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Features and Considerations

When you evaluate digital cameras, some of the technical features to consider include the image resolution (in megapixels), zoom capability, audio and video capability, and software for downloading to a PC and managing your images once on disk. You can also look at many of the features that apply to traditional 35mm SLR cameras, such as lens quality; battery life; size and weight; general ease-of-use; and the modes supported, such as manual, shutter-priority, aperture-priority, and fully automatic. The manual modes give you a way to customize your picture taking to ensure depth-of-field, sharp focus for fast-moving shots, or proper exposure. Although automatic modes typically do a decent job of this, manual modes provide you with ultimate control in harsher situations where you need to override standard settings.

Some drawbacks to digital cameras are that it is harder to accurately compose a photo unless you have a through-the-lens viewfinder, the battery life is not as long as in a traditional camera, and the shutter often experiences a short delay in firing. For these reasons, serious or professional photographers will feel more comfortable with the upper-end digital cameras that have more SLR-like functions in terms of accuracy and responsiveness.


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