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Tips on buying a digital camera

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Tips on buying a digital camera
« on: August 27, 2007, 11:30:33 PM »

Megapixels still matter a lot to digital camera shoppers, in part because manufacturers and retailers hype that specification above all others. If you're having a hard time figuring out which camera to buy, you may be tempted to make a decision based solely on megapixel count; that's why nearly all manufacturers print the number on the front of their cameras.

But a camera needs more than just a high pixel count to take great pictures, so pay attention to other traits as well. For example, a lethargic camera that takes too much time between shots may miss the best action, and a big, heavy camera may spend more time on the shelf than in your carry-on bag. A camera with no manual controls may take fabulous shots in bright sunlight, but lousy ones in more challenging situations.

Key Features

Resolution: If you intend to take pictures only to e-mail them to distant friends or to print at snapshot size, a camera of most any resolution will do. Even so, having more pixels gives you greater flexibility--you can print sharper pictures at larger sizes, or crop and print small sections of pictures. These days most cameras offer a resolution of at least 5 megapixels, which is enough to make a sharp 11-by-14 print.

Size, weight, and design: To some users, how much a camera weighs and whether it fits in a pocket may be more important factors than resolution. PC World has tested cameras that weigh as much as 2.3 pounds and as little as 4.2 ounces. Small cameras are convenient, but they frequently have tiny dials and few buttons, which make changing settings somewhat trying.

Zoom lens: Inexpensive cameras often lack a powerful optical zoom lens. If we had to choose between a camera with more optical zoom and one with higher resolution, we'd take the model with the more powerful zoom lens--it means you won't have to magnify your subject and then use software to crop the image (and discard some of the resolution as a result). A few cameras now offer zoom ratings of up to 15X. These lenses are great for nature or sports photography, but you may need a steady hand or a tripod to avoid blurry pictures at extreme telephoto lengths if the camera doesn't have image stabilization. You should try a camera's autofocus at full zoom: We've tested some models that were slow to focus at full zoom in low light.

Be wary of advertised zoom ratings--many vendors combine the optical zoom (which moves the lens to magnify the subject) with digital zoom, which merely captures fewer pixels and magnifies those. Optical zoom gives you all the benefit of the camera's maximum resolution, combined with the ability to get closer to the action.

Manual focus: For close-ups or situations in which the camera can't get a focus lock, switching to manual focusing can help you get the shot. Low-end cameras often omit manual focusing or allow only stepped focusing, which forces you to choose from a few preset distances.

Storage: At its highest resolution, a typical 5-megapixel camera can store six to eight images on a 16MB "starter" memory card. The size of the memory card that a camera ships with isn't terribly important, because you'll almost always have to buy another one (unless you're willing to transfer your images after every handful of shots). CompactFlash, SD (Secure Digital) Cards, and SmartMedia cards cost about $6 to $15 for 512MB, or $25 to $40 for 2GB.

Batteries: Cameras use one or more of several types of batteries: AAs, either nonrechargeable alkaline ($5 for four) or rechargeable nickel metal hydride (NiMH, about $14 for four); high-capacity disposable CRV3s (around $10 apiece, and some cameras take two); or proprietary rechargeable batteries that can cost $25 to $65 to replace.

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Re: Tips on buying a digital camera
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2007, 02:59:01 AM »
very informative... im trying to save money for a good one...

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Re: Tips on buying a digital camera
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2009, 06:38:23 AM »
Some additional Tips

 Think about your need.
     - When buying a cam think about what you need it for. There are three types of digital cam in the market today. Point and Shoot, Pro-sumers, DSLR

  P&S or (point and shoot) which is just point and shoot, kung dli ka nahan daghan og kuting-ting about sa settings and you want it to be light ug madala-dala lang this is a cam for you.

 Pro-sumer cams have better image quality and can have more optical zoom. Mas dako ni siya compared to P&S but not as bulky as a DSLR's. It give you power to override the settings and a little bit of tweaking to take good images. Mahal ni gamay tungod pod sa daghan sa mga features ani.

 DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera have superb image quality and gives you the power to be creative. The most unique feature of a DSLR is if ganahan ka i-blur(bokeh) ang background and just focus on your subject mas dali buhaton sa DSLR and you can vary your optical zoom tungod sa interchangeable lens capability ani(only lenses that are compatible sa camera body). The only draw back is mahal gyud ni and you need to buy a particular lens for your particular photography subject. Bulky ni gamay pero it gives you superb results that a P&S and  Prosumer can't give.

But anyway karon with technology booming, you can buy smaller P&S with a features of a prosumer. Prosumer have greater optical zooms and a little smaller now. There are cheaper DSLR which are the same sizes of a prosumers. It all depends on how much you would spend.

These are some tips and will add more.. :D



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