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'Tired of waiting for your film to be developed? Tired of paying money only to see that your head is cut off in most of the pictures? Tired of wasting money on disposable cameras? Then it is time for you to buy a digital camera!

They're easy to use, efficient, and cost-effective. "They have advantages for just about any teen that uses a computer. You can e-mail, print and send your pictures, and you don't have to wait for photoshop developing. In the long run, a digital camera is definitely cheaper.

The problem with buying a digital camera is the enormous selection of products available today. It can be overwhelming, especially for someone not familiar with the nuances of digital photography. There are many different factors to consider, from megapixels to memory cards. The following is a quick buying guide on what to look for when shopping for a digital camera.

  •  Determine how much money you want to spend. Setting a budget, or at least a budget range, will help you avoid cameras that you could never afford. You can more easily target which models are affordable for you.  
  • Carefully consider what you will usually be photographing. Is it family pictures of the kids playing? Will you be traveling often, and shooting landscapes? Look for cameras that have the best features for your needs. For instance, if you typically shoot sports and action, find a camera that can shoot at high speeds.
  • What is your experience level? If you are a beginner, look for models that seem easy to use. Find a camera that is as automated for things like flash, aperture, and so on. If you are more experienced, you will want a camera that gives the user more control.
  • Figure out what your photo printing needs are. For casual use and simply sharing 4x6 vacation photos with family, a basic 2-megapixel model is perfectly fine. If you plan to make larger prints, and make them frequently, you will need more megapixels.
  • How do you plan to store your images? If you have a computer with very little memory available and no CD burner, I don't recommend getting that hot, cool 7-megapixel camera even if your budget allows it. The images will be too large to store. If you do have a way to convert images to CDs or have a huge hard drive, go for it.
  • Do you already have devices that use one type of memory card? If your digital camcorder and PDA all use the Secure Digital memory card, this may be a major deciding factor when purchasing a digital camera. Why spend so much money on multiple styles of memory card when you can just use the same card with all those gadgets?
  • Will you be shooting a lot of close-ups, or frequently taking photos from a distance? Find a camera with a powerful optical zoom, certainly at least 3x.
  • Choose about two or three of the above features, and determine which is most important. This will help you quickly narrow down models to a few that are a good fit. For example, if you need to spend less than £200 but must print quality images, find the cameras offering the most megapixels for that amount.
  • Now you are ready to buy a camera...HAVE FUN!

Handy little Tip:

   *Be sure to select a model with a good LCD screen, even if you don't think you need one at all. At the store, examine the screen in the light and be sure you can see the images well. Almost every camera has an LCD screen, so you shouldn't pay more to get it. But it's a good idea to be sure it's large, easy to see and shows good detail.
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