Digital Cams -- Still Pricey, But Convenient & Fun

First it was watches, then photography is going digital too.  Much the same as the broadcast industry that relied first on film, then videotape, and finally digital videotape.   Digital still pictures will not satisfy the film purists, but they sure are fun and convenient.  When you first visit the digital cam section of your favorite store, it looks like you're in familiar territory.   Kodak, Olympus -- but then you get to the Hewlett Packards, memory cards, and Sony....this is not your Daddy's photo store. Digital cameras are part optics, part electronics, and all different than the time-honored routine of exposing film, getting it developed and picking up the prints. This is a whole new paradigm, and it can be expensive. "You can spend anwhere from $100 dollars on an entry-level digital camera, to well, almost as much as you want to spend...easily over $2000 for the top models," says Eric Long, a sales counselor at  Circuit City in Cape Girardeau.  Maybe the most interesting part for new digital cam users is after the digital picture is taken manipulating the picture electronically.  The software to do that usually comes with the purchase of the camera, and ranges from powerful utilities to basic graphics maniuplation. Once you hook up your digital cam to the computer, and download the picture, there's all sorts of touch-up you can do: special-effects, distortions, adjusting the brightness, contrast, color, and much more.  "Oh yeah, you can do all sorts of things, re-sizing, making collages of several pictures, and even removing the red-eye you get with some flash pictures,"  says Long.  Your printed picture is only as good as your printer, not to mention the paper, and other accessories like extra memory cards to hold more pictures.   Getting the camera you want depends on what you'll use it for, but something that captures at least 2 mega-pixels is probably good enough for most situations. Some of the top models even allow you to capture short video clips of 15-20 seconds at fairly high quality.  Need more info?  check out or to comparison shop features and prices.