Buying Guide to Digital Cameras

The magazine PC World recently compiled a list of its’ top 10 “point and shoot” cameras. These are the simpler of the digital cameras, and there seems to be an endless array of them in stores today. In order to get the best camera for your needs there a couple things you should consider.

One of the first questions you should ask yourself is: what kind of money are you willing to spend? Prices range from a couple hundred to a couple thousand, so before shopping around it’s best to settle into a price range. The #1 ranked camera on PC World’s list checks out at $270, which is relatively cheap for a good camera. It’s a HP Photosmart R717 camera, a solid product from a reliable company that is one of the leaders in visual technology. HP has another camera ranked at #8 on the list, a HP Photosmart R817, which costs around $299. The main difference between the two cameras is that the R817 model has a more powerful zoom, although many say that the R717 has a clearer picture, so unless zoom is very important to you than the R717 is probably the better buy.

Ranked #2 on PC World’s list is the Canon PowerShot A520, which costs around $200. For such a low price, the camera is a good deal and has all the functions that a casual photographer would require. It’s maximum megapixels is 4, whereas the HP Photosmart is 6, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t get a good picture. In general the maximum megapixels ranges from 4 to 10, and in most cases the prices goes up as the megapixels go up. The more megapixels the clearer the picture, so which one is right for you depends on how serious of a photographer you are. If you’re using the camera for family vacations, you won’t be disappointed by the 4 megapixel cameras, but if you’re a little more serious then go with at least 6 or 7.

The camera with the most megapixels on PC World’s list is ranked at #5, and it’s a Fujifilm FinePix E900, which offers 9 megapixels. The price is a little steep at around $410, but the difference in the clarity of the image is substantial. Fuji also has the #4 ranked camera on the list, their Fujifilm FinePix F10, which is a little cheaper at about $330. This is a 6.3 megapixel camera which is said to have strong image clarity and a simple storage system.

Ranked #3 on the list is a Casio Exilim EX-Z750, which costs around $380 and has 7.2 megapixels. This is perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing camera in regards to design, as its sleek model is easy to carry and its’ 2.5 inch LCD makes it painless to use. Casio also has the last two entries on the list, at #9 it’s a Casio Exilim EX-S600, and at #10 it’s a Casio Exilim Z57. The former has 6 megapixels and costs around $350, while the latter has 5 and costs about $250. All of the Casio cameras have a slim, compact design that make them easy to store and ideal for travel.

The other two cameras on the list are Sony’s Cyber-Shot DSC-H1, ranked at #7 and boasting 5.1 megapixels at a $500 price. While this price seems high for only 5 megapixels, Sony makes up for it with its 12X optical zoom, while most cameras have about a 3X optical zoom. Ranked #6 on the list is an Olympus FE-120, which has 6 megapixels and costs around $230. This is a good deal in that you’ll have a difficult time finding a better quality image for that price. Some complain that about the 1.8 inch LCD, which is a little small, but if that doesn’t bother you then the Olympus FE-120 is a solid buy.

In today’s world film is becoming obsolete, and digital cameras keep getting better and cheaper. So before purchasing one, decided what you’re looking for in a camera, how many megapixels you want, and then do a little research, you’ll be glad you did.

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