Monday, 3 October 2011

Shopping for a new digital camera

Technology and features change a lot so things you used to know about digital cameras may not even apply any more. Here you will find 10 tips for buying a digital camera that will help you choose the one that is best for you.
1. Start out slowly, if you can

Unless you are pressed for time or money, try getting started with digital photography with an inexpensive camera so you can get experience that will help identify your wants and needs. Once you learn about the type of photos you are taking and what factors make them better or worse, you can finalize your decision by purchasing a camera with the features that are most important to you.
2. Understand the language

“Megapixels” refers to the detailed resolution and size of your photos. “Optical zoom” makes your subject look closer through a physical lens at the same resolution while “Digital zoom” makes your images look bigger, but often appear fuzzy. A “memory card” adds storage capacity so you can store more photos. Most memory cards are removable, so you can take them out when one is full and then put in a blank one. Many different types of memory cards are on the market such as Secure Digital and MicroSD.
3. Batteries

While shopping for a digital camera, don’t get so caught up in the features that are available that you forget to check what kind of batteries your camera takes and how long they are supposed to last. You want to make sure the camera you buy (1) takes batteries that are commonly available and inexpensive and (2) power your camera long enough so you don’t get stranded being unable to take pictures.
4. Don’t worry about obsolescence

Some people become paralyzed with fear of buying a camera that will almost instantly become obsolete. The day after you buy your camera you will probably read about something better that just came out. Don’t let that spoil the pleasure you can have with your new camera. Buy one that fits your life now and in a couple years you can always get a new one.
5. Determine what lens aperture you’ll need

Lens aperture has to do with the size of the opening the camera has to allow light in. A bigger aperture will have better results in low light conditions. Depending on where you take your photos, this could be important to you.
6. Set a budget

You can spend anywhere from less than fifty dollars to thousands of dollars on a digital camera. Decide what you can afford to spend and resist smooth talking sales people who want to move you up to the next level.
7. Camera software

Check out the interface your camera has before you buy it. Some have more features such as in-camera editing and remote uploads. As you shop, find out what all the latest features are and choose a camera that has the most of them you can get for the price.
8. Define usage

Do you just want snapshots or are you an amateur or professional photographer? If you want to break into photography as a hobby or profession, you probably want to get a digital SLR or other high grade camera with interchangeable lenses and features that produce professional results.
9. Take an informal survey

Digital cameras have been around for a while, so chances are that you know people with different models. Talk to them to see what they like or dislike about their camera to help you avoid pitfalls.
10. Don’t forget the computer

You will need one with at least a USB 2.0 (or Firewire) interface that will transfer your photos quickly. Your computer ill need to run software like Photoshop to edit your photographs as well as a platform for sharing such as Picasa or Flickr.

Use these 10 tips for buying a digital camera as a guide as you shop for a digital camera. Make the most informed purchase possible so you will make the most out of your new camera.