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Digital Camera Buying Guide

Before setting out to buy your digital camera, take a few minutes to read this guide. Depending on what you will use your camera for, you will need different features of your digital camera.

Do you want a digital camera, but you are working on a budge? You may want to consider a digital camera with 2 megapixels or more. If you want to spend less than $250, your camera will probably have a fixed lens. Your camera may not have a great deal of extra features.

Perhaps you just use your digital camera to take pictures of family and friends. You want a camera that is easy for everyone in the family to use. It is also important for your camera to be easy to carry along with you wherever you go. For now you are just going to print your photographs on inexpensive photo paper. You will use your inkjet printer. If this is an accurate description of you, you will want a digital camera with a resolution of at least 2 megapixels. The camera will range in price from about $200 to $500. You may save your pictures using the internal memory or you may want to invest in a memory card.

Are you a trendsetter who likes to buy the latest technology? If so, you may look for some different features in your digital camera. Five megapixels or more of resolution will better feet your tastes. Some extra features you may look for include: You will want automatic focus and flash controls. Mp3 playback, webcam capabilities and voice recording.

Some individuals want to use a digital camera so that they can take pictures that will be used for advertising and marketing purposes. You want professional quality pictures, without needing to hire a professional. Again, you will want a camera with five megapixels or more. Your camera will probably cost between $500 and $1000. When purchasing the camera, the multimedia you may be looking for includes: voice annotation and a built in speaker for audio playback.

You may even be a photography amateur who takes your picture taking seriously. In this case, you will want a camera with a resolution of at least 4 megapixels. The camera will probably cost $800 and up. You may want to look for a camera that supports lens converters or interchangeable lenses. You can look for a digital camera that will have compatibility with existing 35mm lenses and accessories.


If you want to be able to print or retouch images, you will want a digital camera with at least 3 megapixels. In the even that you will mainly be using your pictures on the Web or emailing the pictures, less megapixels will be fine. You should look for a camera with a resolution of 4 megapixels or higher for prints that are 8x10 or more.

View Finder and Display

On an inexpensive digital camera, there is an optical viewfinder. More expensive cameras have a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). LCD displays are between 1.8 and 3.0 inches. Using LCD you can frame more accurate shots. LCD makes it easy to preview and manage images.


When shopping for a digital camera, you will see that different cameras have different lenses. Some cameras will have fixed focal length lenses. There are no optical zoom with these lenses. The cameras are, however, compact, quick and easy to use. Cameras with fixed focal length lenses are the least expensive. There are also retractable zoom lenses. These lenses retract into the body of the camera, when it is turned off. The cameras are normally limited to 2X or 3X magnification.

Fixed zoom lenses are not retractable. They provide up to 12X magnification. These lenses can usually accept converters. If you are just looking for a camera to take pictures of the family and friends, you may not want a camera with a fixed lens. For the amateur professional, you may want to consider a camera with an interchangeable lens system. You will be able to completely remove one lens from your camera and replace it with another compatible lens. These cameras will be among the most expensive which is why you probably only want to consider this if you are a serious amateur or professional photographer.


Digital Cameras can go through batteries pretty quickly. This is especially true when LCD and flash are being used. Looking for a camera that accepts rechargeable batteries is a good idea. This will keep the cost of operating your camera down. The three types of batteries available are: Nickel Cadmium, Nickel Metal Hydride and Lithium Ion. It is important to find out what types of batteries the camera you are planning to buy will accept.

Other Features You Might Want

Many digital cameras are designed to do more than just take pictures. Some cameras include video clip recording. There are some cameras, which will allow you to record up to as much capacity as you have on your memory card. Other cameras will allow you to record 30 seconds at a time. The video clips will not be as high of quality as a video camera, but it is still a nice feature to have.

Voice recording features are also sometimes included with a digital camera. This will allow you to have some voice annotations with your pictures. There are some digital cameras that can even play MP3 files. Another nice feature that many digital cameras include is in camera editing. You can make changes before you load the camera onto your computer. There are some digital cameras that even have special image modes.