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Selecting from the digicam spread
Zoom in on the picture-perfect sharp shooter with this guide.
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Consumers looking to buy digital cameras are spoilt for choice because there are so many types and models available today.

Cameras can be tested on the spot before you spend your hard-earned money.

Ask yourself these questions:

How does the camera fit in your hands?

Are the controls easy to access?

Is using it intuitive?

Does the user interface work fluidly?

How is the auto-focus performance? For example, does it take long to focus?

Is there a shutter lag, that is, the time between when the shutter is pressed and when the photo is taken?

Take a memory card along if you want to review some test shots before making your decision.

Now that you have an idea of what to look out for, you can pick the type and model that fits your budget.

There are four categories to choose from:

1 Compacts

These are point-and-shoot cameras

Look for models that fit your photographic requirements.

Some come with unique features like wireless capabilities, twin-LCDs, and geo-location tagging.

Others are wide-angle shooters which mean you do not have to take a few steps back to squeeze that large group shot into the frame.

Look for the equivalent of wide angles of 28mm or lower.

Ideally, the compact must be able to shoot at full resolution at high ISOs of 3,200 and above so that you can shoot in dim lighting without using a flash or a tripod.

All compacts can double as video cams with the better ones able to shoot in 720p high definition.

While the megapixel race will never end, there is no need to fuss over this specification.

Even the most basic models can easily produce images good enough for 8R prints.

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