Today’s Call for help comes from Virginia Shopper, who asks:

My daughter wants a digital camera for Christmas. She tends to lose things, so I don’t want to buy anything high end, but I still want to get her something that will take decent pictures. We’ve never used one before. What features should I look for?

Virginia Shopper

Well, today’s choices for digital cameras are truly overwhelming, with prices that start well under $100 and go into the thousands. But let’s look at some of the basic things that I personally would take into consideration, then I will count on the visitors of TigerDirectBlog to assist our Virginia Shopper with her quest for the best camera for her needs. You use these products everyday and know whether you love them or hate them, so share your experiences with us!

Digital Camera Basics

First, megapixels. Remember, the bigger the number, the better it is (and the more it will cost). Cameras started wtih incredibly small images, less than a megapixel, and you will even come across some of these cameras today. Even for most picky casual photographers, a 2-3 Megapixel camera will have all the resolution you need. In the early days of digital cameras, the photos were stored on internal, non-removable memory – which is far behind us. Today, the storage potential is unlimited, based on the number of memory cards that you have. But which memory format your camera uses can greatly influence the cost of your memory. In todays market, a camera which uses the “SD” (Secure Digital) format are becoming most common with incredible 45x and greater speed ratings. The prices continue to drop – so compared against other formats, like Memory Stick or XD, the price savings is pretty big if you buy SD.

Finally, you know that member of your family who always asks you take the photo for them because they can’t hold the camera stilll? They aren’t alone, I’m the one asking someone else to take the photo. Perhaps aggravated by too many keystrokes in my life, my hands cannot seem to keep the camera still enough to capture detailed images. These days, ‘anti-shake’ technology allows cameras to compensation for any movement, ensuring a clear, crisp and detailed photo. It’s a great feature to check out and have on your next camera.

These are only a few of the basic elements you can use as a starting point for choosing a camera, let’s hear what else everyone finds is important to them about digital cameras.