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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Terms you need to understand before buying a new digital camera

Digital cameras made the capturing of precious priceless moments so easy. And Since digital camera designs like point and shoot are too user friendly,one can quickly snap a picture with the touch of a button. So buying a digital camera for yourself is one good idea. OVer the last few years since digital camera was first introduced in the market, design and features haves changed rapidly like the megapixels which have gone up from 1 to 12, choosing the right model becomes excruciating. The number of megapixels is no longer an adequate indication of camera quality.

Understanding the most common terms about digital cameras will not only make your navigation through maze of digital camera models, features and specifications easier but will also allow you to take the best photo possible.


This term refers to tee maximum resolution at which a digital camera can take photos in millions of pixels. This means that a camera with a range of 4 megapixels can take photos which each contain a maximum of 4 million pixels. Does higher megapixel indicates good quality digital camera? A higher mexapixel value means better crispier quality photos. But having a 3 megapixel range would just be good enough for small sized printing of photos. The higher the megapixel value the bigger also would be the file size of the photo which becomes a drawback if you intend to share photos through the internet. With a 2 megapixels camera, you have 2 million pixels to record an image and with a 3 megapixels camera, you have 1 million extra pixels to record the same image — in other words, you are able to capture the image in more detail.

Focal Length

This feature is often overlooked when buying a new digital camera. Focal length refers to how much the lens of a camera can magnify a shot. Focal lengths are classified as wide-angle and telephoto. The former is good for spacious view while the latter is best for norrow and far fields of view. so for point and shoot models it is best to choose one with wide angle and telephoto focal length features. A wide angle focal length range of 20mm -35 mm is ideal for indoors, taking pictures of group of people in short distance and wide landscapes.

Digital Zoom

Most digital camera buyers would give much attention to this feature than it deserves. Digital zoom term refers to the capability of the digital camera to electronically enlarge the pixels in the center area of a photo drawing the image closer to the viewer. It means that whenever you use the digital zoom function on your digital camera you are simply magnifying the image and you are actually sacrificing the quality of you photo. By enlarging the portion of the image, it simulate the optical zoom function. In other words the digital camera crops a portion of the image and then enlarges it back to size. Choose a model of digital camera that can disable the digital zoom function.

Optical Zoom

This lens function physically extends to magnify your subject. A motor controls the lens movement taking either wide-angle shot or telephoto shot. When you press the switch to "W" or "T," the subject is either magnified or reduced in size. The "W" stands for "wide-angle" (reduce). The "T" stands for "telephoto" (magnify).


ISO stands for the International Standards Organization. This is the standard set in photography which indicates how sensitive the camera is to light. For example, an ISO setting of 100 would not be very sensitive to light, hence it is best for shots in good lighting condition, such as outdoor settings. For indoor settings, 400 ISO would be adequate. In low light condition increasing the ISO to 800 or even 1600 would be necessary however much noise would be observed in the photo. A digital camera with ISO 100-1600 ISO range would be versatile for different lighting conditions.

Shutter Lag

Shutter lag refers to the time between pressing the button to take a photograph and the time when the picture actually gets taken. This may not seem a very important factor when buying a camera, but think of it this way: if you have to wait a second or longer for a photo to be taken, like with many older and inexpensive digital cameras, then chances are that you won’t end up with the photo you desired. Many camera manufacturers do not list the shutter lag time for their cameras, so the best way to find this out is by testing a camera before you buy.


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