Digital Cameras are Easy, Economical and Fun for Novices and Pros Alike
By Tom Sample
Making the switch from 35mm to digital can be tough for a novice camera fanatic. The concept's mostly the same, but the way the picture gets stored, printed and viewed is different. But, the advantages to digital have made it the preferred way people take pictures. Everyone from professionals to stay-at-home moms are using digital now.
Finding the right digital camera is a question of knowing your needs and matching it to the camera in question. Digital cameras are pretty amazing little creations that can pack a whole lot of features into a single, small device. The reasons they've begun to replace 35mm are many and include:
* Ease of use. Digital cameras, even some of the best on the market, are designed to be very user friendly. Most are point and shoot, but there are many options for those who like to choose their own settings, change lenses and more. Plus there are even online processing services, so there's no need to head out to get prints. They can be mailed right to your door.
* No film. The LCD readouts on most digital cameras coupled with the elimination of film make these wonderful for shooters who want to see their pictures and choose them before they're printed.
* Economical. Since the photos on digital cameras can be carefully chosen in advance of printing, the costs can be much less. Plus, there's no film to buy.
* Quality. Depending on the camera purchased and the accuracy of the settings, the quality can rival and sometimes even surpass a regular 35mm camera.
The key to getting the best possible digital pictures is to make sure the right camera is bought. The resolution of the pictures taken will determine what they can be best used for. This in digital is measured in something called a megapixel.
A single megapixel camera, for example, will produce shots that are ideal for e-mail sharing and for 4x6 prints. On the other hand, a five-megapixel camera is fantastic for prints up to a full 11x14 inches. The reason for the difference is the quality of the digital file. A lesser file will become grainy when the image is blown up. The five-megapixel camera's shots, however, maintain their appearance. Another consideration a buyer should make is the size of the storage device used for the camera. Rather than film, digital cameras use storage cards. These can hold a whole lot of pictures - not like a standard 35mm roll. A 256 MB card, for example, can hold about 415 lower quality shots. That's a whole lot of film!
Digital cameras do have some disadvantages, too. Some models tend to be a little slow to shoot and reset, and they can be difficult to figure out at first. But, once they're figured out, digital cameras tend to be more convenient, user friendly and ready for the action than typical 35mm.
Offering a new alternative in picture taking, digital cameras are great for novice shooters and even pros. The choices on the market are incredible and the applications many. The ability to see what's been taken before printing is fantastic and is a real boon for those who want to make sure they have "the shot" before they move on.
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