Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Top Questions For Your Digital Camera Purchase

When you head out to purchase your digital camera, you need to keep a few questions in mind. Before you begin comparing the features on the various cameras, you will need to know whether or not you even need those features. To find out, you should answer these questions before you head out.

What kind of user are you? This question does not concern your level of expertise. Instead it refers to how often you use your camera. If you will pull it out everyday or carry it with you, then you need something made for heavy-duty use. If, however, you are only going to use it to snap the kids' birthday parties, then you can go with a more slimmed down model.

The second question is how clear you want the pictures to be. Digital camera quality is measured in part by megapixels. One megapixel is a pretty bad shot. You can use this camera, though, if you are taking pictures of items to sell on eBay or just using the pictures for home computer use. If you want to print the pictures or use them for professional purposes, go with a higher megapixel count.

Next, how much memory do you need? Know that you can upgrade your memory later. If you are in doubt, go with a lower amount of memory unless the price difference between it and the upgrade is very small. Are you planning to take hundreds of pictures on vacation? Then you need more memory. Are you planning to clear it after each use? Then get a little memory. Think about your habits when you are answering this question.

Do you have a preference on size? In the world of cameras, bigger is not usually better. Think about carrying the camera around. Will you be able to hold it steady? Will it become too heavy for you to carry? If your children will use it or you will need to hold it up for long periods of time, focus on lightweight models. Otherwise, you can look at how large the camera is. Decide where you will store it and whether or not you will purchase a carrying case for it.

Are you going to read the manual? That is a serious question. It is not so much that you need to read the manual, but consider your technical proclivities when you purchase all the cool extra features. If you have 100 features but only use 3, then you have wasted your money. If you are willing to spend the time to get to know your camera so that you understand the features and how they work, then you may want to consider getting more of them.

The important point to remember when you purchase a camera is that you are important and not the camera. Do not let the camera or the salesperson sell you on the camera. Go in knowing what you need and ask for the camera that best fits your needs. It is best to go in with an idea of your price range and the type of camera you will need so that you do not leave the store with more camera that you need or can afford.

By Julia Mercer

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