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The camera

Compact cameras

Easy to carry and more likely to be there when you need it, a good quality compact camera is fine for general shots around Luxor.

Low-cost film compact cameras can have rather poor lenses, so the quality of the photo is unlikely to satisfy the discerning. These cameras also generally have very limited, if any, zoom (magnification) so many subjects will appear rather small in the overall photo. See also the other page for more discussion about film v digital. Many people would only choose a film compact camera if budget was a major consideration.

Compact digital camera

Compact digital camera

Compact digital cameras have come a long way in recent years. Once, they were extremely expensive and the results were poor. By contrast, most newer compact digital cameras have a respectable zoom range and high resolution. A resolution of 4 megapixels or more will be fine and will give you a good image on the computer as well as a good print up to about 12 inches by 10 inches. Nowadays, cameras that take pictures much bigger than 4 megapixels are common.

Cheaper digital compact cameras, just like film compact cameras, can have poor lenses and some of them do not handle colours very well. Independent comparisons in the photographic media are usually able to demonstrate the shortcomings of cameras that appear to offer high resolutions (a lot of megapixels) for a 'bargain' price.

In summary, it is best to look out for a brand name that is respected, the highest resolution (number of megapixels) and the widest zoom range that is reasonable, bearing in mind the other pressures on your budget.


Comparing prices

There are several web sites that offer discounts on cameras and deliver very quickly. You can also see cameras at local shops, although the number of these is reducing. The most likely to be found is Currys. If you prefer to shop online, you can buy through Currys web site at online prices and collect your purchase from a Currys store. Click the blue writing to go to other photography web sites.

 

SLR Cameras

Digital SLR camera

SLR camera

SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex. The light that comes through the lens is diverted to the eyepiece until the instant a picture is taken. When you press the shutter, the light is diverted to the film or sensor. You therefore see exactly the same picture as the one that gets taken. So there is only one lens, unlike a compact camera, where there are two lenses (one that you see through and one that takes the picture).

An SLR camera is bulkier to carry and heavier, so is less likely to be on hand when the opportunity shot arises out of the blue.

Film and digital SLR cameras are usually of comparable quality. Indeed, many digital cameras are variations of film SLR cameras. Increasingly, however, the manufacturers are curtailing their development of film cameras and concentrating exclusively on digital, so many innovations and quality improvements are to be found only in digital cameras.

The prices of digital SLR cameras has plummeted in recent years. The economy models are now very close to the price of the better compact digital cameras.

The advantage with a SLR camera is that the lens is bigger, is likely to be better, and is changeable. This means that, not only can you zoom (increase magnification), but also you can change the lens for one that magnifies even more. Magnifications of up to 10 times are not uncommon. You can also change the lens for one that does the opposite, and takes a wider picture than you could normally fit in, without having to go too far back from the subject. This is useful in restricted spaces. For more on this, see photo taking tips.


Camera reviews

Web sites such as digital photography review offer independent detailed reviews of digital cameras.


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