When I purchased my first digital SLR, I looked at the entry level SLR's that were available at that time. I did my novice comparison and made my decision. Now, I am not one to hastily make decisions when it comes to spending large sums of money. So, this must have taken me a couple of months to decide. But the one thing that probably made up my mind, was the megapixel capability of the cameras at that time. As entry level SLR's have evolved, the difference in pixel counts of the various brand is not as vast as it once was.
Like I said, this was a novices' comparison, and today there are even more things that you need to consider before purchasing a camera. The tip, however, that I want to give to you today, is this: maximize pixel count.
Simply put, a pixel is a little dot. And millions of dots make up an image. A megapixel = one million pixels. The mega pixel count of your camera is therefore the measure of how many pixels it can capture in an image.
The more pixels you have in your image, the more information has been captured in it. The more information you have in your image, the clearer and better it looks, and the more you can do with it (editing, enlarging and so forth). That boils down to - the bigger the better.
Have you noticed how you can only enlarge your cellphone photo's up to a certain extent, until the picture loses detail? That is because of a low pixel count.
Set your camera to its highest pixel count capability. Why only capture at a portion of your camera's pixel count? If you have it, use it! Get a bigger memory card if you have to, or download more frequently. But, do not compromise on quality.
I shoot in RAW, which is the file type that captures the most information. I will explain in a later post what RAW is all about as opposed to JPG. If you capture in RAW, however, you will always need to do post processing. It is however worth my while. But more on that at a later occasion.
Keep those questions coming!