Bringing the confusing world of digital cameras into focus

Bringing the confusing world of digital cameras into focus

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Camera lenses on display at PROCAM in Livonia  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Camera lenses on display at PROCAM in Livonia (Credit: Fox 2 News)

Digital cameras have been around since the mid-1990s and have advanced in technology throughout the years, but picking the right digital camera for you can be a bit overwhelming with all the current options.

I had Nick Homrich from PROCAM in Livonia break it down.

"[A] very basic point and shoot digital camera [such as the] Cannon A4000 [has] 16 megapixels, eight times zoom, [and is] very easy to use.  You can literally turn it on... and take the picture.  The camera does everything for you," he said.

"The next level would be like an advanced point and shoot [such as] the G15 from Cannon.  [It] has automatic functions, so it still can be as easy to use as [a basic point and shoot camera], but you can grow into this with some of the more manual functions," Homrich further explained.

"A digital SLR... is going to have interchangeable lenses.  Now when you get into a camera like this, it's going to be much better for low light shooting.  It's going to be faster," he added.  "Again, these have full automatic functions, as well as a lot of presets and manual settings... but the advantage here is being able to change the lenses."

From Nikon to Canon and Sony and various other brands, is one better than the other?

"One's not better than the other.  It's what best for the user," said Homrich.  "Now if you're buying a point and shoot, it's just a matter of doing the research and looking into what features and functions are right for you."

Megapixels is a main feature on all digital cameras, but what does that mean?

"One [megapixel] is one million pixels.  So when we're talking about a 20 megapixel camera, that's 20 million pixels.  That's 20 million dots of information making up your photo," Homrich said.  "I usually tell people nowadays I wouldn't get hung up on the megapixels because... you can make a beautiful 8x10 with a five megapixel camera....  All these camera are well beyond that, so I look at the features more than the megapixels because they're all more than enough."

Memory cards are essentially the film for the camera, but how do I know to choose the right size?

"The higher the resolution of the camera, the less pictures you'll get, so it's kind of like quality versus quantity," Homrich explained.  "I typically would go with the largest card I can.  The bigger, the better -- you can't go wrong there."

Before you go out and about, take a photography 101 class at PROCAM to become a pro of your own.  For more information, visit

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