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Digital Cameras — Choosing The Perfect Digital Camera For Summer 2006

Digital Cameras — Choosing The Perfect Digital Camera For Summer 2006

Digital cameras come in all shapes and sizes. Which one is right for you? Would you like one to slip into a pocket or would you prefer something larger with a wide range of features. Deciding which type is right for you is the first step on the road to choosing your perfect digital camera.

I have divided up the types of digital cameras available into six different categories.

Simple Point and Shoot

These are the most basic and easy to use digital camera. They are also the cheapest. To get up and running with this type of digital camera all you really need to do is load the battery and memory card. Once you have done that it is simply a case of turning the camera on and taking pictures.

The downsides of this type of camera are often small LCD screens, fast use of batteries, shutter delay and low build quality

Suggested cameras: Canon Powershot A430, Sony DSC S600 and Panasonic DMC LS2.

High Quality Point and Shoot

The first thing that is noticeable with this type of digital camera is a big step up in build quality and a very stylish design. In terms of features it may not have any more than a simple point and shoot model. Picture quality is normally an improvement from the more basic cameras. This type of camera still remains easy to use.

These cameras tend to be considerably more expensive than the simple point and shoot models.

Suggested cameras: Canon Powershot SD700 IS (European name: IXUS 800 IS), Casio Exilim EX-Z850 and Panasonic DMC FX01.

Point and Shoot with Extra Features

In terms of build quality and design these cameras tend to resemble the simple point and shoot models with one or two improvements such as larger LCD screens. They offer manual exposure features that are likely to appeal to people who are more serious about their photography. These cameras also retain a fairly compact body size.

Suggested cameras: Canon Powershot A700, Canon Powershot A610 and Sony DSC W100.

Pocket Sized

Pocket sized digital cameras tend to be more or less slim versions of the high quality point and shoot models. This is the most convenient type of digital camera as it is easy to slip into a pocket and take anywhere with you.

In terms of picture quality they are usually not quite as good as either the high quality point and shoot models or the point and shoot with extra features cameras.

Suggested cameras: Canon Powershot SD600 (European name: IXUS 60), Sony DSC T9 and Sony DSC T30.

Super Zoom

Super zoom digital cameras are quite different. These are larger cameras with features similar to those you would expect to find on a traditional 35mm SLR camera. In terms of style and design they also have a resemblance to those cameras too. These are aimed more at people who are serious about photography. The longer zoom lens can make them far heavier than the smaller compacts.

Obviously these cameras are too big for a pocket so you need to consider how you are going to carry them around with you. A good quality camera bag is well worth considering.

Suggested cameras: Canon Powershot S3 IS, Sony DSC H2, Fuji Finepix S9000 (European name: S9500) and Fuji Finepix S5200 (European name: S5600).

Digital SLR

If you are looking for the best quality and also a high degree of flexibility then you are likely to find Digital SLR cameras rather tempting. Prices have fallen dramatically over the past couple years making them affordable to photo enthusiasts as well as professionals. Once you add on the cost of a couple of high quality lenses buying one is still a considerable investment. Therefore I would only suggest buying one if you are serious about photography or intend to spend plenty of time getting to know your camera.

Suggested entry level Digital SLR cameras: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT (European name: EOS 350D) and Nikon D50