The decreasing cost of digital photography equipment and the ability to print, distribute and save images at a minimal expense have made digital cameras indispensable to many businesses.
A small sampling of professionals that can benefit from digital photography includes:
- Realtors: Digital cameras are perfect for photographing houses, apartments and property.
- Artists: Amateur and professional artists can shoot their work for promotional material and email/web distribution.
- Journalists: Instant imagery has become essential for news organizations.
- Tour Guides: Brochures, web sites and other communications material can be brought to life by digital photographs.
- Teachers: Student projects, plays and class photos can be recorded, printed and saved.
- Interior Designers: Decorators and designers can shoot their work to share with clients.
If you are searching for a digital camera for business purposes, keep these factors in mind:
Though many consumers have heard of megapixels, most are not aware of their practical application. For the average business user who is not editing or retouching images, the most immediate impact of having more megapixels is the ability to print larger images with clarity. Assessing your business' imaging needs may eliminate overkill - if you don't need to make prints larger than 8 x 10," or if you'll primarily be emailing and displaying images online, you will find that 2- and 3-megapixel cameras can easily handle your needs. Businesses that require large printed images or photo editing should invest the extra money in a higher resolution model. DCHQ suggests nothing less than a 5-megapixel model, perhaps even 7-megapixels for jobs that require highly-detailed images.
Real estate agents, tour guides, and many other professionals are all on the go and don't want to be burdened with carrying a large camera. There are many outstanding digital cameras that can fit in a shirt pocket or a purse. Some even offer advanced features for businesspeople with the time and inclination to capture the perfect image. Look through the user comments for each camera to see which cameras receive kudos for portability.
If your business needs will keep you outside and away from electrical outlets for prolonged periods of time, then battery life is an important consideration. If you decide to go with a model that uses a proprietary lithium-ion battery, as many cameras now do, you may want to purchase a backup battery from the manufacturer, and keep it fully charged and with you in case you completely expend the power of your primary battery. If your desired camera takes AA batteries, avoid standard alkaline batteries. They drain extremely quickly. The best AA batteries for digital cameras are NiMH rechargeable batteries which, while slightly more expensive, will save you money and frustration in the long run.
There are a few special features that may appeal to business photographers. Real estate professionals or others who need to photograph large areas may appreciate a camera with panoramic stitching function, which can automatically create seamless panoramic pictures from multiple individual shots. Some camera's offer an audio notation features that let the user attach an audio clip to an image, which can be helpful for cataloging large numbers of photos. If you're going to be photographing athletic events, or other fast moving scenes, then a burst shooting mode that rapidly takes multiple pictures could be also be useful.