Digital cameras cost more out of the box than regular cameras, but offer the convenience of immediate viewing, multiple image storage, computer connectivity - and there's no film to develop.
Things You'll Need
Digital Camera Memory Cards
Buy the camera with the highest resolution you can afford, at least 2 to 3 megapixels (2 million to 3 million pixels), if possible.
Look for a 100 percent glass lens as opposed to a plastic one.
Buy a camera with as much RAM as you can afford. More RAM means the camera can store more pictures, so you won't need to download or erase them as often.
Expect zoom to be the feature you will use most. Compare optical, as opposed to digital, zoom capabilities.
Compare flash modes, if any.
Investigate viewfinders: Look for an optical (through-the-lens) viewfinder as well as an LCD display.
Consider autofocus and macro features, shutter-release lag times, and bundled software.
Compare additional features you might want: interchangeable lenses, steady-shot, burst mode, auto exposure, automatic white balance, voice memo, variable shutter speeds, manual focus and self-timer.
Compare removable media of various types (if you need more storage space for your photos).
Investigate batteries, chargers and battery-saving features.
Look for additional features you might need, such as USB or IEEE 1394 (FireWire) connectivity (to connect the camera to the appropriate port on your computer), a battery-time-remaining indicator, an AC adapter or video-out connections for outputting to a television.