Ready to buy a digital camera? Are you a little overwhelmed with talk of mega pixels, memory cards, and optical zooms? Here are a few recommendations to help get you started on buying the perfect digital camera for you!
Mega pixels: To put it simply, the more mega pixels the better! A 2-mega pixel camera is fine for snapshots with your iPhone. If you want to produce 8-by-10-inch prints, you'll need at least a 4 mega pixel camera. 8 and 12 mega pixel cameras will yield even larger prints and allow you to blow up part of an image with less likelihood that the print will be blurry. Any time you crop your original image you are taking away from the quality so extra little tip here: shoot tighter and crop less =)
Batteries: To save money, look for a camera that includes a rechargeable battery and charger. Some cameras can use AA batteries of any type--disposable or rechargeable, which is convenient and cost effective as well. All DSLR cameras I know of do use rechargeable batteries. If you will be on a long day of shooting, maybe a vacation or family outing, have an extra battery on hand. One big battery-drainer is using your LCD screen to review your images, if you are running low on battery turn the screen to OFF to save a little battery!
Zoom: For hand-held purse cameras get at least 2X optical zoom. Most cameras offer digital zoom, but it results in photos that aren't nearly as good as those produced with an optical zoom. If you have a DSLR you will likely find it convenient to have a lens that zooms, especially if you are photographing children. The kit lens (lens that comes with your camera purchase) will do you well for your first year maybe two of shooting. Eventually
Memory Cards: Memory cards are how you'll store your images. While a camera may have on-board memory it usually is not very much and memory cards should be purchased. The more cards you have or the larger size (1 Gigabyte is larger than 528 Megabytes), the more photos you can take without having to erase images.
Try It: If possible, hold the camera and take some pictures before making your purchase. Unlike film, the smaller hand-held digital cameras have a "lag time" between when you press the shutter button and when the camera actually takes the picture. Make sure the lag time is acceptable to you, if you are photographing moving babies or children chances are the lag time will be highly disappointing. In that case you want to move up to a DSLR where there is no lag time.
The digital revolution is changing photography. Get out there and find your perfect match so you can start shooting =)
I realize there are many other details to consider when purchasing a camera, please feel free to shoot me a question on our Bitsy Baby Facebook page if you need further help =)