Semi automatic compact digital cameras have more features than point and shoot cameras. Of course, they will be more expensive.
Compact cameras range always above the 3 megapixel range – these days, it 10 megapixels are common – so you will be able to play with the images, print and enlarge to your hearts content.
Compact cameras have zoom lenses and you will be able to get closer to your subject even if you cannot physically move close to it – if you were taking pictures of a football match, for instance.
Movie capabilities seem to be also the norm in compact digital cameras. So you will be able to shoot video, even if it is only a few minutes. This type of camera should be able to accommodate all your needs and let you develope your technique and become a skillful photographer.
Choose a camera with the highest level of megapixels that fits your budget, but remember 6 megapixels are usually enough for normal printing needs and you will only need 12 megapixels if you plan to print postr size. Tha zoom is nice if you plan take wildlife pictures but you may not need it and if you don’t want to pay extra for it, it is fine.
There are other characteristics to consider:
- Size and weight – cameras are smaller every time for a reason. Being able to take the camera in yyour pocket is a bonus.
- Memory and storage – memory cards are convenient but there are many types and not all of them cheap. Don’t forget you will wnat to connect the card to your computer to download pictures and you may need an adaptor.
- Batteries – rechargable batteries are usually the best option but remember you must be able to recharge them – you may need adaptors – and consider buying a spare battery to have always one charged, especially if the battery is exclusive to your type of camera.
- LCD and viewfinder – a large LCD is great if you like to view your pictures immediately but you will find the viewfinder invaluable in bright light.
- ISO – This refers to the sensibility to light of the camera’s sensor. You need a high ISO when you are going to take a pictur of a subject that will not stand still in bad light.
- Other bells and whistles – intelligent modes, where the camera decide the settings, are good for those that don’t want to complicate their lives with scene settings, auto features – auto shut off is nice if you are one of those who always firgets to turn the camera off – or video.
- Everything proof – if you love to take pictures in difficult conditions – bad weather, underwater – or practice high risk sports –bungee jumping, kite-surfing – consider waterproof and shockproof cameras. The extra you pay is a saving in this case.