Cameras are found on most every cell phone these days. The quality of such photographs is nearly as good as the stand-alone camera—sometimes better!

There are only a few things to consider when contemplating buying a camera as a holiday present. No longer is price really even an issue any more for conventional day-to-day use as the market place is accommodating most all price points.

The features to pay attention to are:

  • Mega pixel count
  • Zoom capacity
  • Computer compatibility
  • Shutter speed lag
  • Video mode?


Pixel Count

In a very broad sense of the word, pixels refer to how crisp and clean an image appears in its composition. Similar to the focus feature on a camera if you do not have enough mega pixels, the photo will not be a very crisp or clear image. Unlike the focus feature, the mega pixels cannot be adjusted once you’ve purchased the camera. When the electronic camera began, 4 mega pixels were considered the norm. Now, in the market place there are cameras bragging of 16 mega pixels.


Zoom Capability

Not often considered when purchasing a camera, this is an important element because if omitted, your recipient will forever be frustrated. For example, if you have a friend who likes to go to sporting events, or to watch live music, a camera with a high zoom capacity would be a good idea; something upward of 20x zoom. This will allow the person taking the photograph to be far away, yet be able to zoom in close enough to the action to get a good shot. This could be useful to parents of children as well. However, someone who simply enjoys taking photos for the sheer joy of taking photos would not have much need or desire for this camera feature.


Computer Compatibility

An important question to ask when buying a camera is, “How will the photos get from the camera to my computer?” For some, this is a mundane question on the verge of insulting one’s intelligence. There are those who are electronically challenged and who shy away from technology. For these reasons, it’s important to get this question answered. For some, simply plugging the camera into the computer via a USB port will suffice. However, for others, a memory card (and a memory card reader for the computer) may be required.

Memory cards, much like a flash drive, store photos from one’s camera and may be transferred from the camera to one’s computer. Coming in various storage capacities, memory cards can store hundreds of photographs (or even some home-made videos) until such time that they are transferred from the camera.

There are drug stores that have photographic printers that require the use of this memory card. One simply takes the memory card to the drug store, loads it in the machine, and selects the photos to be printed.

If you have the right software on your computer, you can print directly from the computer to your printer; provided you have the correct printer cartridges and photo-quality paper.


Shutter Speed Lag

Some cameras have a long lag between the time you click the button and when the camera actually takes the picture. This can make the difference between having a lot of fun with the camera, and becoming very frustrated and never getting the exact shot that you want. Be sure to look for a short shutter speed lag when selecting a camera. Cheaper cameras generally have a longer lag. Test the camera yourself, if possible, at an electronics store or camera shop, if in doubt.


Video mode

Many people are sharing home-made videos on Youtube and Flickr and other social media sites these days. When shopping for a camera as a Christmas present, be sure to check out whether the camera has the capability to shoot video; even HD video is possible now!

Want to see our best Christmas gifts for this upcoming year? Click here to see them now!

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