Jan 14 2010

What to Research When Purchasing a Digital Camera

Published by at 5:37 am under General

Not so many years ago, only the wealthy could afford a good camera. The rest of us used a point-and-shoot and were content. But that changed when electronics and digital cameras became available to the public. Now for the same price you can get a camera with features we only dreamed about before. We can print high quality pictures ourselves or share them with others electronically. In fact, so many wonderful features are available today, it’s difficult to know just what to buy. Let’s examine some rules for buying your first or next camera.

Point one, ask yourself, “What is my purpose in buying a camera”? Are you going to take pictures to share online? Will they be outdoor or more indoor pictures, needing a flash? Will the pictures be lots of action shots or more stills? Will they be simple or specialty pictures like extreme close-ups or pictures of the moon?

Next, determine your price range. Usually you will get about what you pay for. However, you could get a lot more camera than you need. Thus, these are important questions to answer. If you are a novice at photography or if you are technologically challenged, you probably don’t want a complex, many-featured camera with capabilities you will never need. Instead, ook for a simple point-and-shoot model instead of the fanciest camera you can afford.

Cameras are often featured for how many megapixels they have. This megapixel figure simply tells the maximum resolution it can take. A larger number means that you can take larger, clearer pictures A number of nine or more means that the camera can take clear pictures for enlarging. However, these pictures will use several megabytes of memory each. Those wanting to post pictures on the web or email them to friends will not want pictures that large, and neither will the friends on the download side.

Digital cameras have an LCD screen on the back that enables you to see the subject of your picture and the picture after you take it. Be sure this screen is plenty big to see the image clearly and to see what you are taking even in bright light. The lens size will usually determine the zoom range. A larger camera usually has a better flash also. But you can zoom into a subject from a distance far greater than the flash can handle. Larger cameras have a flash boot on top that activates add-on flashes. Generally the larger the camera is, the less portable it is, but the better the lens and flash.

More pricey cameras will have additional features like the ability to self-portrait (delay shutter). Some LCD screens can even be flipped out and rotated so that you can see it with the camera over the head or down low or even when setting up a delay shutter picture. Many digital cameras today are also able to take short video shots.

Once you have narrowed your field to a particular camera, check reviews of it before you set your heart on getting it. Unbiased reviewers and owners are usually pretty honest. Find out what type of batteries it uses. If they are not standard AA or AAA, the batteries may get expensive. Is the memory card the same style as other devices you own. If this is important to you, is the memory card compatible with your printer or your computer?

As I said, check consumer reviews, but also, if possible, go to a store where you can try it out, even if you don’t buy it there. Check out the warranty. Is it good to spend extra for an extended warranty? For electronics, I generally do, for too much can go wrong and few will know how to fix it if it malfunctions.

When you have purchased a model, stop shopping for them. Be content with your purchase instead of wishing you had gotten something else. Rather, get to know it by reading the manual and using it often. Taking pictures can be fun and is a wonderful way to conserve memories. With all the great cameras available now, don’t wait any longer to get started.

Following these tips should lead you to a camera that will serve you well for years. But if you’re more interested in a professional handling your photography, consider the services of Del Haven Studio, an accomplished Virginia Beach Wedding Photographer.  View their website portfolio for proof.

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