Adding Up the Cost of Digital Cameras, Hardware, and Software

Digital cameras vary greatly in price, depending on the kind and quality of camera you buy. Hardware you use with your digital camera — such as a memory card — factors into your digital photography costs, as well as software you use to work with your images. Here are the various costs of going digital:

  • Cameras: Digital cameras range from inexpensive point-and-shoot models for casual users to $1,500-and-up models that offer high-end photography controls (see this figure). You can get a bare-bones camera (with low resolution and few features) for less than $40.

    Expect to spend $70 and up for a camera that can generate quality prints and includes the features you want.

    A Nikon digital SLR, or high-end, camera (left) along with a selection of more basic, and less expe
    A Nikon digital SLR, or high-end, camera (left) along with a selection of more basic, and less expensive, digital cameras by various manufacturers.
  • Memory cards: You can buy 2 GB memory card for about $30. And you can reuse memory cards as many times as you want.

  • Computer: If you don’t already have a computer that can allow you to view, store, edit, and print your images, expect to spend at least $400 on one.

  • Printer: Printer costs range from about $80 to $700, but you don’t need to buy at the high end of that spectrum to get good print quality. Higher-priced models do offer faster output and additional features.

  • Software: You need to get image-editing software if you want to edit your digital photos, which can range from $x to $x.

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