24th May 2006

Find a Cheap Digital Camera

When it comes to digital cameras, the term cheap definitely means low cost and does not necessarily refer to the quality of the camera. Low cost, by the way, means street prices starting as low as $50 and, for the purpose of this article, we’ve capped the price at $99.00..

So, what do you get with a cheap digital camera?

Well, first of all, you have every reason to expect a brand name. Although there are plenty of no-name contenders, the major manufacturers such as Kodak, HP, Samsung, Fuji, and Vivitar all check in with cheap digital camera prices.

Kodak EasyShare DX6440 4.2MPDon’t expect high megapixel specs with these low prices. They range from a low 1.3 (most brands and models) up to a pretty decent 4.2 megapixels on the Kodak EasyShare DX6440, with a street price of $99.00!

Most cheap digital cameras lack advanced features such as optical zoom, multiple file resolution settings, advanced automatic exposure meters, optional image file type settings, large capacity memory cards, waterproofing, replaceable lenses, and the like. But again, you usually aren’t in the market for these features when you have a budget of less than $100.

Most of the cameras in this genre qualify as “point and shoot” and are the digital equivalent of the tried and true Kodak Instamatic and other easy-to-use film cameras that sell for under $30 in the Walmarts and K-marts of the world.

How about the image quality?

Image quality has a lot to do with the megapixel rating and the way that the camera handles white balance. Although most of the cheap digital cameras have a 1.3 megapixel rating, this is more than satisfactory if all you are going to be doing is posting the pictures on a web site, storing them on your hard drive, or sending them to others via email. If you want to print portrait quality images, then look for a 3 megapixel or higher rating.

Any downsides?

Other than the issues already discussed, cheap digital cameras make a wonderful gift for young children and teens. They are also an excellent choice of you’re just getting started in digital photography and you’re not sure how you’re going to like it. A cheap digital camera is also a great second camera, or spare to keep in your car, or boat, to snap that passing UFO or to take advantage of some other unexpected photo opportunity!

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