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Digital Camera

A camera that stores images digitally rather than recording them on film. Once a picture has been taken, it can be downloaded to a computer system, and then manipulated with a graphics program and printed. Unlike film photographs, which have an almost infinite resolution, digital photos are limited by the amount of memory in the camera, the optical resolution of the digitizing mechanism, and, finally, by the resolution of the final output device.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3K 16.05 MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera

Panasonic Lumix Camera

Even in low light situations, you'll be able to choose out all the detail to offer you breathtaking cinematic high quality due to an ISO variety involving ISO 200 to ISO 12800 as normal, and even involving ISO 125 to ISO 25600 with an extension function.

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X100T 16 MP Digital Camera

Best Digital Camera

OLPF-less architecture as well as the original pixel array are the keys to resolution rivaling a full-size sensor. The unique integration of phase detection pixels within the array contributes towards the dramatic leap in AF speed.

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Camera buying guide


The most important things to know when shopping for a camera.


The most important stuff


There is no spec that tells you which camera is best. A higher resolution (more megapixels) or bigger zoom range doesn't make the camera better. I'll repeat: you're never looking for the camera with the most megapixels or longest zoom.


Don't get hung up on making sure you've got the "best" in a particular class. The truth is, one camera rarely beats the rest on all four major criteria--photo quality, performance, features and design. (You may have noticed how few Editors' Choice Awards we give for cameras. That's partly why.) At least not at a friendly price. You want something that's best for you. And that may mean, for example, that it doesn't produce stellar photo quality, or at least photos that "pixel peepers" think are stellar.


Try before you buy. Make sure it fits comfortably in your hand and that it's not so big or heavy that you'll prefer to leave it at home. It should provide quick access to the most commonly used functions, and menus should be simply structured, logical and easy to learn. Touch-screen models can allow for greater functionality, but can also be frustrating if the controls and menus are poorly organized or the screen can't be calibrated to your touch.


If you're looking for a compact digital camera, you have a lot of choices. Although the past couple of years has seen a serious erosion of the entry-level, sub-$100 class thanks to the emergence of powerful smartphones, improvements in technology have meant that if you've got a couple of hundred dollars or more to spend, you can get yourself a very capable camera.


We're not pointing you towards specific models in this article - that will be the subject of future reviews and roundups. This article is intended as a guide to this class of products, to help you make an informed buying decision.  


You will be able to see purchasing selective information about digital cameras, compact cameras, camera printers, lenses and some of the accessories that are requisite for photography. You will also see the types of digital cameras that are presently "hot".


You can also find tips for purchasing these cameras as parts of kits in the digital photographic camera buyers guide. The table of contents of the digital camera buyers guide will show you the main articles and product features that you can expect to read about when you buy this magazine.


Sometimes you will get worthful purchasing data about the newest digital cameras and the best types of camera lens. These articles will cover in-depth the assorted features and procedure abilities of the unlike devices. You will be able to see which digital and compact cameras are well thought out to be good value for your money and what you can expect to see from these products.


With a digital camera buyers guide you will be informed about the cost of the different compact cameras, digital cameras, lenses and even the latest photographic camera printers.


Definition of:digital camera


A still camera that records images in digital form. Unlike traditional film cameras that record a light image on film (analog), digital cameras record discrete numbers for storage on a flash memory card or optical disc. As with all digital devices, there is a fixed, maximum resolution and number of colors that can be represented. Images are transferred to the computer with a USB cable, a memory card or wireless. Digital video cameras (see camcorder) also use FireWire.


Digital Advantages


There are three distinct advantages of digital cameras over their analog counterparts. First, you can review the finished image immediately and erase the others. Second, you can take and print one picture without waiting to develop an entire roll of film. Finally, memory cards, the storage mechanism most widely used for "digital film," are reusable over and over.


Chips: The Camera's Film


Digital cameras record color images as intensities of red, green and blue, which are stored as variable (analog) charges on a CCD or CMOS image sensor chip. The charges are converted to digital and stored in flash memory chips on a memory card such as CompactFlash, SD or Memory Stick. Some still cameras use optical discs for storage instead of flash memory, and video cameras use tape, optical discs and hard disks.


The size of the CCD or CMOS chip determines the picture's resolution, but the analog-to-digital converter (ADC), which converts the charges to digital data, determines the color depth. In 2002, Foveon introduced a breakthrough in color accuracy with its X3 CMOS chip.


Digital video cameras use the same image sensing methods as still cameras, but in addition to storing the images digitally, they output NTSC video for playback on any TV. For the major features and some caveats of digital cameras, see digital camera features. For camera recording quality designations.


Digital Camera


Behind the lens, a CCD or CMOS image sensor chip picks up the image as variable (analog) charges that are turned into digital by an analog-to-digital circuit (see A/D converter). A DSP chip adjusts contrast and detail and compresses the digital data for storage.


Camera and "Film"


A classic now, the Kodak DC50 was one of the first digital cameras. Holding 24 images in internal memory, it used flash disks for more storage. Digital and film cameras share an optical system, typically using a lens with a variable diaphragm to focus light onto an image pickup device. The diaphragm and shutter admit the correct amount of light to the imager, just as with film but the image pickup device is electronic rather than chemical. However, unlike film cameras, digital cameras can display images on a screen immediately after being recorded, and store and delete images from memory. Many digital cameras can also record moving videos with sound. Some digital cameras can crop and stitch pictures and perform other elementary image editing.