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5.31.11   |   View More: PhotoTips

Camera Shopping

Travel (and new babies) seem to be a great excuse to buy a new camera. Recently my Mom decided it was time to upgrade to a new digital SLR camera for a trip to Rome she and my Dad were planning. Of course I was happy to help so off to the camera store we went. After looking at the options and chatting with a very helpful salesperson, my Mom was outfitted with a new DSLR kit. The whole experience was great and, as I gave my Mom a few tips with the new camera, I was surprised how well it worked and with the quality of the images.  
Here are a few tips that you might find helpful if you find yourself in the market for a new camera:  
> Go to a store that specializes in cameras. While big-box stores can be an option, the staff in specialty shops are usually very knowledgeable and very in to photography themselves. Also, don't assume that it will be more expensive at the specialty shop - it's very competitive out there - you may get the best price and excellent advice and follow-up service - pretty good deal! 
> There's a lot of information online so do your homework. For years, I've recommended the site Digital Photography Review. Here you can see hands on reviews for most DSLRs and point and shoot cameras and even compare models side-by-side. You can also 'google' the model of camera you are considering along with the word 'review' and you'll probably get lots of opinions.  
> No matter how good a camera is on paper, what really counts is how it actually works for you in the field. So check the stores return policy - you may have 7-14 days to return your purchase if you are not happy. Just and unpack the camera carefully in case in needs to go back.  
> Camera manuals are your friend. While you don't have to look at them right away, it's not a bad idea to go through the manual several times as you get to know your new camera. There is always something new to learn and technical info like this seems to register better after you've had some hands on time with the camera.  

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