I need help making the right choice buying a digital camera

There certainly are a lot of options and there really is no substitute for visiting your local Betta Electrical. But we’ll try to provide you with a bit of clarity before you head down to have a closer look at all the options. The first thing to consider is...

DSLR or point and shoot?
What’s most important to you: quality or ease of use? A DSLR camera takes better pictures and give you more creative control. But a point and shoot camera easily fits in your handbag or even pocket, it’s easy to use and costs much less. The pictures are good – good enough for anyone but the photo enthusiast.

Don't worry too much about megapixels
In the early days of the digital cameras, megapixels were on everybody’s minds. Today most cameras have more than enough megapixels – it’s the quality of the pixels that matter. A high quality 6 megapixel camera will produce better pictures than a lesser quality 10 megapixel camera. Lens quality and camera responsiveness are far more important.

Need for speed?
Some cameras – mainly cheap ones – have a substantial time lag between pressing the button and actually taking the picture. This is something to consider if you're going to take pictures of your kids…or sports and action shots. For action shots you’ll also need to consider the continuous frame rate. To be suitable for action shots the camera should be able to take 5 frames per second for at least four seconds before the internal memory runs out.

Battery type
Many cameras use the manufacturer’s batteries, rather than standard AA batteries. That’s fine…but don’t forget that those batteries need to be charged and ready for use. It's a good idea to have a back up battery charged and ready to use at all times.

Memory card
SD (Secure Digital) cards are the most popular card format in consumer cameras. They are available in capacities of up to 32GB but some older camera models can only use SD cards up to 2GB. The more GB, the more pictures you can store.

Add up the accessories
Most cameras only come with a minimum of memory so you’ll need to add in extra memory when you're calculating cost. Choose a memory card with enough capacity to hold at least 400 images at the camera's highest resolution. Don't forget batteries, either. Get an extra set and a charger. And most cameras these days don’t come with a case…

Make room for zoom
Zoom brings distant objects closer and is an important feature for most people. There are two types of zoom: optical and digital. Optical zoom uses the lens to bring distant objects closer, while digital zoom simply enlarges the picture…which results in a much lower image quality. It's the optical zoom you should be looking for.

Other tips
Image Stabilisation is a good feature, especially if you choose a camera with a good zoom. A camera without it will blur unless you hold it absolutely still…the larger the zoom, the more blurry it gets. Have a look at the lens on the front of the camera as well. As a rule of thumb a bigger lens means better light gathering capability which in turn means better performance in low light situations.

Hope this helps…but make sure you have a chat to the professionals at your local Betta Electrical. We have a wide range of cameras and will give you all the advice you need to make the right choice.

Good luck with your new camera!

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