Help with shopping for digital camera please?

Discussion in 'Printers, Scanners and Digital Cameras' started by DaRuSsIaMaN, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. DaRuSsIaMaN

    DaRuSsIaMaN Geek Comrade

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    I have never personally owned a camera in my entire life lol. I guess my approach has always been just to remember places I've been and things I've seen rather than going around snapping pictures of everything.

    But now I want to buy one. Problem is, I don't really understand what to look for. I know I want a digital one, and I know it has to be portable (the kind most people carry around these days), not one of those professional types with big lenses sticking out. But beyond that, I don't know how to evaluate the specs at all, except that more megapixels means better, generally.

    So, any advice? Any specific recommendations? I guess my budget is around $150-200ish but I guess I could go up to 250 if there's a good reason for it.

  2. donkey42

    donkey42 plank

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    i've had cameras but not digital ones

    the main thing is: (i think) the difference between optical zoom & digital zoom, optical zoom is the actual quality of the image or vid & digital zoom is how much the camera can zoom into an existing image or vid, although, i'm not an expert in digital cameras or photography in any way
  3. thomas234

    thomas234 Big Geek

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    Things to look for when buying a digital camera are:

    Zoom - Optical zoom is how far the lens actually zooms in, whereas digital is where the image is cropped and stretched. If a camera says 57x zoom, it's more likely 5.7x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom.

    Megapixels - Don't be fooled by the number of megapixels a camera has, unless you want to print big pictures (larger than 12x8") then you won't need anything above 8mp. My £300 SLR (Nikon D40) is 6mp.

    ISO - Cameras sometimes advertise high ISO numbers. This is how sensitive the sensor is, and how much detail is captured. At night when there isn't much light, the camera sets a high ISO, although the pictures are very grainy. A camera with ISO 100-1600 is very good.

    Lens - I like cameras which have a wide angle lens (28mm on an old film camera). You get more in the picture without having to walk backwards.

    Brand - Lumix (Panasonic) are slightly more expensive, but you get what you pay for. With Canon you pay more for their advertising, so I wouldn't recommend them.

    Face Recognition - New software in cameras has the ability to pick up peoples faces, and focus accordingly, so you rarely get out of focus shots.

    Memory card - An ideal camera would take SDHC (SD Cards 4gb and above).

    Personally I don't like small compact cameras because they're easy to drop, quite often don't have a viewfinder, and don't give as good pictures as a DSLR (the big black ones with sticky-outy lenses).

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