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Guest article:

Identifying A Good Digital Photography Camera Review
By Rika Susan

Doing your homework before deciding on a digital camera? You are going about it in the right way if you make use of the many professional reviews available on the internet.

But then you will want to be careful about rating the reviews themselves, as some take a genuine, in depth and objective look at the camera, whereas others are little more than marketing exercises by agents!

The reviews you will find about some of the very latest digital cameras are often based on pre-production models made available to the reviewers. In most cases this should present no problem, as the reviewers who get hold of these cameras are generally knowledgeable individuals and will point out any potential problems that still need sorting out.

When you read a digital photography camera review, make sure that the reviewer looks into the following issues for the sake of comparison and thoroughness:

How many pixels: is it a 5MP or 6MP or 8MP camera? What is the size of the image sensor (CCD)? How does it compare to other cameras in the same range? Remember, the number of pixels is not the only important aspect for a better image - you also have to check the size of the CCD.

What file formats are supported? Only JPEG or also RAW? Many photographers are now waking up to the post-processing possibilities of RAW files, and you may want to have that option available!

Does the camera have an auto-focus assist lamp for low lighting conditions? Without it you are often fairly restricted in low light situations.

How about batteries? A proprietary battery can have a very effective lifespan, but they tend to be expensive - and you do need a backup for when on the road or in the mountains. Many excellent digital prosumer cameras such as the Olympus SP500 Ultra Zoom work on simple AA batteries which you can easily replace when in trouble!

If you buy a good prosumer camera with which you want to do some experimenting (and being able to experiment is a major plus of having a digital camera in the first place!) you will want to know that you have a manual focus option for those tricky situations...

What is mentioned regarding the camera's manual settings: can you set shutter priority, or aperture priority? Do you have full manual control over the most important aspects of exposure? It will be a pity when you start shooting away and trying new things you never dared with your film camera (costs!) only to find out you have virtually no manual control!

Ensure that the digital photography camera review you're reading points out the important optical (real!) zoom capabilities - and not only gloat about the digital zoom facility - which is sometimes little more than a cropping tool!

Lastly: compare not only cameras but also reviews, and shop around for the most informed opinion before you decide on the camera...

For more information visit
Rika Susan researches, writes, and publishes full-time on the Web. Copyright of this article: 2005 Rika Susan.

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