Do you know the three most important things to consider when looking to buy a digital camera? How about the three least important things? Most people don’t. It’s tough to keep up with the latest info regarding any technology, and digital cameras are no exception. Before digital cameras invaded the scene a few years ago the list of camera buying tips was pretty short. Get a good lens with a well built camera body, and take a photography course. Now it’s like buying a mini computer with a lens attached. Once you know the basics though, it’s not really that bad.
If anything has evolved as rapidly as technology, it has to be marketing. We’re inundated with a barrage of advertising in places we’ve never seen it before. If you can find a web page without some kind of advertising, let me know. While advertising is a necessary evil, the trick these days, is to be able to determine what information is useful, and what isn’t.
Megapixels would be one of those digital camera attributes that we can simply ignore. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or even 12 megapixels just don’t matter. Unless of course your a professional working for National Geographic. Otherwise, for the average photographer anywhere from 6-12 megapixels won’t affect your final image quality enough to worry about.
Battery sucking pigs, are however a consideration to worry about. Bigger LCDs are all the rage, and they kill batteries faster than you can say “Die Energizer Bunny Die!”. Two tips can help out here though. Firstly, buy a battery charger with rechargeables, if you don’t already have one. Don’t buy one from the camera store though, they tend to be grossly overpriced there. You can get the same charger for less money at any good discount store. Secondly, make sure your camera has a good optical viewfinder included. It won’t drain your batteries, and often works better on a sunny day than a low resolution LCD.