Today’s digital cameras are quickly becoming technological marvels. Many are multi-functional and can do things that were never even dreamed of with traditional cameras.
Even the most basic, low-cost digital camera can take both still pictures and videos, so if your baby is taking it’s first steps, or your kids are having a great game of soccer, you should be able to capture the scene for posterity. However, with all the bells and whistles that come on today’s cameras, it’s important to find out just what your camera can do.
Ask for A Demonstration
When you go into a shop to buy a camera, ask the salesman to give you a good demonstration of all the features in it. They are trained in camera usage – or should be – for this very purpose, and there is nothing like having an expert show you the ropes. Even if you buy from a generic store, the person behind the counter usually knows at least something about the products.
Video Capacity and Sound
Many digital cameras can capture a video clip right to the capacity of your memory card, while others only go for thirty seconds. Some capture the sound as well, while others do not, so if you want sound be sure to pay attention to what you are buying. Some allow voice recording and also playback, which is a good feature if you want to record notes to go with your photographs. The camera will need to have a built in microphone to play back recordings.
Music on a Camera?
Some cameras can play MP3 or other audio files; they also have earphones, which are great for music-lovers, but the quality of the photos is often poor. So if you are more shutterbug than music-lover, watch out for this.
On some cameras, you will be able to resize, crop or copy images, or edit video clips before you download them to your computer. If this is something you would like to have, be sure to find out if it is included with your choice of camera.
Many of today’s digital cameras come with a variety of add-on features. For example, digital camera makers have copied cell-phone technology to give us alarm clocks and international time display, a very handy feature if you go overseas for business or holidays. Ask what additional features your camera might have. These may or may not be features that you consider to be important, but if they are, be sure to check for them before purchasing.
I Already Have My Camera
If you’ve already purchased a camera, and you are not sure what features your new camera has, you could take it to a specialty camera shop and ask. The salesman will no doubt hope to sell you a better one – and he may even succeed, but at least you’ll know what you’ve got.
Some regions host short courses for digital photography and it could be worthwhile to attend one of these. A good place to check for local photography and camera classes is Groupon or other local group deal offers. If all else fails, read the instruction manual that came with your camera and experiment on your own. If you bought your camera used and it didn’t come with a manual, most manuals can be found online at the manufacturers’ websites.