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There are a few things that you need to know before purchasing a digital camera. Knowing what the following features are will help you decide which ones you will need.

Mega Pixels - The higher the number of the pixels the higher the resolution. The more resolution the more detail your pictures will have. This means that even the smallest of objects will be seen with very good definition.

Memory Card - This is where your pictures get stored. They come in 2MB - 8MB, the higher the number of MBs the more space you have to store pictures.

Floppy Disk - This is the same 144MB, 3-1/2 inch disk that you use on your computer.

LCD Screen - A small screen on the camera that allows you to view pictures before, during, and after taking the picture.

There are so many types of digital cameras and at so many different prices that it can get confusing when you go to the store to purchase a camera. Ask yourself the following questions: Are you going to use the camera as an average family camera? Do you want very professional looking pictures? Approximately how many pictures will you be taking at one time? Do you plan on using it when you go on vacations? Will you be needing a lot of storage space? Are you a person who feels more comfortable with less buttons and features to program? Or are you the technical type who loves features and finds it easy to understand and work with?

Now that you have a better idea of the features and what your needs will be, the following information will help you to make a choice. If you want a camera for regular family use then you don’t have to spend too much money on it. You can purchase a camera somewhere in the middle to low price range.

When you purchase a camera, keep in mind that if you get one with a memory card of 2MB, you can always purchase extra cards of the same amount of MBs or higher. All cameras will have a feature that gives you a choice of picture quality. When you choose the highest quality you will not be able to store a lot of pictures. On the 2MBs you can store approximately 80-90 pictures at the lowest level of picture quality. At the highest level it’s usually between 12-16 pictures. You will definitely have to buy at least one extra memory card if you plan on using the highest level of picture quality for most photographs.

Cameras using memory cards have to be connected to the computer in order to download the pictures. You download straight from the camera, once downloaded you can then delete the stored pictures and reuse the memory card. The only difference with cameras that use floppy disks is that you don’t connect the camera to the computer. Instead, you insert the disk into your computer’s drive and download the pictures. With these cameras you can use the regular floppy disks that you use with your computer which are pretty cheap, or you can purchase a floppy disk specially made for the cameras which are very expensive but can store plenty of pictures.

Another feature that some people are interested in is the ability of some cameras to record a few minutes of motion pictures, usually about ten minutes for an averaged price camera. You might get some extra minutes of recording with the very expensive cameras. If you decide that you would like this feature, keep in mind that you will definitely have to purchase the expensive floppy disk because a regular floppy disk will not store more than a couple of minutes of motion picture. One feature that will raise the price drastically is the capacity of the zoom lens.

The LCD screen is a very useful feature, one that I would recommend because you can view what you’re capturing before taking the picture. You have much more control of the picture output. Therefore, you will usually wind up with a perfect picture the first time around. I consider this to be the best feature and would not advise anyone to get a camera without it.