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Camera Categories: Affordable, Mid-Priced, and Expensive

Digital Camera MegaPixel Resolution Every camera has a sensor which places an upper limit on just how much fine detail the camera can capture. The sensors (CDD or CMOS), consist of a matrix of photosensitive cells manufactured on a silicon chip. The smaller and the more closely spaced the photosensors, the better the ability to resolve fine detail. The design and the type of sensor, along with quality of the camera lens, sets the upper limit on fine detail which is usually termed image resolution. Other factors such as sensitivity, noise, design of the image processing software, and image compression, play an important role in determining the "quality" of the final image. These days cameras boast of 2, 3, 4, 5 or even 6 MegaPixel sensors. While higher megapixel ratings do not guaranteee higher image quality, they do set the upper limit on the overall performance of the entire digital camera system. Please keep in mind that megapixel resolution alone, does not tell the entire story. A particular camera with a lower megapixel seonsor may in fact produce a noticably higher quality image than another camera with a higher megapixel count. The amount of "visual noise" varies from one camera design to another and may depend not only on the type of image sensor (CCD vs CMOS) but a host of other factors as already mentioned above.

One indisputable piece of advice is this: Don't bother with a camera that has less than 2 MegaPixel sensors, but do consider cameras with 2 Megapixel sensors.

Affordable Cost and Excellent Quality

A number of 2 MegaPixel cameras have excellent 1600x1200 resolution, but may lack sophisticated camera controls. In other words you have no choice of aperture, exposure timing, or special settings for portrait, low light, or fast moving sports events. If you do not need these more "sophisticated features" outstanding cameras in this category are:

Fuji 2600

Fuji Finepix 2600 costs less than $300 with the following specs:
Effective CCD Sensor pixels: 2.0Mb 1600x1200 pixels recorded
Optical Zoom: 3X (F3.5-F8.7)
Viewfinder: Optical (80% display)
LCD Display: 1.8" LCD display
Storage Media: SmartMedia (maximum 128Mb)
Image File format & Size: 166 pictures in Fine mode (lowest JPEG compression)
319 pictures in Normal mode (medium JPEG compression) with the optional 128Mb SmartMedia card -highly recommended
Focal Range: 2.6ft to infinity
Close Up: Macro mode 3.9in to 2.6ft
White Balance: Auto & Manual mode
Exposure: 64 zone TTL, Program AE w exp compensation in Manual mode

Package includes:
Fuji Finepix 2600 digital camera
16Mb 3.3v SmartMedia card
Battery Recharger, 2 NiMh 1700ma rechargeable batteries
Handstrap & USB cable
Software CD (for Windows 98x, Me, 2000, XP or Mac)

Recommended Optional Accessories:
128Mb SmartMedia storage card ( under $90) just erase after unloading pictures
USB Card Reader (dual media recommended, under $40)
Spare 1800ma NiMh AA batteries (under $20 for a set of 4)

Click on the bowl of nuts below, for a larger sample taken w Fuji 2600 Fuji 2600 samp thumb

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