there is nothing like getting your hand
on the camera and trying it out. Most stores
offer a trial period, so take advantage
(responsibly) of it. You would just need
a couple of days at most to put the camera
through its paces. Can it do the things
you want it to do? Does it feel comfortable
in your hands? If some controls bother you,
understand it might just be a case of getting
used to them, so do not be too hasty in
If you decide you want to return the digital
camera, tell the salesperson why you did
not like it, and show him or her your QuickProfile
Sheet. Why not enlist their help in
selecting the right camera for you? Now
that you understand better what you are
looking for, there should be no reason that
you allow yourself to be pressured into
buying something you do not really want
or need, right?
Sometimes, when we have decided we want
a digital camera, we start feverishly reading,
comparing, and then feel the incredible
pressure (that we put upon ourselves) to
make a decision -- and a purchase. Digital
cameras are still relatively expensive compared
to their film-based cousins, so take your
time. Don't feel that you just have to rush
into a decision. This is especially true
when new digital cameras are being announced
(it happens at least once a year). Do not
believe all you read in some photography
magazines: they are basically ads in disguise.
Read our editors' personal perpectives here,
read the detailed reviews we've provided
links to, lurk in digital camera forums
to get a feel about the cameras you might
be interested in. And, do be patient and
wait for the new digital cameras. We are
not advocating that you keep waiting forever
(some people will do everything to an extreme
;o)) but that you make an informed relaxed
decision. Read the next section about
having the right perspective.
At this point, some of you may still
doubt yourself and have the following Question
[with a big Q] at the back of your mind:
Am I making the right purchase decision?
You will probably not find the perfect digital
camera that answers all of your requirements.
You can wait and wait and wait -- or you
can determine what are the most important
requirements and buy the digital camera
that meet those really well.
I am reproducing, with his permission, a
novice (circa 2002) digital photographer's
perspective that I believe every beginner
should have. Here is what Ron Major
wrote to help another beginner take the
fateful Buy step:
[beginner], as a brother novice in digital
photography (I bought my first digital
camera in March ), I thought I'd
give you the benefit of my limited experience.
First, relax! You're going to find that
digital photography is a heck of a lot
of fun. I've probably taken as many photos
in the past 8 months as I did in the past
5 years. We were on a 10 day vacation
a few months ago and I wound up taking
about 250 pictures (and kept about 100).
As everyone has said, any of the cameras
you're considering will produce excellent
I would also suggest that you give some
serious thought as to how you want to
use the camera. If it will primarily be
used for your business and hauled around
in the car, then any of your choices would
be great cameras. However, it you plan
to also use it for recreation (family
events, trips, parties, etc), then I would
also suggest that you consider the size
and convenience of the camera. (You can't
get those great pictures if you don't
have the camera with you). After a lot
of research, I bought the Canon S30 which
is a relatively small camera and I have
been very pleased with its performance.
Admitedly, it won't stack up to the Canon
G3 or the Sony-717 in the photo gallery,
but we took it to Glacier National Park
in September and got some spectacular
pictures. I was able to carry the camera
in my hiking short's pocket so I had it
with me at all times. Sony, Canon, Olympus,
etc. make some excellent smaller cameras
that sell in the $500 - $600 price range.
When you first get into digital photography,
you'll find that there's much more to
learn than just how to operate the camera.
There's all these strange things like
digital photo manipulation, file compression,
color saturation, white balance, etc.
These cameras will allow you to learn
all of these skills and most of them have
aperture priority, shutter priority, etc.
so you still have a lot [of] creative
In my younger days, I subscribed to the
theory that you should always buy as much
as you can afford, but with technology
advancing so rapidly in this area, I think
that you can get an excellent camera for
about half of what you will spend for
the G3 or F717 and then upgrade in three
years to take advantage of all the new
technology which is sure to come. By that
time, you will be much more skilled in
digital photography and ready to utilize
the state of the art features.
another perspective, Ron
hope this article has been helpful to you.
Whichever digital camera you end up buying,
we hope you derive great joy from using
it for many years.
give us your feedback
on this article.