Pointand Shoot or Single Lens Reflex

What type of photographer are you? Do you always have a camera in your pocket or purse so you can pull it out for quick shots at work or at the ball park? Or are you a photographer who loves toting around lots of gear and enjoys having the best tools for the job? Do tripods and macro-lenses sound like fun to you? Pro aspirations anyone? Answers to these questions point you toward the digital camera of your dreams. Your camera should become a natural extension of your vision. If you and your camera don't have that bond, your pictures reflect thator, rather, your lack of pictures. Even if you do most of your researching and shopping on the Web, be sure to actually get your hands on your leading candidate, too.

Today's digital cameras fall into three categories:

• Point-and-shoot cameras are small and usually cost around $200 to $400. With automatically retractable lens covers, they're designed to travel in your pocket, purse, or backpack. These cameras usually have simplified and automatic settings, so you can quickly catch your shot without fumbling at the controls. Because point-and-shooters keep getting smaller, thinner, and more jewelry-like, it's important nowadays to make sure the camera's not too small for your fingers. When you get your hands on a model you like, try answering these questions: Is it too small to hold comfortably? Does your index finger naturally align with the shutter release? Are your non-trigger fingers constantly slipping over the lens?

• Advanced digital cameras are bigger than your average pocket-cam; prices range from $300 to $600. With a larger body and a more defined grip, it's easier to hold these cameras steady when you shoot. Sometimes they resemble the more expensive single lens reflex ( SLR) models (described next). But unlike SLRs, advanced digital cameras don't accept interchangeable lenses. Usually, they have a single zoom lens that can't be removed, but you do get the option to manually focus (just like in the old days, by turning the focus ring on the lens). With advanced digital cameras you'll get more choices compared to point-and-shoots for tasks like setting your exposure, choosing ISO speeds, and adjusting the color balance (read on for details about all those features).

Digital SLR cameras have a special appeal if you're making the transition from a 35mm film camera to digital. If you loved the 35mm camera experience with its interchangeable lenses, filters, and other gear, the digital SLR is the way to goprovided your wallet is willing (expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $1500 and up). In many cases you can use your favorite lenses from your Canon or Nikon 35mm camera on a new digital SLR camera body, provided you stay with the same brand. There are a couple of gotchas, though. The main problem is that your 50mm "normal" lens will seem more like a 150mm telephoto lens on most digital SLRs. It's worth a trip to the camera store with your favorite lenses to make sure you understand how they'll make the transition.



Digital Camera and Digital Photography

Digital Camera and Digital Photography

Compared to film cameras, digital cameras are easy to use, fun and extremely versatile. Every day there’s more features being designed. Whether you have the cheapest model or a high end model, digital cameras can do an endless number of things. Let’s look at how to get the most out of your digital camera.

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