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Finding the Right Camera Houses for Inexpensive Digital Cameras

The cost of digital cameras has come down tremendously. Cameras that used to be unaffordable can now be had for extremely attractive prices, and that includes high quality digital SLRs. There are also more types and models of digital cameras available than ever, and the challenge now is less finding a good deal and more finding the camera that is right for you. In this article I'll tell you what to look out for when you're ready to check a camera house or website for a new camera.

First of all, do not think just because you're looking for cheap digital cameras you have to settle for some low-resolution models without a lot of features. There is a price and features war going on these days among camera manufacturers, and you can get an excellent digital camera for very little money.

In terms of resolution, for example, even very inexpensive cameras now offer 10 and 12 megapixel! That means you can make huge enlargement prints and you can also crop away what you don't need and still have enough resolution for a good print. You may even want to consider 7 or 8 megapixel models as they still offer more than enough resolution and can be had for next to nothing.

Perhaps most important among the features that you should look out for is a LCD screen that is as large, crisp and bright as possible. Early digital cameras had tiny little LCDs that were very hard to see, so people often used the optical viewfinder instead. Unfortunately, very few digital cameras still have viewfinders today, and so a big, bright LCD screen is more important than ever. Look for one that measures at least 2.5 inches (6.3 centimeters), with bigger always being better. Resolution also matters if you want for the LCD to be sharp enough so you can see all the detail in your pictures. Look for at least 200k pixel resolution.

Next, consider what sort of zoom you need. Almost all digital cameras have both optical and digital zooms. The lens itself determines how much optical magnification you get. Most standard cameras have a 3X zoom, but some inexpensive models offer 4x and 5x zooms, and so-called "long zoom" cameras can go much higher, but they cost more. Figure out if you really need a long zoom. Also, don't be fooled by digital zoom. It really just digitally magnifies a small part of what the optics show and the quality isn't good. Optical zoom is what matters. The focal length of the zoom lens matters, too. A standard 3X zoom usually goes from 36 to 108mm, equivalent (it's "equivalent" because digital camera imagers come in many different sizes, and so it's better to borrow the old 36mm film standard for focal length comparison). Personally, I prefer a camera that starts "wide," like at 28mm or so. This way you get more into a picture when you shoot indoors.

Storage card format is important, too. There are all sorts of different card types out there, but SD Cards are easiest to get and usually the least expensive. I like cameras that use SD Cards. If you want to use high capacity cards (over 2GB), make sure the camera supports the SDHC format.

As far as features go, most cameras are loaded with them these days. There is face detection and even blink and smile detection, panorama stitching, in-camera editing, all sorts of settings and much more. If any of those features matter to you, they are all available even in inexpensive cameras. Check the numerous digital camera reviews online to get an idea of what a model that caught your interest offers.

So keep the above in mind when you go shopping for an inexpensive digital camera. Your camera house has a bigger selection than ever, and you can get incredible deals. Just make sure you have a good idea of what you need and what is important to you.

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