Choosing the Right Camera for Your Family
Film vs. Digital
Taking Pictures the Old-Fashioned Way
Everything seems to have gone digital these days, but an old-fashioned 35-millimeter film camera is as good as ever for snapping photo after photo of your pride and joy. Even the most affordable 35 mm cameras come loaded with goof-proof features like red-eye reduction, telephoto capabilities, and even timers so you can include yourself in the photo. Film cameras allow you to indulge in the time-honored tradition of opening an envelope of just-developed photos, exclaiming over each one, and finding shots you’d forgotten you took. You can send the doubles to friends and grandparents and paste the rest into your scrapbook. You can tuck the best ones into your purse for on-the-go bragging. There’s no doubt about it, holding photos in your hand is uniquely satisfying.
For the artistic parent, there are manual cameras for which there are hundreds of different lenses and filters to help you create artfully composed, professional quality shots. Many photo buffs swear by film cameras when it comes to capturing the full spectrum of colors and the nuances of light and shadow. Another unique benefit of film: nothing captures those dimples like black and white photographs.
Some film lovers also find that the quality of film prints is still superior to digital prints. “Film cameras still produce the highest quality images and are the best way to preserve your memories,” says Dave Alter, manager of Hudson Camera Craft in upstate New York. “You can get excellent quality photos with a very reasonably priced camera. Don’t get sucked into buying a pricey camera with lots of features you’ll never have time to learn to use. As long as you can zoom in for close-ups or out for wide-angle shots, you’ll be able to capture what you want.”
Do Your Research
Whether you decide on the convenience of a digital camera or the old-fashioned satisfaction of film, you’ll want to do your research well. Amazon and Yahoo help you create charts to compare cameras based on cost and special features, and you can read product reviews posted by other consumers. You want to be sure that you purchase the right camera for your needs—after all, you’ll spend years using your new camera to capture priceless memories, and preserve family events and fleeting childhood memories forever.
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