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My first digital camera and image software

If you are thinking of buying your first digital camera you will also want to consider what image software to use? Before you go out and buy your first digital camera and invest in image software you need to answer a few questions first of all to help decide whether you are going to buy a compact digital camera, a DSLR, or a bridge type digital camera. As for what imaging software to use, you can always check out the imaging software that comes with your first digital camera or refer to the section on Photo Editing.

The first question is what do you want the camera for serious photography or quick snaps? Are you at the beginners photography stage or digital photography or are you an experienced user of digital cameras

If you are, or want to be, a serious photographer you should consider a DSLR as your first choice of digital camera. On the other hand if it's all about taking quick snaps then it could be your new digital camera should be a compact digital camera, the preferred choice of beginners to photography.

DSLR - Digital Single Lens Reflex

The DSLR digital camera is the choice of professional photographers and serious amateurs. Generally speaking DSLR's have larger sensors and more expensive lenses and usually a wider range of features. Modern DSLR's made by the big names like Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony and Olympus all have entry models which have feature sets remarkably like point and shoot compact digital cameras. They can be used by almost anyone even though they have little photographic knowledge. This is great because it allows people with creative genius to go out there and take pictures without having to worry all about the technical side. Another factor to consider if you are a beginner to photography and you choose a DSLR, you are less likely to be wanting to upgrade in a few years.

Advantages of DSLR cameras

The biggest advantage of a DSLR camera is that you are not restricted to one lens.

Larger sensor size means there will be less noise, this in turn means you can shoot in lower light conditions and still retain good image quality.

The advanced feature set used in most DSLR digital cameras means you have more options for shooting in difficult conditions.

The downside of a DSLR is it's size and the size of some of the lenses which makes it a little more difficult to stick in your pocket.

Micro Four Thirds type digital cameras

This will probably become as popular as the DSLR as sensor and processing technology advances. The micro four thirds is a logical progression from the DSLR. Essentially it is a DSLR without the mirror. An electronic view finder makes the need for a mirror unnecessary and hence reduces the body size. Advances in the quality of electronic view finders has made the view finder much more acceptable to DSLR users. The absence of the mirror eliminates mirror movement and vibration as well as making it easier to do video photography plus still photography.

Panasonic g3

The sensor in the micro four thirds is roughly slightly more than half the size of a DSLR sensor but several times larger than a compact camera. What this means in real terms is there will be a trade off in quality in terms of resolution and noise compared to a DSLR but it will be much better than the majority of compact cameras.The picture shows a Panasonic G3 which is comparable in size to many micro four thirds digital cameras

In terms of Videos while the micro four thirds will never match the best camcorder in terms of overall picture quality it is not unusual to be able to buy a good quality micro four thirds camera that will deliver a video image quality comparable to a high end camcorder. The major disadvantage of micro four thirds for videos is that some tend to suffer from what is known as rolling shutter effect. The Panasonic GH2 has been bought by many for its video capability.

My first digital camera - compact camera

Compact Digital cameras

There is a huge variety of digital compact cameras with amazing features. The first thing you have to decide on is the size of digital camera. When choosing a compact digital camera its helpful to know a little about what you want from it. What will the main purpose of the digital camera? Will you use your digital camera to take images of landscapes, or will you use your camera to take group shots of people mostly indoors at parties or events. Do you need a wide angle for panoramas or for sports you may require a fast lens with a large zoom. If you are going to photograph flowers or insects check that your choice of digital camera has a macro mode. Do you want an extra flash, or add on lenses. Some digital cameras are powered by AA batteries make sure this is right for your needs.

Bridge type digital cameras

My first digal camera - panasonic FZ50 bridge and Nikon d40 dslr camera

These cameras look like DSLR camera and function like them except they do not have interchangeable lenses. Usually they sell for a lot less than DSLR cameras and in the right conditions can often match what a DSLR can do. The photo shows a Panasonic Lumix FZ50 beside a Nikon D40 DSLR. The Panasonic FZ50 was one of the fore runners of bridge cameras and has a zoom range 35mm to 420mm compared to the Nikon D40 fitted with a standard kit lens 27mm to 82mm - (these ranges are 35mm equivalent). Nowadays bridge cameras are even more compact although not quite fit in the pocket as a compact camera.

Digital cameras are sold in specialist camera stores, electronics stores, department stores, and on the World Wide Web. They vary greatly in price and it's worth while shopping around once you've decide what camera you want. Two web sites I recommend visiting to help you decided what camera is best for you are dpreview and steves digicams.