Over the last few years, the picture quality in digital cameras has becoming amazing. As recently as the year 2000, even the very best digital cameras you could buy produced grainy, poor-quality images that could never compare to what film had to offer. Today, though, digital cameras can easily rival and even exceed the quality of film, capturing pin-sharp digital images and never needing to be refilled with anything except power.
When you buy a digital camera, the most important thing you should look for is how many mega pixels (million pixels in the image) the photos it takes are. Cameras available today range from about 3MP at the low end to 10MP or more at the high end, with the price increasing steadily with each extra mega pixel.
However, how many mega pixels the camera has is not the only thing you should consider. Battery life is very important, as cameras with a short battery life can be frustratingly unusable, and the presence of various features in the camera’s software like auto focus and digital zoom should also be a consideration, as well as the camera’s ability to record non-photographic material like sound and video.
Ultimately, the best thing to do with digital cameras is to either buy the cheapest one you can find or a very high-end one – if you go for something mediocre, you will just be frustrated at having paid a lot of money for a camera that isn’t really all that great. If you are choosing between two cameras at a certain price point, it is almost always better to buy the one made by a known brand, as they will tend to have much better build quality, software and battery life, as well as being generally better-designed and easier to use.
As a final note, if you just want a cheap digital camera to take around with you and take occasional snaps of your friends and places you go, it’s well worth considering getting a mobile phone with a digital camera built in. As you take your phone around with you anyway, it’s no extra hassle to carry a camera phone, and the pictures they can take are rapidly increasing in quality, to the point where they are now where digital cameras were only a few years ago. As technology gets even better, a camera phone is increasingly becoming a very smart alternative to a digital camera for the casual user.