Digital cameras have exploded in popularity in recent years. The convenience that they have brought to the market with the ability to review your pictures instantly and correct any imperfections by retaking the picture and the ability to store, edit, and email them from your own personal computer has fueled this growth.
It is now no longer a matter of if you need a digital camera, but rather which one do I choose?
First decide how you are going to use the camera. If simplicity is your goal, a simple point and shoot digital camera will do. If you wan the flexibility to be able to grow with the camera as you gain experience get a point and shoot that offers manual controls, this way you will have the best of both worlds infinite options for creativity and the ease of an automatic mode.
The next item on your agenda should be megapixels. To keep it simple, the more megapixels the better the picture will be. So, how many megapixels do you need?
If all you are doing is printing or emailing photos, a 3 or 4 megapixel digital camera will work. If you are going to use it for more professional work and enlarging photos, go with one with 5 or 6 megapixels.
If you want uncompromising clarity go with a 7 megapixel or above. Just remember the higher the megapixels the higher the price!
How much zoom do you need? You have two types of zoom with digital cameras, digital and optical. Optical is the more important because it brings your object closer without losing quality. The digital zoom will bring the object in closer, but you sacrifice the quality of the picture. If all you do is take everyday pics a 1x to 4x optical zoom will do. If you take pics like sporting events, get one with a 5x optical zoom or higher. For really intense professional work choose a 10x or better optical zoom.
Digital cameras have evolved now to the point where you can get a great fully featured camera that will fit comfortably in your shirt pocket so dont think you have to get a large one to get good quality. If you are using it for more professional use with large optical zoom and such expect to have to buy a larger one however.