Thursday, March 30, 2006


How to Choose a Digital Camera

You are either an amateur directly entering the field of
digital photography or an experienced photographer
who is shifting over from the field of film camera!
Anyway you are one for whom moments of thrill and
achievements are in store in the days ahead!
Here are some guidelines to enable you to put forward
to the camera dealer the optimum specifications for
the camera you need and also the most essential accessories
you want along with the camera.

Types of Camera Design

You have
1.Digicam with fixed lens (mostly plastic lens)
This is just a starter camera for budding young amateurs.
2.Digital SLR with interchangeable lens
Very Expensive – Intended only for a serious amateur
Not for you anyway at this moment!
3.Digicam with fixed zoom lens
May offer over 12x zoom but design would be bulkier
and controls may be complicated. To be avoided at this stage!
4.Digicam with retractable lens that extends when the camera is on
and retracts into its body when it is off.
This compact digicam (with number of zoom ranges for your choice)
is an ideal one to start with!


Zoom lens enables you to zoom in and out to capture different situations.
Zooming out gives you a wide angle of view and helps you capture a wide expanse
of the scene. Zooming in gives a narrow angle of view to enable objects appear enlarged.
Look for an Optical Zoom and don’t get lured by the high level digital zoom
Optical Zoom works with moving parts like the zoom in a traditional camera
and lets you choose any focal length in the range for which it is designed.
Digital Zoom has no moving parts and it uses its electronic brain to take a
part of the image falling in the sensor and enlarge it to fill the sensor.It just
crops away information in the image and resizes it to give you an end product of
lower quality .
Whatever you want to do in a digital zoom can be done by cropping the image in a
photo editing program such as ACDSee . A CD for such software comes along with
the camera.
Optical Zoom is measured by its magnification factor 2x.3x.4x and so on. Here
again a 2x Zoom could mean 28mm-56mm zoom,35mm-70mm zoom or
50mm-100mm zoom.They will have different properties. In a specification for a
3x Zoom, it may be indicated as “ Focal length 5,8mm-17.4mm equivalent to
35.6mm-107mm in 35mm format.
You can do research on this technical aspects much later!
If you can opt for a 4x Zoom now, you need not have any worry on this issue!
It will be a fine option.If budget constraints are there, you can compromise
for 3x and nothing less than that.
You may ask about the quality of the lens. If you are going for a standard brand
such as Pentax, Nikon, Canon etc; you can be rest assured that you are getting a
a top class lens.


Resolution is a very important factor which refers to the clarity and quality of an
Image.It is measured in mega pixels. A mega pixel denotes a million picture elements.
If an image has more pixels it is sharper.
If you do not need prints above the size of 4”x6” and if you do not desire to crop
and edit your captured images, 2 mega pixels is all that you need. If you want to enlarge
your prints to 5”x7”,8”x10” or to a still larger format you need 3,4 or 5 mega pixels.
If you are to be in tune with the trends of the day, your option for effective pixels
should be 5 mega pixels. Many latest Compacts come with 6.0 mega pixels!


LCD Viewfinder is to be opted for. It is easy to use and with its monitor you can have
a frame coverage of approximately 100% and can review the captured images. Ensure that
you get at least a 2.0-inch TFT color LCD with 110 kilo pixels monitor.


Be assured that the electronic/mechanical shutter speed is at least 1/2000 sec – 4 sec.


The storage medium for the camera will be a built-in memory and a memory card.
Compact Flash, Smart Media and Secure Digital are some of the types of memory cards.
Some cameras are compatible for more than one type. But, generally when you get a
Digicam you are committed to work with one type of card only.
Ensure that a built-in memory around 9.0MB is available and get to know the type of
card specific to the camera.

Power Supply

The electronic image sensor, LCD monitor (Viewfinder), image processor and flash
of the camera consume lot of power. Power is also consumed when it is required to
play back or review captured images. Batteries are the source of power.
Certain old versions of cameras use AA batteries or camera specific battery packs.
Your choice now should be a camera designed for use with a specified rechargeable
Lithium-ion battery.

A camera with the above indicated specifications will have innumerous other built-in
features such as quality levels, digital filters, white balance, self-timer along with number
of exposure modes and controls. Reputed manufacturers of cameras are competing with
each other, day in and day out, to introduce new models with more refinement in controls
and performance.

Choice is yours!

Next:Digital Camera Accessories

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