Digital cameras record images as an electronic file rather than on a chemical film, and these files are then downloaded onto some form of electronic box for further developments. The pictures you take with a digital camera have the advantage of being easier to display on your computer, easier to call up in a word processor to use for newsletters and similar projects, easier to send by e-mail, easier to post on a web site, and easier to print on a color printer.

Notice the repetition of the word "easier?" This is the key to this option. You have instant pictures, with no wait for developing, and it's FREE. You don't have to wait six months to finally finish a roll of film and then have it developed; you can download 10 pictures or 100. Some cameras even have an LDD display on the back of the camera that shows you what the picture looks like right away. If you don't like the picture or it didn't work out as you planned, just delete it on the spot and try again. There are also several weirdo functions like "image enlargement without zoom lens," "mini-zoom to 2 or 4 times magnification," and "auto light meter" that add to the ease of use of the unit.

Here's the catch: a digital camera is still a lot more expensive than a compact 35mm camera, but you will never have to pay to have film developed again, so imagine the savings there. So a major factor in your choice will be the frequency with which you take pictures. Note also that digital cameras are a new technology and were prohibitively expensive a few years ago. The price continues to drop, so it might be wise to wait a few years.

    SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW take great photographs?