what's all this mean for the consumer? there's never been a better time to get swept away in the tidal wave of pixels. the technology exists, and no matter what level of photography you're at, prices have dropped and enjoyment is on the rise.
but before the fun begins, let's consider your expectations. will you be taking snapshots, e-mailing the results, and printing glossy regular-size prints; or will you focus on more advanced creations such as landscape, travel, sports, or wildlife photos that might require a certain amount of digital manipulation in a photo-imaging program?
answering those questions will help you answer these: which camera should you buy? and, what do you do with the captured images? bottom line is you'll want a camera that's going to meet your criteria, and then some.
zoom in here are two good rules to know: choose a camera based on optical, rather than digital, zoom capabilities. and, the number of megapixels equals resolution equals picture-size quality. a 2-megapixel camera, such as the nikon 2200, can be had for less than $200 and is just fine for e-mailing and printing acceptable 4 x 6 prints. if you want a bit more latitude in creativity - the ability to crop and print frameable 8 x 10s - consider the 3- or 4-megapixel point-and-shooters like the new canon a75 or popular a80,