Things to Consider Before Selecting a Digital Camera

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There are various factors that come to mind when purchasing a digital camera. You are going to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars for a camera, so, you need to make sure you don’t buy a model that doesn’t really suit your purpose or is much too advanced for your requirements.

camera shopping considerations

“Lone photographer” captured by Waceyboy (Click Image to Find Photographer)

These are the few points that you can consider in making the right buying decision:

The Price Factor

This is the most important thing to consider. The price for a decent 3-megapixel digital camera can start at around $60 and can go to well and above $350 for a 7-plus Megapixel model. Features vary from one model to another. Definitely, if you want to purchase a high-end camera with all features that are there to offer you need to sped a lot more. While some low-end cameras offer complete manual control for amateur photographers who wish to experiment, some stick to the strict point-and-click function.

CCD sensors or CMOS sensors?

CCD stands for Charge Coupled Device and CMOS is Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor. They are the two most-used sensors in digital cameras.

Most hobbyists’ cameras use CCDs because they offer better image quality. Some professional cameras, though, are now employing CMOS sensors since the power consumption is less.

CCD and CMOS are the two types of image sensors used in digital cameras.

Cameras with CCD sensors are recommended over CMOS plainly because the image quality is tremendously better in the former. Though CMOS lenses are significantly cheaper to manufacture and easier to implement than CCDs, the difference in image quality is simply passable.

CMOS sensors are extremely portable and require considerably lesser battery power-this is the reason they are mostly found in things like webcams and phone cams. So, CMOS sensors are much better than CCD sensors and nowadays most digital camera comes equipped with CMOS sensors but there’s no harm in checking it.

Some famous CCD Cameras include: Nikon D60, Nikon D80, Nikon D40X, Canon PowerShot G9, Canon PowerShot Pro1, Ricoh GR Digital.

Some CMOS Cameras include: Nikon D2Xs, Nikon D3, Nikon D300, Canon EOS 450D, Canon EOS-1D Mark III, Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, Canon EOS 5D, Samsung GX-20, Sigma SD14.

If you belong to the latter category, the lowest end model will be more than enough for your needs, but if you take photography seriously and would prefer to have options to tweak every setting that affects your images, you may want to spend a bit more.

Megapixel Myth

First of all, clear your mind if you believe on this myth. Higher megapixel count is no way to measure the quality of your pictures. Quality is determined by the image sensor, megapixel count simply denotes how big your image would be. For any home user who wants to post snapshots on the Internet or print them on a maximum of an A4 size photo paper do not need anything more than a 3-megapixel camera.

Though the megapixel count does not directly relate to image quality, it is noticed that the higher megapixel cameras have more professional features, hence they are generally more expensive.

Amateur photographers may want to invest in a 4-5 megapixel camera for some of its advanced options. I have listed a set of guidelines as to what megapixel count would be suitable for a particular sized print. You can choose your type of camera based on the size of your prints.

3MP — 5 x 7 inches to 8 x 10 inches

4MP — 8 x 10 inches to 8.5 x 11 inches

5MP — 8.5 x 11 inches to 9 x 12 inches

6MP — 9 x 12 inches to 11 x 14 inches

8MP — 14 x 17 inches to 16 x 20 inches

Some additional features you may require

When you buy a digital camera, there are some additional features you may want. Manual override function may be appreciated by advanced users as they can have complete control on what they are shooting.

Besides that just keep your eyes open for basic features such as the kind of flash options, red eye flash, self timer, modes like Black and White or Sepia modes and the most important that everyone would need is optical zoom level. Also remember, Camera manufacturers are not averse to publicizing the zoom with a particular camera as “30X”. But in most cases, it means 10X Optical multiplied by 3X digital effectively leaving you with 10X zoom that is practically usable. Watch out for this when deciding on a camera to buy. Optical zoom is definitely preferred over digital zoom, that’s the reason that I said “it’s the most important feature to consider”.

Most digital cameras have some video shooting capability. Don’t forget to check whether the digital camera you are buying records video with or without sound. This is something which most of us forget when buying a digital camera.

Bundled Goodies

Digital cameras usually come with little or no onboard memory. Even if the manufacturer does put some onboard memory, it won’t exceed 8-16 megabytes, which is really not enough. Few of the manufactures also give free memory card of along with your camera that is not more than 128 megabytes. So, it’s important you consider a seller who bundles a memory card of high capacity along with the camera.

Also, make sure that along with drivers for your computer, there’s some bundled software included for sorting and minor image manipulations. The good news is you won’t have to worry too much about this part because the above mentioned bundle has become an industry standard. However, it’s a good idea to keep your eyes open for additional accessories you may want to purchase for your camera.

Durability and Warranty

When it comes to electronics, bad things always happen when you least expect them to. It is a good idea to be prepared for the worst. This means even having to pay a little more when you purchase your camera.

Almost all officially purchased cameras are accompanied by a one year warranty that covers manufacturing defects. Moreover, most warranties are valid worldwide (although, it would be a good idea to check this for every individual purchase).

For more articles, tips and tricks related to Digital Photography please visit http://guidetodigitalphotography.blogspot.com

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