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What to do when buying a Digital Camera

February 6th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Lat updated on May 27, 2011.

Megapixel – Megapixel in a Digital camera refers to the resolution – the higher the better. To exaggerate the effects of the resolution, look at the following two pictures one at higher resolution and other at lower resolution.

Now a days any decent digital camera rarely come with less than 4 Megapixels (But you may still find few people hanging around with this lower resolution older camera). A 4 Megapixel camera is good enough for 8″ x 10″ print. But if you occasionally want higher size print you may want to consider 6 to 10 Megapixel camera. A 6 Megapixel camera is good enough for 11″ x 14″ print.

Optical Zoom – Using optical zoom you can bring a far object near. In other words you can take the picture of the face of a person even id he is standing far away. Most of the point and shoot camera come with 3x Optical zoom. If it does not has a optical zoom, it will be cheaper. Usually you will like to have a minimum 3x optical zoom. But, if you really want to have a very cheap camera, and you do not want ability to capture “far” images, you may do without optical zoom.

Most cameras also have digital zoom. The digital zoom is same as editing the photo by cutting out a part of the picture. The digital zoom lowers the photo quality and should not be considered at all when buying a camera.

Computer Connectivity – Most digital Cameras now a days connect using the USB Card. Look for the Camera that does not require any special software to get connected to computer. In other words. Your camera is recognised similar to a USB Flash card. The advantage – you can connect the taken picture on any computer, without the need to install the driver software. It is not a binding requirement. This is my personal opinion.

Memory Card – Most Cameras need External Memory Card to store the pictures. These are either MMC, SD, Compact Flash or rarely in built. You should be ptrepared to pay extra $20 or so for the memory card. The important thing here is if you want to store the video and if so for how long. Now a days most cameras come with decent Video capabilities. A 2 GB Card will normally hold about 40 minutes ( ? ) of VGA qaulity video.

Video Mode- Now a days most of the Cameras come with video capability. If you want video capabilty check that it has audio capture capability. You must also check the highest resolution of the Video quality. The video quality varies higly from camera to camera. You must read the reviews on the internet if video quality is a concern.

Battery and Battery Charger – All digital cameras need rechargeable batteries. Look for the Battery life of the battery. The higher the better. In my view the important thing to note is, if they provide a battery charger with the camera or not. If they do not provide battery charger, be prepared to pay additional $15 for battery charger. Personally I like a design where we do not need to take out the battery and there is a socket in the camera with a supplied charger.

Other Concerns Pricing is something you are always going to be concerned about. For video, you will also look for ability to display video on TV. Slim cameras fit into pocket but cost slightly more.

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