A digital camera is an electronic long term investment usually bought with the intention of using it for years on end, and buying one usually involves turning over a considerable sum of hard earned money. The ever increasing number of digital camera options with their wide range of specifications and functions makes the important decision of the type of camera to buy often overwhelming. Fear not for we are here to help you with simple tips and pointers to make the decision process less tasking the next time you decide to buy a digital camera. Our simple list of things to look out for includes: 1) SIZE. Digital cameras come in a wide range of sizes, from small enough to fit in your jeans pocket to big enough to need its own separate big. Smaller usually involves you giving up in bit in terms o quality, especially when it comes to night photography as it is almost impossible to take a clean, decently lit pictures with a small camera. To do this you may have to use a flash and this ends up leaving your subjects with zombie-like appearances. Smaller digital point and shoot cameras take good daytime pictures with sharp and clean edges. Zoom range of smaller digital cameras is also limited making it harder to shoot far off objects. Smaller digital cameras are portable and they can to carried with ease to almost anywhere, they are ideal for shooting those out of the blue close ups. Bigger cameras take good day time pictures and great nighttime pictures without a flash. Their zoom range is not limited but they are alas not as portable as the smaller cameras. 2) PHOTO QUALITY. Sharpness of a picture has more to do with the skill of the shooter and not so much to do with the number of megapixels of the camera. Sloppy technique or motion has been found to adversely affect the sharpness of the image more than the width of the microscopic megapixels. In summary, sharpness of a picture is not the same thing as the quality of the image and the resolution or number of megapixels the camera has is not what determines the sharpness of the image. Explaining how megapixels work is complicated (as I am not sure I fully understand it myself), but it should be known that more megapixels does not a better image make. It rather means higher resolution which is good if you are loaning to print a poster sized picture. At times, lower resolution pictures produce better pictures than some higher resolution digital cameras as they handle colour and tone better. Physically bigger lenses also produce better images. 3) FEATURES. This is where you ask yourself what exactly you want from the digital camera. If you want a camera that will give decent images with little or no contribution from you (except focusing and pressing a button), then you should look out for digital cameras with features like optical image stabilization which protects your images from blur, face detection which helps you to focus on the faces of the subjects, scene modes galore and others. If you wish to be creative and adventurous with your pictures, then features to look out for include ISO, shutter speed and other features that give the shooter more manual control and flexibility. Also to be considered is mode of picture storage which could either be multiple card formats like SD, miniSD and others. Video recording quality and duration varies with digital cameras and it is also a feature to be considered. The quality of digital camera videos is not generally as good as dedicated camcorders but it does the job of shooting on the spot videos and capturing that moment. You should also look out for cameras with fast start up times, auto focus, as little lag between pictures as possible and nice and sharp screens.
4) PHYSICAL DESIGN.
Chances are that your camera is going to be hauled around, taken from place to place. It is bound to take a few hits and nicks in the process, so when picking a digital camera you should look out for the type of material it is made of and how resistant you think it will be to all the future falls and hits. You should also check for how it feels in your hands, how the buttons are placed, how they feel, how easily they are pressed and how easily accessible the buttons are. You should also turn on the camera and see how long it takes to come on and also how many seconds there are between successive pictures.
5) BATTERY LIFE.
We do not want our cameras going off in the idle of long trips with no easily accessible point of charge now, do we? Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are known to last the longest but if you are on the move and there is no guarantee of a charging point, you may want to get a camera that takes standard AA batteries. Or to be double sure, you can get a digital camera that supports both rechargeable batteries and long life disposable batteries.
This may be the last but it is not the least. I mean, unless you are a professional photographer (and even then), there is no point in breaking the bank and going into debt to get a digital camera. You can just get one that is in line with your budget and get in the business of saving memories.
By: Okaima Oyakhirome
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