This past summer a slew of companies launched more than three dozen new digital cameras, all in anticipation of the coming holiday season.
And although high-priced D-SLRs (digital single-lens reflex cameras) certainly made news, most of the new devices were inexpensive point-and-shoot models.
Professional-grade D-SLR cameras, with all their fancy features and accessories, are simply overkill for the average shutterbug.
If youre looking for a solid, easy-to-use digicam thats perfect for capturing—and not missing—lifes important events, youre in luck. Heres a down-and-dirty laundry list of what you need to know when comparing cameras.
First off, know how many megapixels your prospective camera has, since this spec directly affects the size of photograph youll be able to print and how much cropping you can expect to do.
If youre a first-time buyer and are interested only in printing relatively small, 4-by-6 or 5-by-7 snapshots, I suggest a 6-megapixel, entry-level digital camera. Cameras ranging from 6 to 10 megapixels provide enough resolution for 8-by-10 and 11-by-14 prints.
For those who also view a camera as a fashion accessory and plan to tote it along everywhere, many models are extremely compact, some less than an inch thick.
The Canon PowerShot SD550 Digital Elph, for example, slips easily into the pocket of your jeans but comes with a 2.5-inch LCD screen.
Still, youll definitely give up some features on tiny cameras like these, such as manual settings and articulating LCDs screens. Also keep in mind that the smaller the device, the smaller its buttons tend to be.