A digital camera is an electronic device to transform images into electronic information. New digital cameras are typically multifunctional and the same device can take pictures, video and audio.
Many digital cameras can connect directly to a computer to transfer data. Early cameras used the PC serial port. USB is the most commonly used method, though some have a Firewire port or use Bluetooth. Some cameras are able to attach to computer networks wirelessly via Wi-Fi.
Here are 10 top things to consider when looking to purchase a digital camera: –
- Price: This can vary from around $100 to upto $10,000 for a high end professional camera. You can buy one with good resolution and options for under $600. Ones with more manual control settings can be found for around $600-2000 dollars, usually suited to serious amateurs.
- Resolution: To print good quality color photos at the standard film sizes 4″x6″ or 5″x7″ you’ll need a 1-2 megapixel camera. If you are printing as large as 8″x10″ then you’re going to need a higher resolution around 2-3 megapixels.
- Viewfinder: Low-end digital cameras provide an optical viewfinder while more expensive ones replace the viewfinder with a LCD (Liquid Crystal Display). Look towards purchasing one with an LCD display. Kodak make digital cameras with superb displays so have a look at those.
- Focus: Most cameras are either fixed-focus or autofocus which is suitable for the average digital camera user. With a fixed-focus lens everything from a few feet to infinity is in focus. The only problem with this is when shooting pictures up close. Autofocus will automatically bring whatever is in the centre of the viewfinder into focus.
- Storage: Many cameras come with a small memory card, but if you want to take lots of pictures or footage, it is a good idea to check whether what is supplied is enough. Chances are it won’t be, so look at how much a new ‘decent’ capacity memory card etc is going to cost for that particular model.
- Compression: If you want the highest possible image quality, look for a camera that will let you save pictures in “CCD raw mode” which means with no compression at all.
- Batteries: It is important to get a camera that will accept rechargeable batteries. There are three varieties of batteries available Nickel Cadmium (NiCad), Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) and Lithium-ion (Li-ion or LiOn). A camera may accept only one or two kinds of batteries so be sure to find out what kind.
- Power Saving: To save battery power, use a camera that accepts an AC adaptor.
- Interface: If you are interested in maximum speed you should keep your eyes open for cameras and card readers that support FireWire
- Video Output: This can be invaluable for presentations. If you would like to do this, look for a camera with a video-output terminal. It allows you to display your pictures on a TV or projector.