Digital Camera Buying Guide – How to Pick A Winner


Digital Camera Buying Guide

Digital Camera Buying Guide

By Anne Ahira

Digital cameras are becoming more and more common, smaller, more powerful with better results than ever before and they are relatively inexpensive.

However, there is specific jargon used when manufacturers or merchants describe a digital camera that makes it sound more like a foreign language than a description of something you can understand and use.

If you understand what is valuable to you in a digital camera and know what you want it to do and what is useful in your circumstances then the jargon clears up and you can make a wise buying choice.

A digital SLR camera is a more expensive choice and used more by serious photographers who value the ability to change lenses and its real time viewfinder display which means what you see captured on the viewfinder is what you will see printed when the photo is developed. A digital camera like this will cost you several hundred dollars more than the compact digital camera.

Compact Digital Cameras

More common and more affordable for the casual photographer are the compact digital cameras. These are capable of producing photographs of higher resolution than ever before and come with more focus and storage options than ever before at a much lower price.

Therefore, what you want to do with your digital camera, whether you plan to edit your photos and if you plan on printing large prints or small 3 x 5 prints affects what features are important.

A quick rundown on what features are important for which uses is in order here.

Megapixel count is very important if you plan to produce crisp prints of a larger size. Five megapixels is sufficient for crisp pictures of a 3x 5 size. More is not always better if you do not plan on printing out large pictures. The more megapixels the camera displays the heavier the file size will be and the fewer photos your camera will hold.

Optical zoom produces clearer photos than digital zoom consider this in your buying decision. Digital zoom depends on focusing more pixels on a smaller area and is not that useful for producing clear photos.

Compatibility with SDHC storage is a factor you will want to consider when buying a digital camera. Almost all digital cameras come with a storage drive capable of storing only a few photos before it requires uploading to make room for more.

Upgrading your storage is probably going to be something you doing soon after your get your digital camera. SDHC storage units can hold up to 4 GB of photos but they do require a SDHC compatible slot.

Small and light digital cameras are certainly easier to carry about, but smaller also means the buttons and controls may be small and harder to press accurately. If you are buying from a retailer then you want to handle the digital camera. If you are purchasing online then you will almost surely want to refer to customer reviews and see close ups of the digital camera including the buttons.

Digital Camera Buying Guide – Are You Ready yet?

You are at the point of shopping for your new digital camera. You have a price range in mind probably and you know what you would like your new digital camera to do.  It is at this time you also should consider some of the extra expenses that a digital camera may incur.

Extra storage, docking options, and batteries are can be important factors and extra purchases you may need to make. How long your batteries for your digital camera last are a factor because you either have to lay in a big supply of batteries or invest in rechargeable batteries and have spares still. It is annoying to have to stop after only a few photos and change batteries.

How you interface with your laptop or desktop to edit and share these photos is another option. Does the digital camera you are looking at offer a docking port? Does it offer editing software? If not then you may have to purchase a docking port, which can also recharge your batteries.

Extra storage is almost certainly going to be an extra expense as most digital cameras are shipped with only 16 MB of storage. If you have a high megapixel camera then the pictures will have a larger file size and that means you will be able to store less of them on your drive before you empty it.

Do you really need video capability? If it comes with a camera that has all the features you want, video recording is a nice little addition. However, a digital camera is a camera; if you want high quality video then a camcorder is probably a purchase you should make instead. Video recording should not be a deal breaker or maker in your buying decision as the quality just will not compare to a camcorder.

Are you buying your new digital camera at a retail store, or are you shopping online with a merchant. Savings, variety and options are reasons many people choose to shop online but you should remember that when purchasing from a merchant online you would not be able physically handle the digital camera to try it out.

You will be depending on a photograph, the merchant’s description and other customer reviews. Of course, this can be pleasant and useful as shopping in a store and handling it yourself and you will not have the insistent sales person at your elbow.

Delivery and shipping methods and costs are something you should check out when purchasing a digital camera from a merchant online. Return policies, warranties, and extended warranties are things you should check into when buying a digital camera online or at a traditional retail store.

Some online merchants and local merchants might offer digital cameras that have been used or refurbished. The savings versus the lack of the original warranty should be balanced carefully. When it comes to electronic purchases, new units have a longer warranty and better guarantee.

Here's Digital Camera Selections: