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BuyingTips - Digital Camera

What is a Digital Camera?

The primary difference between a digital camera and a conventional camera is the medium used to record the picture. While a conventional camera uses film, a digital camera uses an array of digital image sensors. Though digital camera picture quality is on a par with the quality of most conventional film cameras, the convenience and the ability to record, edit and email photos on a computer make them more attractive and popular.

Depending upon your requirement of using the digital camera - for personal use, professional use or may be both - the following features will help you decide just the right one for you -

Computer Compatibility: A digital camera can't do without the aid of a good computer, as almost all digital cameras come with some sort of software. The software can be simple or advance. Be sure you have the right kind of computer compatible with your digital camera.

Memory: Memory is number of images you can store on your digital camera at one time. Memory can be erased and reused once the images have been transferred or deleted. Digital images can be filed for any period of time without data corruption. Internal storage is part of the camera and usually cannot be changed. But removable storage can be replaced. There is a variety of storage media to choose from - Smart Media Card, Compact Flash, floppy disk, hard drive, zip drive or CDR/W etc.

Resolution: It is the quality of the image measured in pixels. The higher the resolution, the sharper the pictures.

Image Capacity: The number of images the camera can store, usually at its minimum resolution or highest compression mode. Since digital images cannot be taken in rapid succession due to processing time.

Flash: It refers to good image quality in all kind of lighting situations. Its ability to correct colors, lighting, and eliminate red eye. Automatic and manual flash is available.

Viewfinder: Is a small screen that enables you to view the image. Optical viewfinders require you to put the camera up to your eye to see what you are shooting at. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) viewfinders are flat screens that display 1 x 3-in. images.

Zoom: Zoom provides the ability to obtain close-up images and enlarging it. It enables focusing over a wide range of distances without changing lenses. While comparing zoom lenses be sure to take into account their minimum and maximum focal lengths.

Battery: The estimated life of battery depends upon the type of battery you are using. There are a number of alternatives to choose from -

Alkaline Batteries are used for heavy currents for a long period of time. It runs approximately 30 min.

NiCD or Nickel Cadmium is dependable and rechargeable but has a lower capacity. It runs approximately 30 min.

NiMH or Nickel metal Hydride is most recommended, rechargeable battery. They charge very fast and hold their energy longer than other rechargeables. They can be charged for over 500 times in their life cycle. They run approximately for 60 min.

Lithium-ion is most advanced but expensive battery. It has superior charge retention, and even can be recharged to full capacity while having a partial charge. They are compact in size and weight and run for approximately 120 min.

Video out: Allows you to plug the camera directly into a TV or VCR.

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