Digital cameras are here to stay, so whether you want to take professional-quality photos or just a couple of holiday snaps a few times a year, you will have to get used to them. In fact, it is likely that new film cameras will just cease to exist soon and maybe they will stop making the film too. So, what are the best digital cameras for beginning photographers?

Digital Cameras for Beginning Photographers

The good news though is that the digital functions available are implemented in the same way on nearly all digital cameras, so once you have learned how to use, say, the optical or mechanical zoom feature on one camera, you will be able to operate it on all digital cameras.

This is not to say that these functions are equally good on all cameras or that they will be accessed in the same way on all cameras either. An expensive camera made by a good manufacturer will certainly be better than a cheap point-and-shoot camera built into a mobile phone, but you would expect that cameras for beginning photographers

Most digital cameras have dozens and dozens of features and sensors to control specialist aspects of lighting, most of which the majority of happy snappers have no clue about and normally they do not need to know about them either.

Lots of these features are available in image manipulation software, so they are only duplicated in the camera, where most people cannot even find them. Having said that, the camera lens does affect the depth of field, so you may want to learn a bit about that.

The first tip for purchasing a camera is not to choose it by its looks. Novices are frequently impressed by how the camera looks rather than what it can do. This is normally because they do not understand the features but they want a compact camera the size of a packet of cigarettes.

So before going to buy a digital camera, the beginning photographer should take some time to acquaint him- or herself with the typical functions of digital cameras and especially those used most often like the zoom lens: digital zoom and optical zoom.

The first term to be aware of is megapixels. Digital images are composed of dots like a TV picture. The more dots the higher the resolution and the better the picture.

The better the picture, the more expensive the camera. Most mid-range cameras on the market today have sufficient resolution, so you do not really need to worry about this unless you want very high quality digital photos.

So, the first questions to ask yourself are: how high do you need the quality of the pictures to be and how much can you afford to spend?

Most digital cameras are packed with features, but do you really want them all? If you intend using the photo manipulation software that comes with most cameras, then you do not really need all those features built into the camera as well.

If you do not require professional-quality pictures to print off on paper, why pay for that level of resolution? Simply buy a camera with only the features that you will use. An SLR digital camera is great if money is no object, but it is far better than most people need.

You can frequently buy a less feature-rich camera in the sales, which are intended to clear out old stock before the latest models come out. The latest models will have more features, so you can win all round by purchasing last year’s model at a knock-down price.

Two accessories that are worth having are a USB cable and connection and a memory expansion slot. The USB connection will permit you to easily upload your photos to your computer for manipulation and distribution and the external memory will allow you to take more photographs than the camera’s RAM would normally permit.