Purchasing tips to buy a digital camera

So many models, so many choices -- how many pixels do you need? Which type of lens is the best? Is optical zoom better than digital? Stacy Genovese of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute suggests that most people only need a simple point and shoot camera, not the more expensive digital SLR. You'll also want to pay attention to the number of megapixels.

"If you do lots of crafts or you want to make big poster-size images, then you need a lot of megapixels on your camera. If you're just printing out regular sizes for your home, even an 11 by 17, you don't really need more than 10 or 12 megapixels," said Genovese.

The type of zoom you have is also important. Look for cameras that have optical zooms.

"You want to make sure that you have optical zoom and it usually will say it right on the camera. What this means is that the lens itself is zooming in on whatever you want to take the picture of. A digital zoom just means the software is zooming in and like you know when you're looking at pictures on your computer, when you zoom in they get fuzzy, you don't want to ruin your pictures like that," said Genovese.

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