Comparing Digital Cameras

If you are going to buy a digital camera for yourself, to compare different digital cameras is a must for you. It will make your buying simple as well as less time consuming. If you want to know a few basic guidelines for drawing fair comparisons between a plethora of options available in the market, read the article. It will definitely help you make the best deal for you.

There are many factors that make a particular camera better or worse for you. The pixels, optical, memory, camera size, digital zoom and cost of various digital cameras should be compared well before picking any camera. The important task is to put through a sieve all the hype and get the best digital camera suiting your needs.

But before you start comparing the features of different cameras, it is important for you to make certain basic decisions. They are related to identifying your basic needs and prerequisites for the camera. Decide on why you need a digital camera. The purpose should be well-defined. Ask yourself, is it for taking candid snapshots or for serious photography. If you are buying the camera for clicking pictures for an exhibition or a photo website, the criterion of purchase will definitely change. There are different sizes of models that include compact, miniature and big size cameras. Be clear about the size you need to buy.

Then you may start comparing the specific features of the digital camera. You can compare the quantity and quality of the pixel. The more the pixels in the camera, the clearer and quality pictures it would produce. The pixels are nothing but tiny squares of color and light. Thus to get the best camera, you should have the best pixel quality. The sensor of the camera can be called as its eye. Generally, the digital cameras with larger sensors have better quality diodes, which result in sharp and clear pictures.

You should also compare the digital camera on the grounds of its memory. All the digital photographs require the storage capacity of several megabytes. You should compare the capacity of built-in memory of the digital camera. You should certainly go for the one with more battery capacity. A general guidance principle is to have a battery with at least 256 to 512MB of memory. It is important to check the memory compatibility while comparing the digital cameras.

You can also compare the SLR digital camera with compact digital camera. There are many features that you may find in a compact digital camera but not in the SLR digital camera. It can also be vice versa.

The SLR cameras are big cameras, efficient in producing clear, sharp and quite colourful images. While the compact cameras are very small in size and can be slipped in to your jeans pocket quite comfortably. They may not compete well with the SLR digital cameras when you compare their features. But, their size is the feature, which is the major attraction for purchase to many users. When you would compare the working and results of both of these cameras, you can decide as to which one suits the best to your needs.

There are more features that should be compared before buying a digital camera. Optical zoom is much better than digital zoom. Compare the speed of the shutter, time taken to start up, the level of manual override and how instant is the auto focus of the camera.

SVP Digital Camera Review

Don’t expect professional results with this camera, but you’ll be surprisingly pleased with the versatility this little compact outfit provides. With all the features you’d expect to find in popular brand ‘point and shoot’ cameras, this compact system will easily fit into your BCD pocket. The specifications are listed after our review comments. Since the factory marketing brochure supplied these, we cannot confirm or dispute them.

First of all, before using this camera… view the enclosed DVD instruction manual provided with the camera. There are many features and settings that you’ll need to know before you get out on the water to use your camera system. We’ve used many different brands and all seem to have some logical settings and some not-so-logical procedures. Like most ‘point and shoot’ cameras, there is a delay between pushing on the shutter and having the actual shutter operation. After you become familiar with the operation of the camera and the features you’re ready for the underwater part.

Like any housing, you need to keep the housing clean and free from sand or grit that could create a leak. Since the main seal is not really an o’ring, I was very careful to clean the surfaces with a cotton tip (Qtip) and apply some o’ring grease to the surface as well as a thin film on the seal itself. The seal is sort of a wedge shape, so it should provide a good positive pressure seal. The clean part is more for all the little control buttons that allow you to change settings of the camera underwater. We’ll get into the best settings we found when using the camera underwater.

When they say the housing is good to 15 meters or around 33 feet, they are not lying. Not that we were trying to flood the housing or anything, but at 60 feet the camera is not operational because the pressure is squeezing the controls and shuts the camera off. At 40 feet, you might get the camera to work, but don’t count on changing the settings. At 35 feet the camera seems to work fine with all the features and settings operational. For many divers, this will be too limiting because most of your dives will be deeper than 35 feet. However, keep in mind that the red/yellow/orange end of the spectrum is filtered out beyond this depth too.

The camera and housing combination are well matched and easy to operate. With the clear plastic housing, you can easily see the settings on the camera. Like most digital displays certain angles are more difficult to see, but with the proper shading and angle everything is visible on the 2 inch screen. Even though you can change the lens focal length from wide angle to zoom, we kept the setting on wide angle for the dives during the whole process because of the water. Keep this in mind for all underwater photography; stay close to your subject and use the widest angle possible for better results.

For the still shots, the camera was set for the strobe to fire with each shot. This uses up your batteries faster, but if the subject is closer than 8 feet, you’ll have better imaging and color. The best results were our macro shots where we set the camera for ‘close-up’ and used the flash. When using the movie mode, you’ll be impressed with the sharpness of the images, but don’t expect high quality audio. The housing must absorb a lot of the sound as much of the underwater audio is muted. More than likely, you’ll edit with some musical background anyway.

The color balance was a little off. We did change the settings according to the instructions and the results were that the color balance was a little on the blue side for topside shots. This was not an issue for the underwater shots as the greenish tint of the water was eliminated. Most of the color balance issues can be handled in the editing phase.

The claim of being 12.0 mega pixels is a little deceiving because this is the ‘hardware interpolation’ not the ‘image resolution’ which is 5.0 mega pixels. All in all, we were not disappointed in the quality results of the better pictures. However, some of the shots showed camera shake even with the built in flash. This means that the shutter does adjust for the amount of light, so it’s important to squeeze the cameral and hold it as still as possible.

We used an 8 GB SD card because we expected to take a lot of video and had ample memory space for two dives. We didn’t use the provided USB cable because we use a card reader to our laptop and then back up the memory to a portable hard drive. The power source uses two triple A Alkaline Batteries, so it’s not a problem having new batteries for each dive. We didn’t use the ‘voice recorder’ feature, but from our underwater video experience, it would not be recommended inside the underwater housing.

Now for the bottom line advice on this gear: If you plan to take your underwater imaging seriously, save your money for a more comprehensive system. This could be the perfect outfit for a sport diver that wants to share their diving experience with their friends and family. For less than $100 (prices range from $70-100), not including your SD Memory card or batteries, it is a value. The SVP cameras are available at some dive shops and are directly marketed from several importers online. The next “point and shoot” underwater outfits, without an external strobe, will most likely cost over $500. So, if you are going on vacation and thinking about having your own digital camera outfit for shallow water, this is the answer. Of course, for around $35 at most diving centers you could rent a camera with everything included. Sometimes the choice is not easy, but you can know a lot more from someone who has tested the SVP out. It is a great still and video camera outfit for around the water and underwater to about 35 feet.