Cameras FAQ

Digital Camera: Buyers Guide

Frequently Asked Questions.

Here we will try and answer some of the more often asked questions out there.

Q: What is the difference between a digital camera and a digital video camera?

A: The basic answer to this question is that a digital camera takes still pictures and stores them on a removable memory card, while a digital video camera films movies and stores them onto a digital video tape. Most memory devices for digital cameras have either no moving parts, or very few. Digital video cameras store the information on tapes very similar to normal camcorders, except the images are stored digitally, meaning in binary code (0’s and 1’s).
This question is beginning to get trickier to answer now with the new line of digital cameras that are emerging. Some digital cameras now can film short movies in varying formats that your computer will accept, some even have sound. Also some of the digital video cameras will store still images, and transfer them to the computer, though usually the images captured by the video camera are at a low resolution compared to the digital cameras.

Q: I heard that you can get digital film for normal SLR cameras, is this true?

A: Yes it is, the film is being developed by ImageK , called the EFS-1 and will supposedly be available in the summer of 2000. The device fits into your camera like a normal roll of film, and stores 24 pictures at megapixel resolution, (1.3 million pixels) at 1280*1024 pixels. The unit will likely cost around $699 US, which is around the price of a 2+ megapixel digital camera. The advantage is that you get to keep and use your current SLR camera. The disadvantages are that you are paying a lot for a 1280*1024 pixel resolution and it may only work with selected high end SLR’s.

Q: Is it better to have more megapixels, or a larger zoom?

A: There is no easy answer for this, but generally if you are taking a lot of outdoor pictures a larger zoom may actually be of more help to you, because when you take a picture of something far away, you will get more pixels on target than a larger megapixel camera.

Q: What size do my pictures need to be for printing?

A: To see what resolutions are appropriate for home printing click here

Q: Should I buy a digital camera or a 35mm camera?

A: See our report on digital cameras or 35mm cameras as to some of the advantages of going digital.