Wanting to buy a camera for long? Bamboozled by the cameras around you? However, not sure how to go about hunting, what to look for? What features and how many megapixel counts?

You need some help in choosing your perfect one. Take a shot…

Size and Pixel pointers

Tiny digital cameras may look handy but can’t physically house all the features. Your need for a 10x optical zoom or external flash calls for an average to larger-size camera.

Millions of dollars spent by companies on advertising the ‘megapixel myth’ have brainwashed many. The fact is megapixels have nothing to do with image quality. Cramming more megapixels into a smaller image sensor can even lead to reduced picture quality.

With cams available in 1.3 to 12 megapixel resolution, what do you pick? For high-quality prints sized 8”x 10” or more, you need a camera with at least 3 megapixel resolution.

Zoom in

Getting close to your subject is a secret of great photos. But what’s this optical/digital zoom stuff? Optical zoom is the magnification within the lens itself when you zoom in/out. Make sure the camera has powerful optical zoom capability.

Digital zoom doesn’t change focal length. Instead, as you zoom in, a smaller and smaller portion of the digital sensor is used to record the subject. This lowers the number of pixels.

Charge up

Digital cameras eat up batteries. Make sure the camera you select accepts rechargeable batteries. Battery life is usually covered in camera reviews, so note it. A good camera takes about 100 photos with a single charge.

Rechargeable batteries are convenient, but offer no means of recharging while on the move. If you’re worried about running out of power while travelling, you can go for a camera that uses standard AA size batteries.

LCD display and storage

All digital cameras have a built-in LCD screen. Some offer crisp renditions of photos, others accept hoods to boost visibility, yet others tilt, twist, flip… All fun features but consider how you use a camera before deciding. If you need to shoot around corners or edges, a movable LCD is a good idea.

Compact Flash memory cards are very popular due to their durability and wide storage range (16 MB to even 32 GB, for pro cams).

Scene modes

In-built scene settings help you take better pix. When you choose a scene, like landscape or portrait, the camera adjusts itself automatically to the settings best suited for it. Consider a camera with an array of scene modes!

Redeye reduction is a standard feature on most cams. But it’s just a reduction, not a removal. If you hate red-eye or shoot a lot of portraits, consider a camera with a hot-shoe or connection for an external flash. Keeping the flash away from the lens reduces red-eye. Want max flash control? Look for a camera that allows manual adjustments!

The best camera for you doesn’t have to be the most expensive or most popular. It is the camera that does what you want it to do.

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