The higher the optical zoom number, the closer in
you will be able to focus and shoot a subject. Optical
zooms can range from 3x up to 24x.
Fast shutter speeds (high numbers) are advantageous
if you are shooting quick moving objects, such as
sports, birds, etc. An example of a high speed would
be 1/2000th of a second.
High ISO settings are typically used when you are
taking photos in dimly lit or dark situations. Here
is where the quality of the camera is important.
Just because a camera offers a very high ISO setting
does not mean that the image captured will be noise-free.
Noise is tiny specs that appear in a photo. If this
is important to you (taking pictures in dark areas),
be sure to buy a camera that produces quality photos
even at high ISO settings.
If you like things to be very automatic, be sure
the camera you are considering has lots of Scene
Modes, where you can set the camera to just shoot,
for example, Sports. The camera makes the correct
This is the viewing screen on the camera. Generally
they will range from 2 to 3 inches in size...the
larger, the better. Some cameras offer this with
or without an electronic viewfinder, which is the
small opening you look through when framing a shot.
Automatic flashes usually work for a specific distance.
If you are shooting in situations where you will
need to use the flash, check out the flash distance
of the camera to make sure it will work well for