The basis for choosing a digital camera will eventually come down to what you really want and what you can or are willing to pay for it. The price today is not as limiting as it used to be just a few years ago when the good cameras cost thousands. Now, great cameras are available to everyone. The choice these days is among three main types: superzoom, compact and DSLR.
The entry level for most people these days is rightly called the compact digital camera. The name implies a small camera designed to be carried and used anywhere. The compact digital cameras are completely autonomous and are usually sold ready to go with the battery charger manual, software and training. You might have to buy a memory card, but as all these factors have reduced significantly in price in recent years.
A fully automatic operation coupled with an integrated zoom lens will do what most people need a camera for these days and do it very well. Compact digital cameras are also easily carried in a pocket or purse. As each year passes, they become smaller and more powerful. Five years ago, a decent compact would have a pixel rate of about 4 to 6 mega pixels, while today they are all 10 to 14 mega pixels. A point to consider is that as they get smaller, they become less easy to maintain when taking pictures. Always try to use both hands, regardless of their size.
These days almost all compact cameras will provide a video recording function, allowing you to record video clips with sound. The higher-end ones are expensive but tends to allow the more serious photographer a lot of control on the manual operation of the device.
Next in line come the superzoom models. As the name suggests, these cameras have much longer zoom lenses. They tend to be similar to DSLR cameras in a sense that their makeup is more like a compact camera. One of the fundamental problems is that they have an image sensor which is a very small compact design that results in lower image quality in a DSLR. However, they offer more manual control over settings such as aperture and shutter speed. They are a stepping stone between compact and DSLR cameras. They are great professional cameras for photography.
The digital SLR is the best professional camera to get. It lets you take the best pictures, use its automatic settings or use the manual functions that come with it. The main difference; though, is that a DSLR has interchangeable lenses. This allows you to choose the best lens for the job. It is the goal that finally gives an advantage over the compact DSLR with its larger image sensors. It produces images of better quality, with more tonal variation and less noise. It has a better autofocus system too. It also uses larger batteries allowing it to take hundreds of shots before needing to be recharged. If you are frustrated with the quality of your pictures, then a DSLR is the camera for you.