READER PICTURE TIPS How to choose ?a good camera.
Consider image quality, performance, features and price. Also consider whether you will just be taking family snapshots or something more elaborate.
First decide how much you are willing to pay for a digital camera. You may need to adjust this figure if you want and need a lot of manual control and features. Decide on camera body size and features that you may actually use. Then look for a camera in your price range.
Select a digital camera recommended for the largest print size you're likely to print at. If you want to make 8x10 inch prints, choose a 4-mega-pixel model, though a 3-mega-pixel camera will also do a fair job. If you need up to 16x20 inch prints you will need an 8-mega-pixel camera. If all you want is to send images by e-mail or post them online, even a 2-mega-pixel camera will do. Remember, mega pixels correspond only to image size, not quality.
Make sure the camera has the right features for your needs, such as an optical zoom lens and a certain amount of useful manual controls. If you wear glasses but prefer to take pictures without them, make sure that your camera has an adjustable dioptre. This will allow you to adjust the focus of the view-finder so that you can see your subject clearly.
Choose a camera with a bright LCD screen. This will allow you to better see the image in bright sunlight. Having a large LCD screen will help you compose and review your images on the camera.
When considering digital cameras with a zoom lens, what's important is the optical zoom distance and not the digital zoom distance. Digital zoom uses software to crop and magnify an image, resulting in a loss of image quality.
A good option, if available, is a pocket-sized instruction manual instead of a CD. You can take it with you when you're out shooting.
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