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How to Purchase a Digital Camera
A higher resolution increases quality and clarity of your pho-
tos, as well as the size at which you can print the photos before
noticing degradation in quality. If you never plan to print photos
larger than 8" 3 10", for example, you do not need a camera
with a resolution greater than 5 megapixels. Many cameras
available today advertise higher resolutions, but taking pictures
at these high resolutions can use valuable storage space. Just
because your camera can take a 10-megapixel photo does not
mean that you always should set the resolution to 10 megapixels.
you are considering does not have a viewfinder, because you
then will be required to use the display to frame your shots.
7 Determine whether your pictures will
require you to zoom.
If you plan to take pictures of people or objects that require
you to zoom in, select a digital camera that has a high optical
zoom. An optical zoom enlarges the subject by adjusting the
camera lens, whereas a digital zoom uses formulas built into
the camera to magnify images. Optical zooms, as opposed to
digital zooms, often result in a higher quality photo. While a
digital zoom might be capable of magnifying objects that are
100 feet away, the photo will suffer a loss of quality.
3 Consider size and weight.
Digital cameras are available in various sizes and weights.
Some people prefer smaller, lighter cameras because they
are easier to transport and take up less space. Others prefer
bulkier, heavier cameras because the weight helps steady
them to take a clearer picture. Many digital cameras also
include an image stabilization feature that reduces the pos-
sibility of a blurry picture if you move your hands slightly
while taking the picture. Some also believe that heavier cam-
eras are of better quality, although that seldom is true. When
choosing a digital camera, practice taking pictures with it
and select one that feels comfortable and natural.
8 Price is important.
As with all other devices, purchase a digital camera that does
not exceed your budget. If you find a great camera that is avail-
able for more than you are willing to spend, consider locating
a camera with a slightly lower resolution, an alternate brand,
or a smaller screen. Digital cameras can last well beyond five
years if properly maintained, so consider this a longer-term
investment that will create memories lasting you a lifetime.
9 Know your batteries.
Some digital cameras require replaceable alkaline or
rechargeable batteries (often AA or AAA), and others have a
rechargeable battery. Similar to batteries in portable media
players, using disposable batteries in digital cameras can get
expensive, and they may not last as long as rechargeable bat-
tery packs. Digital camera battery life is not measured in hours
(as is the case with smart phones and portable media players);
instead, it is measured in how many pictures can be taken on a
single charge or set of batteries. Turning off the LCD screen
and flash when you take pictures can help to extend battery life.
4 Different cameras require different
memory cards.
When purchasing a digital camera, pay careful attention
to the type of memory card the camera uses. Many use SD
cards, some use xD Picture cards, and some use CompactFlash
memory cards. Some memory cards are more expensive to
replace than others, and some have a higher capacity than
other cards. If you take a lot of pictures, purchase a camera that
supports a memory card with a higher storage capacity so that
you can avoid carrying multiple memory cards. You also might
consider purchasing a camera that uses a memory card that is
compatible with your other mobile devices.
10 Purchase accessories.
Accessories that are available for digital cameras include
carrying cases, extra batteries and battery chargers, and extra
memory cards (Figure 53). Carrying cases can help protect
your digital camera, especially while traveling, and the extra
batteries and chargers can stay inside your carrying case so
that they are readily available should you need them. Screen
protectors can help protect the LCD screen on your digital
camera.
5 Photo editing features can save you time.
Some digital cameras have integrated tools that allow you
to edit photos directly from the camera. For instance, you
may be able to crop photos, change the brightness, or remove
red-eye effects. Editing photos directly on the camera after
taking them can save you from editing multiple photos at
once when you transfer them to a computer. The photo edit-
ing capabilities available on digital cameras are limited when
compared to photo editing programs, but in many cases they
can edit a photo to your satisfaction.
6 Make sure that you can see the LCD screen
easily.
LCD screens on digital cameras allow you to configure
the settings, frame a shot before taking it, and preview pho-
tos after taking them. LCD screens vary by inches, so select
a camera with a screen that does not require you to strain
your eyes to view. This is especially important if the camera
Figure 53 Digital camera accessories include memory cards,
cases, batteries, and battery chargers.
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