A rechargeable digital camera can save you quite a bit on the cost of batteries over its lifetime, especially if you take a significant amount of pictures. Choosing the best one depends on how you plan to use your camera. If you are just looking for an easy camera that allows you to point, click, and capture a memory, you can choose a lower priced consumer-grade camera. If you want to take professional photos, you’ll need something a little more high-end.
The majority of rechargeable digital cameras come with a lithium-ion battery. These lightweight batteries are such a popular choice because they hold a charge longer than other types of rechargeable batteries. You can generally charge your camera by connected a power cord directly to the camera and plugging it into a wall outlet or your computer’s universal serial bus (USB) port.
When choosing your rechargeable digital camera, consider how much you are willing to spend and why you need the camera. Simple “point and shoot” consumer-grade cameras are the least expensive, and require very little prior photography knowledge. They often have several different preset functions to allow you to take pictures in a variety of lighting and situations without having to adjust the settings manually.
A "prosumer" rechargeable digital camera — named for a term that combines "professional" with "consumer" — offers similar easy to use features as the consumer-grade cameras, but also allows you to finely tune settings on your own. Typically, you can remove the lens and replace it with another one for different effects. These cameras also allow you to use the on-board flash or add your own flash for better lighting. Prosumer cameras range from several hundred dollars and up.
If you plan to take photos as part of your job and want something that gives you complete control over every function, a professional rechargeable digital camera may be the best choice. Although these cameras can be extremely expensive, they typically offer more features and take higher quality photos if used by someone with knowledge. Keep in mind that extra lenses and accessories are not included in the original price and can become costly.
Zoom features vary by camera, and if you plan to use it a lot you may want a camera with optical zoom rather than digital zoom. In optical zoom, the lens itself emerges further from its base to perform the zooming. With digital zoom, the camera simply magnifies the image. Think of it as the difference between using a telescope to view the moon versus using a magnifying glass. Optical zoom produces a higher level of clarity in most cases.
Keep in mind that when you use a rechargeable digital camera, you should keep a charged back-up battery on hand if you plan to use it frequently. If you only have one battery and it runs out of charge in the middle of a major event, it can take hours to recharge and you may end up missing quite a few photo opportunities. The lithium-ion batteries typically hold most of their charge for up to a month without use.