Digital Camera Buying Guide
If you want high-quality photos from the newest technology, it may be time to consider the rising trend of digital cameras . However, with so many options to choose from, selecting a digital camera can sometimes be overwhelming. Whether you are new to the world of digital photography or a seasoned artist looking for an upgrade, our guide will help you sort through camera types, models, and prices for the best fit to suit your needs.
In product descriptions, phrases like pixels ,compression ,SD Cards ,LCD screens ,optical zoom , and digital zoom , may all seem like a foreign language, leaving you with no clue as to where to begin. Let's start by deciphering this common camera lingo. This will make you more knowledgeable about what you are looking to buy.
- Pixels : These are individual dots that make up a picture. In other words, the more pixels, the higher the resolution of a picture . The higher the resolution, the better and crisper looking the images can be. For internet sharing of pictures or a multimedia demonstration, a 3-4 megapixel camera will suffice. For quality printing of 8x10 photos, 5 megapixels or greater are the better bet.
- Compression : Images are compressed when they are being saved into a camera's memory . This means eliminating some data to reduce the size of the file. There are several means of compression , but the most common for cameras is JPEG . For flexibility, select a camera that allows you to choose two or more compression amounts so that you can compress a lot or a little, depending on what type of picture quality you are going for.
- Memory : Some cameras have a built-in memory , while others rely on removable media such as an SD card for image storage .
- LCD Screen : The LCD serves as a small monitor , showing the camera's menus, settings, and previously taken images. This also functions as a large viewfinder on most digital cameras.
- Optical Zoom: This type of zoom works just like a film camera would. The image quality will stay the same if it is in the zoom range.
- Digital Zoom: The image crops to a smaller size, and then the enlarged cropped portion fills the screen again.
Learning Camera Categories
What camera type is right for you? Digital cameras often fall into many overlapping categories , based upon their level of pixels ,controls ,lens type, and other add-ons that they may feature. Take a look at the categories to determine the differences.
Point and Shoot Models
This is the most inexpensive type of digital camera . Most Point and Shoot models can do just about everything that a basic 35mm camera could do, only it automates everything! You point and shoot, and the camera does the rest. They feature a 3+ megapixel resolution, a built-in flash , removable storage, and a modest zoom that provides minimal magnification. You will get automatic exposure but with little manual controls.
Intermediate cameras are the most widely used. They have a valuable compromise of features and seem to suit most customers. Intermediate digital cameras feature 6-8 megapixels in resolution, a 4:1 zoom lens ,Flash or SD storage , different exposure modes , close-up focusing, and manual controls.
Advanced Consumer Models
These cameras come with even more special digital features , but will also cost you a few hundred more pounds than an Intermediate or Point and Shoot Model. Advanced Models are generally 8-10 megapixels , sometimes with a 10:1 or better zoom. You can also find many controls and settings to play with and customize, along with optional exposure modes . Advanced Models often offer many add-on accessories , such as wide-angle or telephoto attachments , as well as external flash units and filters .
"Prosumer" is a term fusing the words 'professional' and 'consumer' together. Huge photo buffs and even professional photographers favour this model for a multitude of reasons, and are willing to spend the thousands of pounds that it may cost. These cameras feature a minimum of 8 megapixels , with an electronic or through-the-lens viewfinder that lets you evaluate and focus on your subjects through the same lens used to take the picture. They either have a great quality zoom lens in the 10:1 magnification range, or have interchangeable lenses similar to a 35mm film camera . Expect automated and manual controls and focus, plus automated exposure modes and manual shutter speed with lens focusing as an option."Prosumer" models take around 2-3 pictures per second, and serve as a great backup camera to professionals.
Professional digital SLR (single lens reflex) cameras can cost up to tens of thousands of pounds, and have the features to match. They say that if you can't do it with one of these, it can't be done. You can expect up to 16 megapixels in these cameras, and can fit standard interchangeable lenses with them while retaining a sophisticated autoexposure and autofocus . The speed of these cameras takes 5 or more photos in one second, a rapid must for many professional photographers . Another plus is that these Professional Models can store more than 1GB of memory in their hard drives , and that is a tremendous amount of pictures .
Accessories For Your Digital Camera
Once you have a camera selected, have fun enhancing its capabilities with various camera accessories!
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NL: Digitale Camera's Shopgids