A Guide to Digital Cameras

Owning your own camera makes it a whole lot easier to capture special moments throughout your life and can create priceless memories of the biggest and happiest events of your lifetime. However, to a novice, the choice associated with digital cameras can become confusing and you may pay more than you actually need to. Cameras come in many shapes and sizes with an array of different terminology to match. This article aims to explain the terminology that you will come across when doing research about digital cameras and hopefully help you to make the right decision when purchasing a new camera…

Types of Digital Cameras

There are several types of digital camera on that market, all of which have different features which are best suited to different types of photography. Here are a few…


This is the most popular type of digital camera due to its small body and reasonable price. They take good quality photographs in the simplest manner, and are small in size; perfect for travelling or to fit in a handbag. Digital cameras are getting more advanced and include more features than they used to, like better mega pixel and image quality.


These are the smallest variety of digital camera you will find and can usually fit in your pocket. However, image quality won’t be as high as a normal compact due to its size, so bear that in mind when looking for a smaller camera.

Digital SLR:

These are high end digital cameras, best suited to those who take photographs for a living or enjoy photography as a hobby. You will find that D-SLR’s will come with inter-changeable lenses, accessories and will have good zoom features and extras which will make your photographs of the best quality. D-SLR’s are far more expensive than compact digital cameras and will be bigger in size.


These cameras will have many features of the D-SLR but will be less expensive. These are better for producing larger prints, more defined images and will have a faster performance speed.

Things to look out for

Mega Pixels:

This only applies to the quantity of the data that a camera can capture, not the quality, so don’t be fooled into buying a camera with 10MP when 5 MP will suffice. If you’re looking to produce larger images and they need to be of excellent quality, and then go for a high mega pixel number. Otherwise, stick to a lower number which may be cheaper.


There are two types of zoom you should look out for; optical zoom and digital zoo. Optical zoom is where the lens physically moves to adjust its settings, whereas a digital zoom enlarges the image without using a lens. Optical zooms do tend to be of better quality but compromise the ‘compact’ aspect of the camera. You will find that most compact cameras will have digital zooms and Enthusiast and SLR cameras tend to have optical.

LCD Screen:

This is the screen at the back of the camera which enables you to see the images you to see what the camera is pointing at and also view the pictures you’ve taken. Its best that you choose a camera with a bright LCD screen as visibility will be better in sunlight for when you’re out and about. A larger screen makes it easier to take quality photos by helping your aim.


You can now double up your digital camera and camcorder if you don’t wish to carry around 2 devices. Technology has allowed cameras to record in HD and be of extremely good quality, meaning that consumers can now kill two birds with one stone. Video recording on digital cameras is becoming a popular feature so make sure to enquire about it before purchasing a camera.

Written by Rachael Miller from the Shopping team at moneysupermarket.com