A friendly photo tip

August 28, 2011

Choosing a Digital Camera

Everyone seems to have a digital camera these days – even most cell phones are offering nice photo options.

The first thing you need to do before purchasing a camera is decide exactly what your needs are and what budget you have to work with. If you plan to let the salesperson show you what is available, have this very specific need and budget written down and stick with it.

Terms you will need to know:

Megapixel:  this refers to the maximum resolution or millions of pixels. The higher the megapixel, the sharper the photo can be.

Digital Zoom & Optical Zoom:  both will enlarge a scene. Optical Zoom uses the lens to “zoom in”. Digital Zoom will electronically enlarge the pixels in the photo.

ISO:  refers to the camera’s sensitivity to light. A higher ISO will take better pictures in dark settings. Look for an adjustable ISO, 100-400 is generally good for most cameras.

Shutter lag:  refers to how long it takes to capture a picture after pressing the button. If you commonly take action shots, you will want a shorter lag. Since shutter lag may not be included in specs, you should test the camera before purchase.

Removable Storage Media:  what storage devices are available? The larger the storage, the more pictures you can take before downloading and erasing images from your camera. Look at the cost and availability of the storage media (Smart Media cards, PC cards, memory sticks, etc)

(no endorsements are implied)


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