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digital cameras

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  • Judith Rempel
    below from LockerGnome n letter ... Ken Colburn of Data Doctors has an answer for Lisa, who asks: Q: I still don t own a digital camera but I think I am ready
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 12, 2003
      below from LockerGnome n'letter

      Ken Colburn of Data Doctors has an answer for Lisa, who asks:

      Q: I still don't own a digital camera but I think I am ready to buy one.
      What should I look for?

      A: Digital photography is experiencing explosive growth much like digital
      music in the recent past. Surveys suggest that digital camera sales will
      likely outpace film camera sales in 2004. With their ease of use, low cost
      and flexibility, digital cameras make more sense than film cameras for most
      casual photographers.

      The first thing that will likely be thrust in your face by camera
      salespeople is the 'megapixel' rating. While this is an important feature,
      it is not the most important. Digital cameras capture images in little dots
      called 'pixels' which is why the more pixels you can capture, the more
      detail is available - especially for printing. If you only plan to print 4x6
      or 5x7 images, then you won't need as many pixels for an 'acceptable'
      output. If you plan on printing 8x10s, even occasionally, be sure to get at
      least 3.2 megapixels.

      A feature that is just as important is the lens, as it will ultimately
      determine much more about your image quality than its number of pixels. The
      ability to capture light, the type of zoom, and the actual translation of
      colors is determined by the lens.

      In general, digital cameras offered by 'camera companies' have more
      sophisticated lenses then those offered by 'computer companies.' Computer
      companies that sell digital cameras tend to pack the camera with more
      features and less technology because their typical customer is less
      [photographically] sophisticated. Camera companies are trying to keep their
      more knowledgeable film camera customers satisfied, so they tend to
      concentrate more on the technology.

      The zoom feature is another point of confusion. Typically, both an optical
      and digital zoom specification will be listed. The only one that matters is
      the optical zoom as it is a true, lens-based zoom. Digital zoom simply trims
      the image electronically and can cause lower picture quality. In fact, as
      soon as you get your new camera, disable the digital zoom so you don't use
      it accidentally.

      If you plan to shoot things from long distances, the higher the optical zoom
      rating, the better. Most cameras come with a 3x optical zoom, but some
      cameras are now offering up to 10x in reasonably-priced packages.

      The type of media that is used to capture the image is not that big of a
      deal, unless you are trying to match the format with other digital devices
      that you have. The only media that I am not thrilled with is the mini-CD
      types that burn the images directly to the disk. They are convenient, but my
      past experience has been that they are much more sensitive to being jarred,
      causing the laser to become misaligned.

      Finally, check the battery system and, most important, how it feels in your
      hands. The battery system will have a huge impact on how usable your camera
      is, based on cost and convenience. Some cameras use expensive disposable
      batteries that can eat a huge hole in your wallet, especially on vacation. I
      prefer cameras that have rechargeable batteries because you become less
      concerned about how often you use the camera. (Some also allow emergency use
      of alkaline batteries.) The LCD display that makes it easy to aim and review
      your images is also a battery killer, so be careful how you use it. If you
      really want to extend the battery life, turn off the LCD until you really
      need it.

      Camera manufacturers try to keep the form factor as small as possible, so be
      sure to hold the camera in your hand and work with it to see if it's
      comfortable. AND, don't buy a camera online if you have never actually
      touched it, or you may be disappointed.

      You can find exceptional cameras with lots of great technology and features
      in the $200 to $500 range.

      In Kinship,
      Judith Rempel, Webster
      note new personal e-mail address: judith@...


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