Camera buying guide

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Camera buying guide

How do I choose my camera?

Many people are confused to differenciate the meaning and importance of MEGAPIXEL, OPTICAL ZOOM and DIGITAL ZOOM , Therefore, I will briefly explain these with their importance, here below.


This is a unit or measure of graphic resolution, the amount of dots per inch, usually measured in millions of pixels (Megapixel). A camera with higher Megapixels is always the better. With higher megapixels, you will have the ability of enlarging the picture without reducing the quality of image. This is also true when printing the image.

Optical Vs Digital Zoom

There are two types of zooms usually shown in the list of features of the camera or camcorder. These are Optical and Digital zoom features. But, what is the difference?

They both play a zooming feature, i.e., they both enlarge or bring close an object when taking picture shots. However, with ´Digital zoom´, the quality of the image reduces or becomes grainy the more you zoom it, and so is is when viewed on computer or printed on paper. On the contrary, if you are using the ´Optical zoom´, the zooming of an object will not reduce the quality of the picture. Therefore, a camera with higher-Optical-zoom is preferred to camera with Higher-Digital-zoom.

Another advantage of a camera with Higher-Optical-zoom is that it is capable of taking Panoramic-shots without reducing the image quality. Hence, it is good if you enjoy picnic, site-seeing, taking animal-game-pictures from far away and the like. A simple example is ´taking a close-up picture of a bird perching on a tree´, without disturbing it. Back to your camera list?

The changing camera technology

The camera technology is changing fast, from the old style of analogue cameras to nowadays digital, high-definition or even 3D-cameras. It would be good to look for the digital technology at least, unless you have other reasons to go for the old analogue system. The 3D system of technology is just being introduced, hence might cost you more, and exchanging or editing pictures may also require you special equipment; this would be a further expenses. Therefore, although not bad investing on 3D feature, I would rather prefer to wait until this technology is widely in use and becomes cheaper.

Single-Lens-Reflex (SLR) Cameras

These are the type of cameras that allow you to manually focus the image that you see through the lens, by adjusting or winding the lenses fitted at the front of the camera. These cameras have underwent fast advances in technology; now they can take automated shots and as well as movies. Latest models also come with USB connection or card slots, which makes sharing and transferring pictures easier.

Updated: 21 Jan 2013
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Yohannes Berhe