a good amount for your camera to have. The second topic I will discuss is that of zoom. I will talk about the different kinds of zoom and why it may be important. At the end of this guide I will then mention any other additional features that one may find on a digital camera and explain why they may be a useful extra or an unnecessary expense.

A pixel is a coloured dot. A digital photograph is made up by collecting a group of these dots together to make an image. A one mega pixel image is an image made up of 1 million of such coloured dots. The more megapixels an image is composed of, the more dots it is made up of and hence, the higher its resolution. Higher resolution often leads to improved, more detailed images. However, it is too simple to say that a camera with 12 mega pixels is better than one with 10 mega pixels. All it means is that the picture produced has a higher resolution. It does not mean that the picture quality (after considering factors such as colour and sharpness) will necessarily be better. Also, the higher the mega pixel quantity, the longer it usually takes for the camera to take the photo and save it to memory. This may affect its ability to shoot spontaneously.

As a general rule, any camera with more than about 8 or 10 megapixels will have a high enough resolution for most situations. Some manufacturers have even said that they will never produce a camera with more than 14 megapixels because 14 megapixels is sufficient. What high resolution images does mean is that you may be able to zoom into an image a little closer without so much loss of detail. So, sometimes a high level of megapixels can compensate slightly for a lack of zoom.

There are two main types of zoom, optical and digital. Optical zoom is created by physical movements of the camera lens resulting in an image which appears larger and with the same detail. Digital zoom is created by taking an image, cropping it and increasing the size of what is left to give the impression of it being closer, but crucially, with less detail. Optical zoom is most desireable because it doesn't negatively affect image quality in the same way that digital zoom does. It is however usually more expensive and, especially when there is more than around 12x optical zoom, it usually requires a large deep lens which can only be accommodated by having a larger camera. There is a trade off between optical zoom and the size of the camera. So, if you are looking for a very small camera to take with you everywhere, you may have to settle for a smaller amount of optical zoom paired with some digital zoom.

Finally I will talk about any other features you may find on modern digital cameras. As well as taking photos, many cameras now have to facility to record sound and video. These features can be extremely useful when used as a dictaphone or to record a video when there is too much movement in the frame for one photo to capture.

Also, some digital cameras can be used as a webcam. This is useful as you can enjoy the higher quality image offered when communicating with family and friends over the internet.

So, in summary, be sure to think about megapixels and zoom when looking to buy your next digital camera. Also think about what else you might be able to use it for. The final thing is to make sure you get the best deal. When visiting you can be sure to get the best price as best-price scour all the top retailers for all the top name camera brands such as Canon, Sony, Panasonic and Fujifilm.

Click here to compare prices on your next digital camera .


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