Buying Guide

Buying Guide


Taking a picture is easier than ever with a point and shoot digital camera.  With so many different features to choose from, picking the right camera can be difficult.  This buying guide will give you a few points to consider when shopping for a digital camera.

Different Types

Basic Point and Shoot Digital Camera

The best point and shoot digital camera will be easy to operate, small, not too expensive, and feature plenty of scene modes to help you get the right shot every time.  A downside to the basic camera is that they lack manual controls.  This means you lose the ability to fine tune and adjust your shots.

Advanced Point and Shoot Digital Cameras

When looking for the best point and shoot camera, consider those that are more advanced than the basic models.  Advanced point and shoot cameras look more like regular cameras.  They have manual controls so that you can set the shutter speed and aperture on your own.  They are more expensive and more complex than basic models.

Fixed-Lens High Zoom Cameras

These cameras have 20x to 30x optical zoom lenses, and are great for wide angle and telephoto shots.  They have manual shutter and aperture controls as well as exemplary image stabilization.  These are not pocket sized cameras, and you will likely need a camera bag.  They are excellent for landscape photography, animal photography, and sports photography.

Compact High Zoom Cameras

These are great if you want the functionality of a high zoom camera that is more portable.  Their zoom range on 10x to 15x is not as good as with fixed-lens models.  Also, they do not all have manual controls, so check carefully first before purchasing.

Rugged Point and Shoot Cameras

These are excellent for mountain climbers, scuba divers, extreme sports enthusiasts, or people who are just plain clumsy.  They can be waterproof, shock proof, and freeze proof.  These cameras are perfect for taking underwater photos.  The image quality is not as good as with basic point and shoot cameras, but they are durable and dependable.

Features to Look For

Digital cameras have a number of features that might be confusing.  High megapixels do not always mean a better picture.  Any camera that offers 6 megapixels is sufficient for most non-professional applications.  Choose optical zoom over digital zoom because the image quality is better.  Any camera with a zoom range over 5x needs to have image stabilization.  The bigger the liquid crystal display (LCD) the better.  You are even better off with a camera that also offers an optical viewfinder because LCD’s can be difficult to use in bright sunlight.  And, if you plan on storing your pictures on a memory card, then you need to check that your cards are compatible with your new camera.

These are the basic features that you will find in a digital camera.  This buying guide does not account for your personal budget considerations.  You will have to decide for yourself how much you want to spend.  But, the digital image quality on even the least expensive model will suffice for most casual camera users.  Decide which features are most important to you, and then shop around for your best point and shoot digital camera.


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