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Sunday, September 13, 2009

What You Should Know Before Buying a Digital Camera

By Daniel Henderlei

The key technical component of digital photography is the semiconductor. Light is focused onto a semiconductor, creating a digital image. Digital images have let us enter a new paperless age of photography as images can be stored on computers instead of printed.

Talk to those you know who own digital cameras before buying one. Friends and family can offer the best advice, and tell you which brands and models they favor or are disinclined towards. You can make a sound purchase when combining their experience with what you read on the Internet.

For nature lovers who take photos of the great outdoors, a large zoom lens is very helpful. For those of you want to shoot photos of their kids involved in an activity, a fast response time is key, as children move around quickly. For set photos where family and friends are posing, you'll probably want a model that takes pictures in dim light.

For digital cameras, you've got the Point-and-Shoot and the Digital SLR. If you're a novice stick a simple model that's well-rounded - resist the temptation to splurge your money on a super-advanced camera, because you'll be paying for a lot that you'll never use. By the time you learn to use it, you'll probably be wanting another camera with even more cool features.

The Point-and-Shoot camera

Beginners will like the point-and-shoot. It lives up to its name as most settings are automatic, and will adjust itself for you based on the environment and lighting. Customization can still be available as many cameras offer presets for environments like sunny, outdoors, indoors, etc.

Use automatic settings when you want the light sensitivity (ISO) and focal length calculated for you. Read around to find which cameras are best at this.

The Compact is slim, and ranges in size from pocket cameras to ones than fit in a purse. Most compacts have wide-angle and zoom lenses, blur reduction, image stabilization, scene mode pre-sets, and face detection. They can also have LCD displays that are large despite the smallness of the camera.

For distant subjects, check out Optical Zoom cameras. They capture small details, and can crop a scene easily. Optical Zooms have a feature where the camera lens is physically adjusted to improve image quality, with a natural-looking image. Digital Zoom crops the image and then enlarges it to fill the frame - this affects the quality and clarity of the image. Cropping can also be done easily on your PC.

Digital SLR Cameras (Single Lens Reflex)

Digital SLR cameras are for advanced users - those who want to manage and control what the camera does, rather than just point and shoot. SLRs can offer interchangeable lenses, and have a myriad of manual controls. Many settings can still be automatic, but an SLR is best for those who want hands-on control instead of automatic settings.

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