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Digital Camera Guides

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From Snapshot to Computer: Digital Cameras

For the aspiring photographer in your family, a new, feature-rich digital camera may be the gift that's underlined twice on their Christmas list. Even in a time where smartphones are in heavier use, a dedicated device for snapping those perfect moments that happen year round is a must. The difference in quality and usability is enormous, opening the way for your son to add the odd snap to social media, but a digital camera also means you can capture a Thanksgiving family portrait she can print and hang on a wall.

What Types of Digital Cameras Are There?

There are three main types of cameras that both professionals and hobbyists use to capture moments:

  • DSLR cameras - Called digital single-lens cameras, these devices allow you to add and remove the lenses, depending on the type of photo you are trying to take. These have large sensors to provide high-quality images. The mirror allows you to see what the actual photo will look like.
  • Mirrorless cameras - These digital cameras are similar to DSLRs, but they do not include a mirror inside. They are small and light, making them easy to travel with.
  • Compact point-and-shoot cameras - These compact digital cameras are small and easy to carry around. They come with retractable lenses that are permanently attached.

What Essential Features Should You Look for in Digital Cameras?

There are five main features that you should consider before deciding:

  • Manual mode - Although some cameras come with presets for different light settings, some come with a manual mode that lets you select the aperture, the shutter speed, and the ISO. This ultimately gives you more control when determining how you want the image to come out.
  • Megapixels - This refers to the camera's resolution. The greater number of megapixels, the higher quality the images. This is important if you want to create large-size prints of your photos.
  • Ergonomics - This indicates the size, weight, and durability of the digital camera. If you are a professional, you may need a larger camera and the accessories that go with it. If you are a hobbyist who just wants a digital camera available to take photos of precious moments, a smaller device may be desired.
  • Raw - Some devices can save the image in the raw format. The raw format records all of the information from the sensor so that you can have more flexibility when processing the photo.
  • Autofocus - This feature allows the digital camera to focus on an object in the frame.

What Brands Make Digital Cameras?

Perhaps the photographer in your family is partial to a brand and may be hoping for that familiar name peeping out of their stocking. These are among the many companies that create and manufacture different types of digital cameras:

  • Canon and Nikon - These two brands focus on creating high-quality DSLRs. However, they also offer point-and-shoot models as well.
  • Sony - This company specializes in mirrorless cameras that have innovative features.
  • Fujifilm - This brand focuses on creating lenses and other camera accessories.
  • Panasonic and Olympus - These two brands create Micro Four Thirds cameras, which are mirrorless cameras that have smaller sensors.

For informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by any brands.

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