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Digital Camera Shopping Guide
Things you want to consider when buying a digital camera:
Also known as CCD resolution. The most common and one of the most important
factor. CCD (Charge Coupled Device) is the imaging sensor that actually captures the picture.
It's like the eye of the camera. CCD resolution determines the maximum
resolution of digital photoes you can get from the digital camera. The more megapixels, the sharper and more detailed the pictures your digital camera can
take, and you will be able to enlarge and print them without loss of quality.
For example, if you want to get satisfying 4x6 prints from your digital photoes,
the minimum requirement should be 2 Megapixel. 5 Megapixel is already more than
enough for common use.
Optical Zoom and Digital Zoom:
Optical zoom measures how much the lens can actually zoom in to make subjects appear
closer, it is determined solely by the physical capability of lens. Using
optical zoom will never affect the image quality.
Digital zoom is actually not really a "zoom". It is just a smart
built-in computation procedure that enlarges the digital photo without too much
of the loss of image quality. But as long as you use the digital zoom, there is
loss of quality. That's why you should avoid using them if possible. Bottom line
is, digital zoom is certainly not as good as optical zoom, but it is better than
The storage media:
It is where the digital camera will store the captured digital photoes. It is
a removable device and you can buy them separately with any capacity you want.
The larger the capacity of the storage media, the more photoes you can take
before running out of space. You will find the capacity essential when you take
your camera for a 7-day trip to Yellow Stone and don't have a computer handy to
download photoes to.
There are several types of media available, these 5 are the most popular
- Sony Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro: Used mainly in Sony digital cameras, looks just like a
stick of gum, only shorter. It is fast, convenient and small, but quite
expensive comparing with others. Memory Stick Pro has upto 1GB capacity and
2x faster than memory stick.
- XD Flash Memory Card: Used mainly in Olympus and Fuji digital cameras. The
smallest of all, it's very popular in ultra compact devices.
- Compact Flash Type I and II: The most popular one, used in a number of digital
cameras including Canon. Type I Capacity upto 256MB, type II is thicker,
capacity upto 1GB, 4GB on the way, and compatibile with IBM MicroDrive.
- Secure Digital: Very compacted, used in many compact models including
Canon's popular SD100.
- SmartMedia: Very thin but without the built-in controller chip. Storage
capacity is not so good either.
Most digital cameras use one of these 2 types of batteries: the lithium-ion
rechargeable battery or the ordinary AA battery.
Lithium-ion rechargeable battery: Usually last longer, smaller (used in
almost every compact digital cameras), convenient to recharge (just plug the
power adapter into camera), but very expensive to buy if you want to replace or
have an extra handy.
AA batteries: Convenient to get - buy them any where so you don't worry about
running out of power.
Most people don't really think about this when they buy a digital camera. But
it is really a very nice feature. Most camcorders are too big to carry around
and sometimes you just can't record the moment with just a photo. Certainly the
quality of the MPEG video is not enough to make a movie, but it is very easy to
put online and share with friends.
Including LCD size (1.5 is normal, 2.0 is deluxe), with or without swirve,
easy to control, ..
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