What is a 'megapixel' and what does it mean in a pocket digital camera?
Camera companies love to throw this number at consumers since for the most part consumers think this is the most important thing to look for. This is simply the number of dots that there are in the picture. The more dots, the sharper and clearer the picture will be. It's important to realize that even a 5 or 6 megapixel pocket digital camera will produce wonderful pictures if they will be 4x7, if the pictures will be larger they will start to get 'grainy'. If you'll just be making small photos don't waste your money on a 10 megapixel camers, you won't really see a difference. If you're generally going to post pictures online and not even print them then getting a high megapixel camera is a waste of money. In additon, the more MP a picture has, the more memory it will take up, and that means you'll have to buy memory cards if you take lots of pictures.
How much memory should a pocket digital camera have?
Well it really depends how you will use the pocket digital camera. If you'll be using it all day taking hundreds of photos then you'll need a pocket digital camera with tons of memory. Just about every pocket digital camera can download it's photos into a computer. The important thing to remember here is that the best pocket digital camera will have a slot that you can put memory cards into. If your digital camera has this slot, then the on board memory doesn't really matter, just carry additional memory cards.
One item of note here is that a pocket digital camera uses memory based on the megapixels, the higher MP each photo is, the more memory each picture will take. This is a big reason to consider how you will look at the photos, if you'll never print them then lower MP is acceptable.
Should the pocket digital camera have a zoom feature?
Just about every pocket digital camera has zoom built in. There are two types of zoom, one optical the other digital. Stay away from the digital one especially if you'll be printing the photos.
- Optical zoom uses the actual lens of the digital camera to zoom in, generally a camera with optical zoom can be a bit larger since the lense must be bigger.
- Digital zoom uses software to zoom in, this is bad since the pictures can actually get grainy when you zoom in, at full zoom they may actually be un printable unless they are very high MP.
Regardless of the type of zoom the camera has, make sure the image stabilization works while the zoom is active. This is only really an issue during action shots, but may be important to you.
How complicated should the pocket digital camera be?
An often overlooked is how complicated the pocket digital camera is. The more features, the more complicated it is. If you are giving the pocket digital camera as a gift try to consider the receiver. An older person may like a simple point and shoot camera, while a teen may wnat something with more bells and whistles.
Make sure the pocket digital camera can attach to a printer
A nice, relatively new feature is a pocket digital camera that can plug directly into a printer without the use of a computer, however, you may have to buy a special printer. Again, this is great for somebody who doesn't like complicated things. It's also great if you have an older computer without USB ports. If you already own a printer make sure the pocket digital camera is compatable with it.
Does a pocket digital camera have shutter and aperture settings?
Well they sure do. A high end digital camera has all the bells and whistles that you'll find on any traditional professional level camera that uses real film. If you're a professional photographer (or just want to be one) then look for a pocket digital camera with these settings since they allow you to shoot some great photos.
Can the pocket digital camera take videos too?
Some pocket digital cameras can shoot video too, just keep in mind that shooting videos is a real hog when it comes to memory. If you'll shoot lots of videos it's probably better to get a dedicated pocket camcorder too, since even the cheapest one will get better results than any camera will get.
How much does a pocket digital camera cost?
Here's an example of an excellent pocket digital camera available on Amazon, it is highly rated and does everything right.
The cost of the camera will of course depend on the features, quality and on board memory of the camera as well as if it's on sale or not. For additional savings I suggest using ebates to get some cash back on your purchase. In additon, I suggest you read digital camera reviews on such sites as ConsumerReports or ConsumerSearch. Reading digital camer reviews written by unbiased users like yourself can really help you pick the best digital camera. You will of course find many more useful links right here on this page too.