What features should I look for when buying a digital camera?
Question by Parul Gupta /

I need to buy a point & shoot digital camera, but they all look similar to me.
What features should I look for?
Feel free to recommend me some. Budget= $125 more or less.

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Answers (33)
  • Achim D

    It really depends on what you are planning to shoot. If it is just for some Holiday and Family shots you can use really any camera. Here are few things that you should have in a camera:

    1. Megapixels
    Generally more is better. The picture quality increases with more Megapixels. You can get some great photos with a 10MP camera. Today you can get more. If you want to print really large prints from your photos get as many megapixel as possible. If you only use the photos in online sharing 10 or less is enough.

    2. Flash
    Make sure the camera has a flash. I dont think there are any without but it is worth mentioning.

    3. Integration with your computer
    It is important that you can download images easily to the computer. Some cameras allow wireless download which I regard as a feature all cameras will have in the next 5 years. Here is a great camera that makes shring your photos real easy: the Samsung Galaxy Camera that has its own mobile connection: http://ad-photography.biz/samsung-galaxy-camera-ek-gc100-8gb-white-android-os-v4-1-jelly-bean-3g-unlocked-hsdpa-850-900-1900-2100/

    4. Lens
    What kind of lens does the camera have and how fast is it. Normally a camera has a value of what the maximum aperture it support. The smaller that value the wider the lens opens. It normally says something like f/4.3 on the lens.
    The reason you want this is that in low light you can shoot longer freehand

    5. ISO
    Last but not least how much ISO does the camera support. ISO is the sensitivity of the camera and how clean the photos look in low light. The higher this value the better.

    Hope this helps. You can find more information at http://ad-photography.biz/

  • Abba Jee

    1- its lenz
    2- Mega Pixel Pics , Video
    3- L.C.D panel
    4- Software
    5- Most Important ( Price )

  • Aditya Roy

    i would recommend Nikon Coolpix S3300

  • Aditya Roy

    I would recommend go for nikon. they have better features than canon for same price and cheaper than sony.

  • Erlis Dhima

    The most important thing to check is optical zoom and megapixel!
    You can find a camera with 5-10x optical zoom and 14-16 Megapixel, for around $180-$200.. For your budget, I would suggest a 12-14 MP and 5x zoom.. Look for a Nikon or Cannon model, since you can find them cheap too! You can find Olympus even cheaper, but I don’t like them.. And I don’t want to suggest them to you!

    • Parul Gupta

      In India one can can get a canon with 5X optical zoom, 16 MP cam
      in 6500 rupees, which is $120.
      i myself prefer canon. nikon and sony.

    • Erlis Dhima

      I think we are the same about the type of camera we like! :)
      Btw, I talked with the prices in europe.. But I think in India, prices could be lower!

  • susendeep dutta

    Have a look at the article link below –

    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-07-31/how-to/32960423_1_aa-batteries-lithium-ion-battery-point-and-shoot-cameras

    It has given some points to be considered while looking for camera under $200 budget and also suggests some good camera too.

  • Harish Jonnalagadda

    An image sensor makes a huge difference over the other criteria. As most of the click and shoots have similar features, I would suggest going for the A2300.

  • Rob Hindle

    There’s no easy answer. You’ve had a few useful suggestions already (and sadly, as seems to have become all too common here, several that have nothing to say, they are just trying to get points and ranking on Make Use Of). Anyway my shortlist is:
    Buy a premium brand
    Decide whether you prefer good but expensive camera-specific rechargeable batteries or the convenience of being able to buy AA or AAA cells just about anywhere (but that limits choice a lot)
    A good lens is more important than high megapixels
    Take no notice of “Digital zoom” optical zoom is all that matters
    High optical zoom is useless without image stabilisation (unless you use a tripod small movements of your hand when you press the shutter are amplified by high zoom)
    Decide how important low light photos are to you (i.e. indoors without flash) Large aperture lenses will capture more light.
    Think about the environment, if you are likely to be using it in wet or dusty places some cameras are better than others.
    Size may be important, one of my criteria is “must fit in a shirt pocket”. Cameras with large optical zoom tend to be fatter.
    If Video is important to you then cameras at this price level are probably not the best choice.

    The cost of compact digital cameras has come down a lot and features have improved over the last couple of years in response to the improved capabilities of the camera features in mobile phones. So if your requirements are not too demanding it’s possible that a phone upgrade may be an alternative. On the other hand because the premium brands have had to cut price and improve features, the saving by going for a cheap brand is much smaller than before and there are few “bad” cameras at your price point.

    Some cameras just present you with too many menu choices, buttons, mode selection dials etc, unless you are a photography enthusiast look for simplicity.
    Small things can make a big difference. I had a Panasonic Lumix where the catch mechanism on the battery compartment would not just pop open unexpectedly but the tiny components of the catch would fall out (newer models fixed that). Another camera had an press to turn on button next to and nearly the same as the shutter button so instead of taking a photo I’d sometimes hit the wrong button and turn the camera off.

    My current (Lumix) has a slider switch to turn off/on but there’s another similar slider to switch between taking photos and viewing photos leading to a different kind of confusion. Turn the camera on and the lens doesn’t extend because the slider is at photo-viewing mode. May not sound like a big deal but a couple of extra seconds is the difference between getting a good photo and being too late.
    Time taken between switching on and the camera being ready to take photos or the minimum time between taking shots varies and may matter to you.

    One approach may be to buy a very cheap camera, use that for a while so you gain a better understanding of what matters and what doesn’t for your needs. Then you’ll be in a better position to choose a more expensive model.

  • Ahmed Khalil

    optical zoom, then megapixel ,and digital zoom

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