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Purchasing A Digital Camera

Digital cameras are very similar to traditional cameras, although there is one crucial difference – digital cameras don’t use film! Instead, they record photos and video to a memory chip or card. Most are able to record short video clips (usually anywhere from 15 seconds up to 5 minutes and more), because video is nothing more than a fast transition of photos. At this point, you might be wondering how you get the photos out of the digital camera.

Most digital cameras come with a software interface that lets you decide how high quality the pictures should be and different settings depending on the light and environment. Through this interface, you can also delete photos and do basic photo and video editing. Most digital cameras come with a cable that connects directly to your computer, usually via USB. The camera instantly transfers the photos to a program installed on your computer. Once the photos are stored on your computer, you can print them, edit them, or e-mail them. If you want to print them the traditional way, you can take the memory card to a photo developer and they can print the images from the card as if you were giving them your film. Photo developers can also put your photos on a CD that includes a multimedia showcase of your photoset.

When shopping for a digital camera, the main specification you should be looking at are Megapixels. Computers store images electronically as a large combination of dots. When you have a good image on your screen or printed on paper, you often can’t see the dots because they’re packed very closely together, but they’re still there. Just as printed images are measured by dots per inch on paper, electronic images are measured by pixels (dots on your computer screen). A megapixel is defined as one million pixels. Modern cameras come with a resolution of 1-3 megapixels. If you are taking photos that don’t need to be printed out in high-quality resolution, 2 megapixels should be sufficient. Also consider the amount of memory the camera has. Most digital cameras have built-in memory and can accommodate external cards to store more photos. These cards are smaller than matchboxes and can store anywhere from 16MB to 32GB of data.

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