Friday, June 1, 2007
Tips for Buying Advanced Compact Digital Cameras
Advanced Compact Digital Cameras Offer A Great Value For The Money
Camera manufacturers offer image stabilization in certain cameras that can allow you to shoot approximately three shutter speeds slower than you normally can and still get sharp photos. Canon and Nikon both use a lens-based optical stabilization system; Canon’s is IS for Image Stabilizer and Nikon’s is VR for Vibration Reduction. Called AS for Anti-Shake, Konica Minolta cameras work off a totally new approach that moves the image sensor in response to camera movement.
Portability. Your neck can become sore carrying three pounds of magnesium alloy and glass on an inch-wide strap. Even if you do most of your serious shooting with a D-SLR and are willing to bear the weight, a compact zoom is the camera to reach for when you want all of the SLR power and performance, but want to travel light. Cameras with longer zooms and an EVF are larger and much less compact than those with flatter designs with optical viewfinders and shorter zooms. Handle a camera to see if its size is convenient for you to carry.
Ergonomics. Aside from the size of the LCD monitor, ergonomic factors are difficult to quantify. This is one judgment you’ll never be able to make until you wrap your hands around the camera and put it through its paces. When you examine the camera, carefully check the size and visibility of the EVF. Is the viewfinder easy to use? Locate all of the main controls. Are they positioned where they will be easy to change? If the fit isn’t perfect, is it something you can live with? If it just doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not the best camera for you no matter what anyone else says. A camera must fit you right or you won’t use it.
There are a few specifications that consumers often forget to check—and regret it later. If you own a D-SLR that uses CF cards, for example, you’ll do well to buy a compact model that uses the same media. Does the camera have an external computer port? Most have USB connectivity, but some D-SLRs use FireWire. Are you into macro photography? Investigate the camera’s close-focusing capability. Like to shoot in the RAW format? Better check; while most in this group have that capability, a few don’t.
Beyond these obvious factors, the other features to look for include those you’d expect to find in a D-SLR. With so many exciting, full-featured models from which to choose, you’re certain to find an advanced compact that’s perfect for you.
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