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Part: One Digital Photography Essentials > Buying a Digital Camera

Chapter Four. Buying a Digital Camera

Shopping for something we don't buy every day, such as a new camera, may seem like a daunting process. Perhaps it's a fear of commitment, but there's often the nagging feeling that a better selection and a better deal are just around the corner. When making technology-related purchases, you may also experience information overload; if you're new to digital photography, it can seem like a vast and impenetrable wilderness of new terminology and concepts.

Even if you're a film camera veteran, buying your first digital camera requires an understanding of the types of digital cameras out there, as well as a grasp of both photographic and digital terms, such as pixel resolution, image quality, media cards, and a host of other digital details. An added pressure to your buying decision is the unavoidable reality that digital technology is advancing so fast that today's most sophisticated and expensive camera will be surpassed in six months by a model with improved features, better image quality, and a dramatic reduction in price. At some point, however, you just have to lace up your hiking boots, grab your walking stick, and venture into the world of digital photography.

Before you set off, however, it's useful to consult a trail guide such as this book, which will help you plan the quickest and most efficient route to your destination. In this chapter, we map out the terrain for you and organize the decision-making process so that it's a little less mysterious and intimidating.

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