Old writing back in 1998 - may not apply now.
The entry and the intermediate type of digital cameras are basically differ from the high end models by, apart from body construction, compatibility of system components and accessories with the current 35mm SLR cameras, flexibility and its resolving power (resolution produced) and of coz' the price.
The Epson "PhotoPC 500" comes with LCD at the back, though good looking, can only provide maximum 480 x 640 resolution
Most entry digital cameras optimise images based on resolution of 640 x 480 pixels (standard low end PC computer screen), and typically can have around 16-32 images on its "high resolution" mode and around 32-96 images store in their standard mode. The "high resolution" defines pixels size of 640 x 480 and standard as 320 x 240 or lower - depends on the Flash RAM - becoz' those camera makers assume - to the casual weekend snappers, quality is not the priority and the file size needn't be so big, say remitting an casual weekend "smile & geeezzz" image through the Internet to friends or relatives. In some cases, like news and reportage photography, the important element is the "moment" and quality / resolutions can be of compromise (after all, newsprint can handle around maximum 80 to 100 dpi).
A EC-15 PCMCIA card from Nikon
A Fujix image memory card In between the high end and the entry models, some new range of intermediate quality models starts to fill the vacuum. Providing higher resolutions beyond the 640 x 480 and below the 1 million pixels bracket.
The Nikon dual entries... the CoolPix series.
Most entry & intermediate models can come in all form of "alien" shapes and sizes. Some offer zoom lens features, which we strongly advising you can go without, considering what the current technologies can provide, while some others offering features like LCD display and "multimedia" mode, which means can record some sound clips with the images captured.
In general, depends on your possible application, before starting to shop for a digital camera, decide what you really need in a camera. There are a few things to consider:
Try to examine the the actual image from the camera. Elements like highlight and shadow detail, sharpness of image and faithfulness of colour.
Most midrange cameras are good enough for general applications like news reportage, webpage design, presentation kits, submission proposals etc. Unless the images captured is primarily used for printing brouches, annual/corporate reports or magazines, the resolution provided should be adequate.
If mobility and portability is of important, the size and weight of the camera is a concern. Most top-notch full featured digital cameras usually are larger, heavier is not as easy to take along. Cameras range from a few ounces to several pounds. Some are small enough to fit in a pocket. An Agfa StudioCam can weight over 5 lbs with a zoom lens attached !
The capacity of storing number of "physical" images at specific resolution is another element to be considered. Several cameras use a PCMCIA type card, which is removable. These cards are quite expensive (high end card like PCMCIA type III for the high end model can be near or exceeding RM1000-00, depends on the capacity, the Type II ATA Flash Memory Cards for mid-range models can range form few hundred to RM1000 over, again based on capacity) but they do give the flexibility of allowing you to change cards and extended shooting time.
Digital camera that come with the option of a Flash mode or built in flash is practical on low light level shooting condition. Most midrange models are about the equivalent of an ISO 100 in film speed, and can have problems dealing with dim light environment. Well, it 's advisable to have the flash features in short, it might come in handy at most times.
Most midrange cameras have a fixed lens that may or may not zoom; some may have option to allow for snap on attachments or filters to handle macro or converting into "zoom lens". If your work requires close range shooting, look for models that are flexible to macro settings. If compatibility with your 35mm system lenses or features is desired, you'll need to get a high end camera model as mentioned on the earlier page. Unless your work or assignment justifies your investment, these models are quite high in cost, so make your choice carefully. We expect prices might fluctuates downwards with more capacity and features to spare in the future, so be very careful about your current entry into this field.
The Ricoh RDC-2 -comes with optional LCD display and provides sound clips
After the digital captures, you can directly transfer the files in the camera output to a computer via SCSI cables for manipulation. While digital capture through a digital cameras is of simplest and most direct. What happen if you wish to have your favourite images which are in negative prints or transparencies to be imported into the computer to manipulate ? You can't, becoz' you have to digitise the source before you can play around it in the computer - by way of scanning! The next section, we will give you a quick overview of how to handle and optimise scanning process. GO!
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Coolpix is a trademark of Nikon Corporation Inc.; Ricoh, RDC-2 are trademarks of Ricoh Corporation Inc.; Epson, "PhtoPC" are trademarks of Epson Seiko Corporation Inc
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