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Answered 2012-11-04 19:30:27

If you are new to digital Photography, you don't need to purchase an expensive digital camera. Even if you do have experience using a digital camera, an expensive camera doesn't always guarantee a good shot. Most importantly, you need to learn the basics of photography and learn about exposure and light - learn how to take a good picture first. Then, you can buy a fancy camera with lots of bells and whistles.

Here are suggestions for what type of camera you might need and the features they may have:

Note: These are very high level suggestions. Some cameras may have more or fewer features in their respective price ranges.

  • Inexpensive: (under $150) May or may not have an LCD screen, Use a lower-priced CMOS sensor, lower resolution, and good for e-mailing photos to friends and for fun if you are learning and new to photography.
  • Mid-range ($150 to 900) This is a broad category.

Some cameras in the lower end of this category have the following features: may not have a zoom, have an autofocus, uses CCDs as opposed to small CMOS sensors, offer resolution from 1 or 1.3 megapixel, print good photos - up to 6 X 4. This range offers a lot for the "beginning" user.

The cameras in the higher end of this category have the following: 2 to 3 megapixel, print images up to 8 X 6, offer priority modes, zoom lenses and mini-movie features; optical viewfinder.

  • High end ($900 +) High resolution CCDS that are 2 or 3 megapixels and above , TTL viewfinders, extensive controls and stabilized long zooms, 2 or 3 metering systems, more than one type of recording media, and compatibility with external flash units.


Main differences?

Just a couple.......

Some settings : A for aperature priority. S for shutter priority. M for manual mode. Many others....

Also more megapixels make a difference. (more megs = bigger sizes of picture into prints)

Lens quality..

Type of batteries it takes.

How close you can get..

Shutter speed possibilities.

And a few more....

What are the main differences between expensive and inexpensive digital cameras?

  • Sensor Size (Bigger = more $)
    • The physical dimensions of the image sensor (not the number of pixels). Put simply, a larger sensor captures more information, improving image accuracy.
  • Shutter Speed (Faster = more $)
    • Faster shutter speeds can capture faster action.
  • Features (More, Advanced = more $)
    • (different per make and model)
  • Image Format
    • .JPG and .RAW are common examples. Formats like .RAW capture more color information, but at a larger file size.
    • Larger file sizes require faster image processors in camera
  • Optics (Better, Clearer = more $)
    • Better optics (lenses) will focus light onto the sensor better, generally resulting in sharper images.
    • Bigger sensor sizes typically need bigger lenses.
  • ISO Performance (Less Grainy = more $)
    • Many factors impact ISO performance
  • Sensor Resolution
    • This is the number of pixels captured by the sensor (example 10.1 megapixels).
    • More is not always better, bigger sensor sizes handle higher resolutions better.
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