Digital photography is no longer a ‘new thing’. Digital photography has flourished of late and for good reason. Gone are the days when taking your holiday snaps required buying a film, taking pictures in the hope that at least half would develop and then tripping down top the processor after your holiday or sightseeing. Now there is a multitude of options from the expensive to inexpensive that allow you to take your pictures, view the results and decide which pictures to save for future printing on your home PC or delete as unsatisfactory. All the former big boys in the camera market, such as Canon, Kodak, Nikon, Olympus and Fuji now have digital cameras to suit every pocket and every use. There are even numerous smaller companies building digital cameras to suit this ever growing market. For a first time buyer the choice can be so bewildering, so how do you choose which camera will suit you?
The basics of choosing a digital camera are to know your budget, know what type of pictures you want to take and how you intend to use the pictures.
For the beginner setting a budget on your camera purchase will soon cut down the choice to a manageable level. Ask yourself, are you just gong to take the odd holiday snap if a one off picture opportunity comes up or are you the type who likes to fully document each holiday you have, maybe you’re a habitual holiday snapper from pre digital times? If you’re the type who only takes a picture on holiday if you see something truly inspiring or just to document that you did attend then go for the lower price end. You should be able to pick up something useable for $50. If you document your holidays and most of the sights you see regularly and have maybe owned a camera for years then splash out toward the higher end of the basic models, think in terms of a $200 investment.
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Once you have established your budget consider the type of pictures you’ll be taking. Are you likely to be taking pictures everywhere you go? Consider the weight and size of the camera you need. Are you likely to be taking pictures of friends and relatives on location or do you have an eye for the picturesque panoramas? Maybe consider a zoom lense, for panoramas go optical for family shots a digital zoom with flash may suffice. Are you a habitual snapper when the cameras in your hand or an opportunist clicker? Consider the size of memory you’ll require. The opportunist may not require huge lumps of memory but a habitual snapper may be different. Think about battery life. If your going to take a few shots a day you’ll need a better battery life than if you take the odd snap.
Once you have chosen the best combination of size, weight, memory, battery life and zoom for your uses, consider how you will use your pictures. If you need to print large pictures off your computer beware the more megapixels (resolution) you have the better. It is a sure thing that the higher the megapixels the more expensive the camera, so leave this choice till last. For a beginner spending your budget on a camera based on megapixels initially will lead to a poor choice with a camera that does have the other characteristics to suit your purposes. If you generally print off the more traditional photo sizes for an album do not be to concerned with the number of megapixels, most base model digital cameras will give you an adequate print.