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Digital Camera Buying Guide – Important Features and Their Meanings

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When buying a digital camera there are some important features to consider and understanding these features will enable the consumer to buy the right camera that suits their needs and provide the education necessary to make an informed choice.

Important Features of a Digital Camera

Megapixels and Resolution – A basic rule of thumb is the more megapixels the camera has the better and sharper the resolution of the photographs, especially, if you intend to print the pictures and not just view them on a computer or email them. The standard on most cameras is at least 5 megapixels, which is a good enough rating to create a good quality 11-by-14 print.

LCD Screen – All digital cameras have the fabulous LCD screen that allows you to view the photos taken in real time. Obviously the larger the screen the better as you can see the quality of the shot much better. The LCD screens come in a variety of sizes up to 3.5 inches and it is a good idea to make sure that it will not whitewash out in the sun.

Optical Zoom – The best option is to buy a digital camera with Optical Zoom over Digital Zoom. The optical zoom feature actually utilizes the movement of the lens and range from 3X to 20X with the higher ratings providing a much better image quality.

Digital Zoom – The Digital Zoom lens only captures pixels and magnifies those and so it produces inferior photos, always go with Optical Zoom.

Image Stabilization – Image stabilization is a feature that compensates for the shaking of the hand while holding the camera to avoid blurry pictures and without it you may need a tripod or a very steady hand.

Memory / Storage – All digital cameras come with a starter memory card that is usually 16MB, which can store about six to eight pictures. Ultimately, you will want to buy another memory card or two for the most storage capacity or else you will constantly have to transfer the few pictures taken to make room for more. It is especially important to have enough storage while on vacation or during special occasions.

Batteries – Digital cameras use different batteries, including, AA's, either non-rechargeable or rechargeable, nickel metal hydride, high-capacity disposable CRV3s or proprietary rechargeable batteries. It is best to get a camera with a rechargeable battery as they use lots of juice and the costs for those AA's add up.

User Friendly Controls and Menus – Consider the accessibility of buttons and menu options while holding the camera and taking pictures. Are they easily reachable by the hand when holding the camera and taking pictures, if not then it will not be a comfortable experience. While the super tiny digital cameras maybe cute they are often much harder to handle and take pictures with.

By JR Lang

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