The Digital Camera market has expanded vastly in recent years with cameras available with impressive features for less than £100. There are many makes and models available which can confuse people the main things to think about are listed below.
As a general rule the more Megapixels the camera's sensor has, the more detailed image can be produced. For general everyday use including holiday pictures a camera with 4-6 Megapixels would be the minimum. This will produce good quality printouts of 4 x 6", even an older mobile phone with lower sensor can still produce decent sharp pictures for smaller sizes. For anything larger you should aim for a camera with 6-10+ Megapixels for larger prints. At
You shouldn't need to worry too much about pixel ratings as cameras have become more advanced and the lowest camera on retail now typically exceeds a resolution in excess of 10 Megapixels!!
Digital Cameras have two types of Zoom available the first is Optical Zoom which has a lens which physically moves and to view the image. These now feature on most cameras and began with 3x or higher, now the standard is around 12-45x as standard which gives you a huge amount of magnification of your subject.
The second type is digital zoom which uses the software within the camera unit to zoom, in essence it crops to the centre of the picture. As a recommendation we would suggest considering a camera with an Optical Zoom as this provides greater magnification whilst retaining image quality.
Digital cameras always feature pre-set picture modes for standard, portraits, and night shots. 'Macro' mode is used for close-up photography, usually this is selected by choosing the flower symbol opposed to the mountain symbol somewhere on the unit.
Movie modes are included and many mid to higher end camera can shoot full HD Video, they normally connect via USB to HDMI so you can playback easier than ever. Look for the ,odes with the higher frames per second (fps) and stability controls as this will result in better image quality.
The Memory Storage
The higher the Megapixels, the larger size the image to be stored will be. Most cameras give you the option to adjust the level of image to reduce space required. With My 3.1 M.Pixel camera on a high setting, results in images of approx 1.2MB in size.
Your images need to be stored somewhere before playback and editing and with cameras that means on the memory card. Some cameras also include a small amount of memory built-in.If you work using the table below you can work out what size of card to use again we would recommend 1-2GB for the occasional user, and 4-8GB+ as a minimum for the heavier user.
|HD 720p 10 Mbps||22||45||90||180||360|
|Full HD 1080p 9 Mbps||30||60||120||240||480|
|Approximate images per card and minutes for video|
For Information on the different memory types click [here]
The first thing people new to Digital Cameras notice is how quick they go through a set of batteries. Some cameras use dedicated battery packs some still use AA batteries for those users I would always recommend a branded set of high rated NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) rechargeable batteries. These can cost £10-£20 but provide a good length of usability and can often be re-charged within two hours.
Battery life has improved since the early days, lowering the screen brightness, and use of display will all help to improve the life, most cameras can handle 200 of photos easily less with video and heavy use.