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Digital cameras capture images that can be processed repeatedly without loss of image quality.  In contrast to film cameras, they provide instant feedback as well as non-fading and precisely reproducible images.  You can view your photos on an LCD display screen before and after you shoot them.  Furthermore, you can save them in, or delete them from, reusable digital memory, without wasting film.  Information about each photo can be displayed on the camera LCD as well, including shooting data such as date, time, and aperture, or histograms showing tonal values.  A broad selection of digital camera options is available to both amateur and professional photographers.

Entry Level Cameras

Entry-level, point-and-shoot cameras are usually compact, simple to operate, and reasonably priced.  Basic digital cameras can capture and store compressed images, and display them on an LCD screen.  Compared to more expensive models, they have inexpensive lenses and less zoom capabilities, as well as lower sensor resolutions and fewer image-processing options.

Mid-range Cameras

Mid-range cameras are somewhat more expensive, but they offer better resolution, and the lenses are of better quality and have more range.  There are usually more processing options and each manufacturer tends to have its own design traits concerning LCD placement, lens style, etc.  These cameras frequently offer manual shooting modes, and they can produce professional images at affordable prices.

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Digital SLR Cameras

Digital SLR (single lens reflex) cameras have see-through lenses like film SLR cameras, but they also include imaging chips.  They offer SLR flexibility and digital imaging in a single package, but they are heavier and more bulky than entry and mid-range cameras.  Digital SLRs appeal to existing SLR users as well as those wishing to move up to a digital camera with this technology.  The digital SLR camera body is expensive, but current film SLR users can continue to use old lenses that are tailored for specific uses.  These cameras offer extra features such as a "hot shoe" for an external flash, more creative control options, and larger image sensors.  Care is needed when changing SLR camera lenses so that their exposed chips are carefully protected from the elements.

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