When you talk about digital photography, the first thing that comes into your brain well before you get started in this hobby is often to know what form of camera equipment is right for you.

Your choice of the best equipment needs to be driven by your own personal needs and degree of user-skills. Thus, you have to know which type of user you belong. Camera users are generally divided into three categories:

A. Amateurs
B. Hobbyists
C. Professionals

Knowing which category you fit in will help you determine the characteristics you need and eventually identify which kind of camera fits into your budget. Deciding on the best camera requires you to find out the features well suited for your preferences.

The following are the essential features to look for in a digital camera:

1. Optical Zoom - The picture quality and effect that you would like is largely determined by the optical zoom capability of your digital equipment. What type of pictures will you be taking? Asking this question can assist you identify which level of optical zoom you'll need. Generally, the larger the optical zoom range, the greater the quality of image you take. The latest versions of Point and Shoot cameras now offer optical zoom capabilities and the Super Zoom models offer optical zoom range of up to 30X. However, an optical zoom having a minimum of 3X is good enough.

2. Megapixel Image Sensor - The resolution of your photos depends upon how many megapixels the camera has. But generally, if you're not printing photos more than 8x10, basic models are just fine because they normally have the usual number of megapixel sensors ranging from10-12.

3. A significant high quality LCD - When you are selecting a model that has no viewfinder, the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) is the alternative for viewing your target, so pick one with a large Liquid Crystal Display that makes your subjects viewable in a variety of lighting conditions.

4. Quality of lenses - The quality of your lens is a vital part in the attributes of your photos. If you'd like to get sharper photos, get a model that has the highest or just better optics.

5. It'll likewise be useful to understand if the model you are buying has automatic or semi-automatic modes. While newer models offer intelligent automatic modes that automatically set the ideal scene for you, it will also be time-saving to learn how to manually adjust the scene for a particular setting.

For digital photography beginners who happen to take the art of photography seriously, a camera that provides better quality of image, flexibility and automatic or semi-automatic controls of significant settings is often an excellent choice.