With so many brands and models of digital cameras, how do you
choose? Here're a few tips for choosing one for traveling.
The main factors
- Size - when you travel, every bit of weight counts
especially when it's a camera because you would usually carry
it around. And you would want to put it in your carry-on luggage
since it is not cheap and it is probably best not to let it
bang around in your suitcase which gets thrown around quite
- Zoom - most cameras have a zoom feature nowadays. A
3X zoom is quite typical for a point-and-shoot camera. Anything
higher than that will be a plus. With a 3X zoom, don't expect
to be able to zoom in much. If a camera has a 6X zoom or more,
it is quite useful.
- LCD Screen - of course the bigger the better. Some
can even swivel so that you can hold it up high above you and
still see it well enough to frame a good picture, but usually
this comes with a bigger camera.
- ISO - this tells you how well the camera can handle
dark environment. The higher it can go, the better it does.
- Movie - this allows you to shoot a film clip. A 30
frames per second or higher capability allows the flim not to
appear jerky. Some cameras has a limit on how long each clip
can be, while some let you film as long as there is room in
the memory card.
- Batteries - in general some cameras use dry cells (AA's
or AAA's) and some use batteries specially designed for it.
With those that can take dry cells, you can typically use either
rechargeable or disposable ones, which is convenient: you can
have a couple of sets of the former and they are not too expensive.
Even if they run out of juice when you are out shooting, you
can still buy some inexpensive dry cells to tide you over. But
if the camera only uses special batteries, you are stuck. So
if your camera is this kind, buy an extra set of batteries if
you can afford it. It is true that you could make sure your
batteries are charged up every time you go out, but since they
tend to have a "memory" (i.e. if you charge them before
they are flat out, they will last for a shorter and shorter
time), you won't want to charge them before they are completely
discharged. (They say that some newer batteries don't have a
memory, I haven't had any that don't.)
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