Resolution myth More is NOT necessarily better when it comes to digital cameras. Many think the more megapixels a camera can pack into its images, the better the product, but nothing could be further from the truth. Resolution is simply the amount of data (pixels) saved in the picture file or the size of an image that can be printed or displayed - not how good the picture will appear. Evaluate digital cameras by looking at how well all its features work together - from the type of lens to how the image is processed and stored as a file. Power question Digital cameras are notorious for high battery usage, so choose one with rechargeable batteries. Then invest in a quick charger to shrink recharging time to about one hour. In general there are two types of rechargeable batteries: lithium ion and nickel hydride. Lithium ion batteries are smaller, recharge faster and last longer. However, they tend to wear out sooner, are generally more expensive and are proprietary or camera-specific. Nickel hydride batteries are comparatively less expensive and widely available. The most commonly used size is double A, and its most common power rating is 1600 milliamp hours (mAh). Try to avoid nickel cadmium rechargeable batteries. They may be inexpensive but they progressively lose their ability to hold power. Speed matters You will probably be frustrated if your camera takes longer than four seconds to boot up or longer than six seconds to let you shoot again. Make sure you are happy with the speed of your camera. Optical vs Digital zoom There is a huge difference between optical and digital zoom. Optically zoomed images enlarge the picture without sacrificing quality. Digital zoom is a software function that involves cropping and magnifying an image, leading to poorer quality. Always check the optical zoom capabilities when buying digital cameras. Compensating vision If you wear spectacles, ensure your camera has a focusable diopter in the optical viewfinder. This allows you to adjust the focus of the viewfinder so you can see your subject clearly. Hidden costs When comparing costs, calculate the extra you need to fork out for components that are not included, such as rechargeable batteries, an AC adapter and a larger memory card. You'll be surprised by the difference these additions can make.