Digital cameras buyer's guide
Digital cameras offer amazing quality and convenience, and compared to old film cameras provide near endless shots – limited only by their battery life and memory capacity. You don’t even need to be camera savvy, or a computer expert, to get the most from new models. Almost all provide fuss-free point-and-shoot abilities and just plugging a camera into a PC enables you to email, print and upload your shots.
The first step is to choose a type that’s right for you. The right camera could be a compact point-and-shoot, a style conscious model or a fully-featured digital SLR for the demanding photographer.
Also know as a compact camera (as they are small and light) these are great for those who don’t want to fuss about with camera settings or are just getting started in photography. They offer good-quality shots from fully automated settings and expect good megapixel levels with limited 4x optical zooms.
Advanced compact cameras with larger, bulkier lenses enable these cameras to offer enhanced levels of zoom of around 10x to 15x. While the megapixel levels may seem similar to cheaper models, the enhanced lenses capture more light for richer colour in the final shots.
Known as digital SLR cameras these high-end models use separate lenses for maximum flexibility and image quality. With no compromise made these are designed to get the best photographic results possible.
Usually reworked compact cameras, these specialised models are built to resist drops, dust, rain and water. Usually waterproof up to 3 meters these are ideal for beach and water sports.
There’s no getting away from the fact that photography is a complex subject. Here are a few of the most important features and terms explained:
Takes two pictures in quick succession to compensate for the subject blinking.
Uses either software tricks, physical lens technology or a combination of both to compensate and remove hand shake and judder from images.
Software in the camera can recognise faces and will automatically adjust the focus, light, and depth of field for a better shot.
A measure of how sensitive a camera is to light, the higher the figure the more sensitive it is. In reality this means you can take photos in darker conditions without the need for a flash. Most shots are taken with ISO 100, a high ISO is 800 while an ultra-high ISO is 6400.
A pre-flash designed to close the retina before the main flash helping to eliminate or reduce the red-eye effect.
Looks for the ‘T’ shape (eyebrows, nose and mouth) on a face and adds the ability to scan facial attributes, detect smiles and automatically control the shutter.
Automatically stitches together a series of images to capture extra-wide landscapes.
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