24th Jun 2005

Top Digital Camera List

In the case of Top Digital Camera lists, you should never assume that someone else’s idea of a “Top” has anything to do with what your needs are.

Building Your Own Top List

You are more likely to end up with a camera that fits your needs perfectly if you make your own top 10 digital camera list. Here’s how to do it:

First, write a statement that describes what you will be using the camera for, how you will use the resulting photos, and how much money you are willing to spend.:

I need a digital camera that will allow me to take family and vacation photographs. I want to be able to print physical copies of the photos on film quality paper, make family mementos such as calendars, post the photos on my family web site, and send the images to others via email. I have a budget of $300.00.

My Top 9 Criteria For a Digital Camera

Next, make a list of features that will support your requirements. Here are the features that match my usage statement:

  1. Since I want to print my photos to film quality paper, as well as make calendars and other family mementos, I would prefer a camera that let’s me adjust the final image resolution to at least 300 DPI (Dots Per Inch).
  2. Family photos are often taken indoors so I need a camera with a flash.
  3. Other family members will want to use the camera so I need to make sure that it is “point and shoot” capable even if I opt for one that has additional technical features.
  4. Vacation photo shooting means that I will need additional image storage because I do not usually take my PC with me on vacation. I need inexpensive memory cards so I can buy several. Optionally, if it fits within my budget, I would like a camera that supports mini hard disk drives.
  5. While shooting vacation photos I will not have constant access to an electrical power source to recharge my batteries. I need a camera that supports long-life rechargeable batteries that are inexpensive enough that I can have a few spares.
  6. I will likely be shooting zoom photos while on vacation. I would prefer a camera with optical zoom capabilities although I will settle for digital zoom if I cannot afford the better quality of optical zoom.
  7. We frequently vacation at the beach so I need a water-resistant camera in case it gets hit with some ocean spray, or in case it rains no matter where I am vacationing. We are thinking about going snorkeling next year, so I want to check the prices for a full waterproof camera in case we do go snorkeling and I want to take underwater images. Some cameras, while not waterproof, have optional clear waterproof cases that I can put the camera in and take it underwater. If I can’t afford a waterproof camera, I would like one that has an optional case available.
  8. We try to travel with as little luggage as possible. In fact, when we go somewhere without the kids, my wife and I frequently travel with just one piece of luggage. We need a camera that is compact enough to meet our luggage usage patterns.
  9. Since we don’t have an analog or digital movie camera, it would be nice if my digital camera supported MPG files so I could make small movies as well as take regular digital photos.

Now that you have your features list defined, you can start compiling your own Top 10 Digital Camera list. Once you have that list, it’s a good idea to visit digital camera review sites and see how each camera stacks up. Before you know it, you’ll have narrowed your list down to a couple of candidates from which you can make your final selection.

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