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How Does One Buy a Digital Camera?

With so many models and features to choose from, first-time purchasers of digital cameras have a tendency to make one of several mistakes:


First-time purchasers have a tendency to 'over-buy.'


First-time purchasers have a tendency to make selection based on visual appeal alone.


First-time purchasers have a tendency to make selection based on name brand alone.


First-time purchasers have a tendency to make selection based on price alone.

Many people hold the false notion that the more expensive the camera, the higher quality it is and the better it performs. This is not necessarily true.

I have actually witnessed first-time purchasers select a particular digital camera because they thought it was "cute." They didn't have a clue as to what the capacities of the camera were. Upon questioning, they weren't even familiar with the term "resolution."

The above pitfalls can easily be avoided and a more educated selection made by first deciding what the main purpose for the digital camera will be. Determining its use will help to determine how much money should be invested, and what features are most important when making a selection.

For instance, will the main purpose of the digital camera be for personal use and convenience sake? Taking photos to share with family and friends over the Internet, on a personal web site, or prints made from a color printer.

Will the camera be used for semi professional purposes? A hobbyist involved in photography, perhaps, will get a lot of use from the camera, perfecting technique and skill. Or will the camera be used mostly for professional purposes by someone requiring the highest quality photos possible? Photos that may end up published, or reprinted for sale purposes.

Obviously, defining the purpose and use of the camera will help to determine the type, quality, and price range to shop for. Someone who wishes to purchase a digital solely to take pictures to send to Grandma of little Susie blowing out her birthday candles, or the new puppy chewing dad's slippers, doesn't require a $1,000+ camera with a lot of fancy extras. Similarly, a professional photographer or a writer who takes pictures to accompany article submissions will be happiest with an upper-end camera with quality resolution.

Unless money is no object and you are the type of person who only wants "the best," deciding upon the main purpose of the digital camera should be a first step in deciding what type of camera to buy.

After deciding purpose, you are now ready to decide what features to look for in a digital camera. Do your homework. Educate yourself as to what various features are available, and what each means. Then, make a list of what you want in a camera. This will help prevent over-buying, or purchasing a camera that lacks the overall performance you desire.

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