When selecting a digital camera to buy you have two choices. You can choose a bulky SLR camera or you can choose a small compact digital camera.
Many people like digital SLR's such as the Nikon D40. You have a lot of features available for the serious amateur. An SLR will allow you to swap out lenses. A digital SLR is the choice for most serious photographers.
You can easily stick it in your purse or coat pocket and carry it with you at all times. What if you see a candid shot such as a deer walking across your yard? If you have a compact digital camera in your pocket you simply whip it out and snap a picture. If you only have a digital SLR camera then you would have to run and get the SLR camera and then hope the deer was still in your yard.
Many professional photographers that have digital SLR cameras that cost thousands of dollars still carry a compact pocket sized digital camera with them.
A great thing about compact digital cameras is the technology has came a long way. You can get many excellent high tech features that were simply unheard of on a compact camera just a few years ago.
When looking to buy a digital compact camera find one that has a high optical zoom such as 8x or 10x optical zoom. Do not worry about what the "digital zoom" number is. A camera using the digital zoom simply magnifies the pixels and makes the picture appear blurry. If you zoom out only to the range that your "optical zoom" is then your pictures will be sharp and clear.
Compact digital cameras can range from $30.00 to over a thousand dollars. Some digital compact cameras allow you to adjust the ISO and other settings the same as you could on an SLR camera.
BestBuy is an great place to purchase a compact camera. Most of their salesmen are knowledgeable about the cameras and can help the new photographer find a camera that not only fits their needs but also within their budget.
The more you use your new digital compact camera the more you will learn about how to snap pictures in certain situations. Most compact cameras have auto settings. If you are taking a photo of a person, a night time shot, or even a sports picture where people are running quickly you simply push the button on your camera for that particular mode.
Compact digital cameras are a better option then an SLR for most people. Even if you use an SLR you may find many times when you would need a compact camera such as that deer walking through your front yard.
Image Credit: (Wikipedia)