Mark, if you're thinking of b …

Mark, if you’re thinking of buying a digital camera, make sure to read the dissmissive reviews as well as the usual praising reviews.
My advice? As a beginner you probably won’t want a camera with fully-manual controls. There are a few budget cameras out there at the sub EUR500 market with manual controls but you sacrifice other functionality. My camera, a Fujifilm 2800z, is well behind the curve of camera technology (but then camera tech in Ireland seems to be that way..) but it’s a superb camera.
I like having a good zoom camera now. It makes it much easier to compose and frame a subject. The 6x zoom of the 2800z is the exception, most other cameras around the same price have a 3x zoom.
As I’ve said before here, the movie recording feature of my camera didn’t appeal to me first, but now I’m *very* glad I have it. You’re not going to do anything artistic or beautiful with the crap resolution available in movie mode, but you are preserving a memory of an event or subject.
How many Mega Pixels? I’m fairly happy with a 2MP camera. I’d love a higher res one, but then it becomes a bit more complicated. Somehow I think we won’t have to worry about that for a few years, given the cost of those cameras! Oh yeah, higher MP count means higher image size (if you want to take advantage of the better CCD of course!) and that means more storage space. Since September I’ve copied over 2GB of photos from my camera. 2GB isn’t too bad, but by next year will I have 10GB of images? Backing up that amount of data is going to get interesting as all I have is a CDR. I need a DVD writer..
Anyway, go for a higher MP camera if you can, but if another camera with lower MP has more features then go for that. Anything above or equal to 2MP will look good printed out at standard photographic size, or so I’m told.
Might be worth looking at Froogle too.

Author: Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

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