Always try researching the best-rated digital cameras for purchase, there are many features to consider. This article is to help you determine which of these features are most important, and what you should look for in each feature.
Megapixels are a standard measure of image quality. The term "megapixel" stands for one million pixels, and it refers to the size of an image. For example, a 5-megapixel camera can produce images that are five million pixels in size: the higher the value, the better the picture quality. Just a few years ago a 3-megapixel camera was considered to be of decent quality, but these days even subcompact cameras are rated at a minimum of 10 megapixels-the Nikon Coolpix S100 even has 16-megapixel capability. Superzoom cameras are mostly in the 10-18 range of megapixels.
Optical zoom is an important characteristic if you plan to take close-ups and shots from a distance. Superzoom cameras generally offer 16x to 20x zoom, and on the high end the Canon PowerShot SX30HS takes that value up to 50x. Subcompact cameras are typically in the 3.8x-10x range.
Wide-angle capability is important if you plan to take landscape and group photos. Common values are 24-30mm in the best-rated digital cameras.
As cameras have increased the number of frames per second that they can capture, video quality has improved greatly, and many users have ditched their video recording devices in favor of their cameras. For instance, the Canon PowerShot S110 can capture 8-10 frames per second at full resolution, producing very satisfactory video. Most models now have dedicated video buttons.
When considering ease of use, think about how technical you are. If you want a model that's easy to use out of the box, search for a model that gets high ratings for ease of use, such as the Nikon Coolpix AW100 (in the rugged and waterproof category).
Size and weight are factors in how you want to carry around your camera. Do you wish to store it in your purse or pocket, or do you prefer using an external camera case? There will be some trade-off in size vs. capabilities; in general, larger cameras are able to have more expanded features. A subcompact camera is one that generally fits in a purse or pocket; these are typically 4-7 ounces in weight. On the other hand, a superzoom camera will have a full-featured zoom lens but could be much heavier (the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, for example, tops out at 23 ounces). Other size classifications to consider are the in-between size of compact, and for active users, the rugged and waterproof models.
Battery life for cameras is often measured by the number of shots that can be taken before recharging is necessary. Currently with subcompact cameras, 150 shots per charge is on the low end for good cameras, while a camera such as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH8 can get as many as 260 shots per charge. Larger cameras usually have higher battery capacity; for example, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ47 gets up to 400 shots per charge.
A few other camera features bear mention. Flash-photo capability is important if you'll have any need to illuminate dark scenes. LCD quality and size should be checked as well. Touch screens are becoming available on more and more cameras, as is Wi-Fi connectivity, so you should consider whether these are important features for your next camera.
Finally, determine what price range you wish to stay in for your camera. Typical price ranges for the most popular subcompacts are $130-400; for the best rugged and waterproof models $150-400; for highly rated compacts $230-300; and for highly rated superzooms $200-750.
Now that you know which features should be considered in purchasing a best rated digital cameras, prioritize the features according to the type of use you will be getting out of your camera. In this way you will make an informed decision about your purchase and will be able to enjoy the results of your photographic adventures ahead.
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