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Digital Camera Primer: 5 Factors To Guide Your Next Digital Camera Purchase

Thinking of buying your next digital camera? Don't buy without considering these 5 factors. This list of hints can save you time and frustration when making your next digital camera selection.

There is no limit to the number of choices you have when you decide to purchase consumer electronic products. Desktop computers, laptops, cell phones, printers, and especially digital cameras offer tons and tons of different models with options enough to confuse anyone who is not up on the product offerings.

That's why, when buying a digital camera, it is important to consider a few basic factors before you slap down your cash or enter you credit card number at an online store.

Here are some of the things to consider before ordering.

Digital Camera Cost

It has not been very long since digital cameras were very expensive and produced very poor quality images. Those days are gone. Today, $139 will buy you a 12-megapixel camera with enough features to satisfy the nerdiest of photographers. And $699 will even buy you an excellent digital SLR camera with a starter lens.

More important than the cost of the digital camera its quality and performance. Don't make the mistake of buying for price only. Check the user Star Ratings at the online stores. Those ratings are usually very accurate. They reflect what photographers with a similar budget to yours think of the camera that they bought.

Are Megapixels Still Important

Again, thinking back a few years, a three-megapixel camera was the dream of many folks. It was top of the line, and it was very expensive.

Now, the average sensor size is about 10-megapixels, with many going up to the 15-18 megapixel range.

With that in mind, the answer is, yes, the number of megapixels is still important. However, the quality of those pixels is equally important. You must understand that designers are stuffing more and more pixels into a sensor that is the same size as before. If the quality of those pixels is not upgraded along with the amount, the picture quality will suffer.

Getting a good 10-megapixel camera will give better photos than a 15-megapixel camera with poor picture quality.

LCD Screen and Display

Quality of the LCD screens is also improving. Along with that, many of the optical view finders have disappeared, especially in the compact digital cameras. That's why getting a large LCD screen with a display that is visible in all situations, including sunlight, is important. Look for LCD screens that are at least 2.7 inches in size and get the highest resolution your budget can afford.

Shooting Modes

Some people just want to "point and shoot." Of course, most cameras will provide that option. There is a "goof-proof" setting on every camera that will let the camera make every setting for you.

However, if you want a good camera that you can have some personal input into the settings if you want, there are lots of choices for that too. What you need to look for are the basic shooting modes, like portrait, macro, sunny, cloudy, and night settings. In addition to that, make sure you can set the camera to manual modes, such as Aperture priority and Shutter Speed priority just in case you get more adventurous with your camera and want to take control.

One more choice that you may want to make is the ability to set the camera for sports photos. If you have a son or daughter that is into soccer, dance, or cheerleading, you will want good quality photos of those events. And, quite honestly, the shutter lag on many cameras will disappoint you when it comes to getting a picture at the right time.

There are surely other things that you may think should be on this list of things to consider before buying digital cameras. For instance, video is now pretty much standard on digital cameras, but there is a large difference in the quality of the video output from camera to camera.

The Post Purchase Syndrome

Many of us study and study before making the final decision, then, when it comes down to the wire, we make the wrong choice. Buyer's remorse sets in.

Reasons for buyer's remorse are many, but a couple of the major ones are:

1. Paid too much for the budget.

2. The camera does not meet your expectations.

The idea of budget is something you need to think about BEFORE you buy. Enough said about that. But the second issue is critical. Don't just throw up your hands and accept inferior quality in a digital camera. Take it back, or send it back. You can get one of the other cameras on your listScience Articles, and it may be just the right one for you.

Article Tags: Digital Camera, Digital Cameras

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With all this information, you are ready for a list of the Top 5 Point and Shoot cameras. You can find that list at This list of cameras is pretty much guaranteed to avoid problem #2. We can't help you with problem #1.

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