Choosing a Digital Camera

With so many options to choose from, its hard to make the right decision when looking to purchase a digital camera.  Factors such as size, color, and quality all play their part.  So, which is the right camera for you?

The answer, unfortunately, is that it depends on what you're going to use the camera for.

If you want a camera that you can take around in your purse or jacket pocket, then a consumer grade point and shoot camera is your best bet.  These are compact, thin, and don't weigh very much.  They generally have decent preset / automatic settings so all you need to do is literally pull your camera out, point, and shoot.

If the bulkiness of the camera isn't a problem and you're looking for a higher quality photo, then a DSLR is probably what you're looking for.  DSLR cameras have a larger photo sensor than their point and shoot counterparts. This means that each pixel is able to receive more light and thus the picture ends up with a better quality. Also, because the sensor is larger in a DSLR, the photo tends to be less grainy when shooting at higher ISO settings.

To put this into perspective, a 14MP consumer grade point and shoot claims to be able to make a good 16x20" print, while a 6MP DSLR shooting in RAW can produce a good print up to 30x40". 

And, of course, the DSLR is able to swap lenses for a variety of different situations such as a telephoto lens for sports or wildlife shots, a lens with a large aperture for low light shots, or a macro lens for closeups of honey bees or flowers.

The downside is that these cameras are much more heavy and bulky, especially when factoring in the weight of the lenses.  This can be a problem for spur of the moment shots or when hiking for miles.



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