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2010.09.11

Neocamera now features a digital camera finder which can search for features and specifications among current models of digital cameras. The Camera Finder comes in two versions: By Features and By Specifications. Both versions let you specify what you want and find every camera that satisfies those needs and more. The difference between the two is that By Specifications lets users express their needs much more precisely, while By Features finds cameras with needs in more general terms. Basically, any icon introduced in the Digital Camera Buying Guide or the DSLR Buying Guide can be used as search criteria.

The By Features Camera Finder lets users quickly find cameras which correspond to certain photographic needs. A minimum resolution of images is chosen in terms of megapixels which updates a hint regarding the maximum size for high-quality prints. Minimum video resolution can be specified in terms of Low, High (Standard Definition) and HD (High Definition). The camera size is also considered a photographic need and users can choose from Ultra-Compact all the way to SLR. For broad requirements such as Night Photography or AA Batteries, simply click on the corresponding icon. A tooltip explains each item as it is chosen. The importance here is knowing what you want in terms of photographic needs and we do the rest. There are certainly other ways to search, such as digital cameras from Very.co.uk which, after navigating to the digital camera section, presents a choice of category and brands first.

Neocamera’s By Specifications Camera Finder is designed for users who are looking for certain minimum specifications. Of course, Category search and feature icons are available there too. The additional power comes from the 36 criteria which can be specified. As always, the system is designed to find all the cameras that satisfy those needs as a minimum or maximum requirement where it makes sense. Think in terms of needs. If you need 12 megapixels for the print sizes you want, then a camera with more megapixels will do as well. The same thing would be true of Maximum ISO and Longest Focal-Length for example. On the wide-angle side, it makes sense to include cameras that are wider too. 36 criteria is a lot but we did have to leave some less common things behind, like a dual-screen option such as on the samsung 12m pixel digital camera pl150. Each camera has up to 156 pieces of data in the Neocamera database back-end but a form that long would surely be intimidating, plus some fields are sparsely populated because the information was not always available.

Two things usually occur while searching for digital cameras. Either the user asks for too much, and no camera is found, or not enough requirements are chosen that dozens or hundreds of cameras match the criteria. The digital camera search features on Neocamera offer solutions to both these issues. If more than one criteria is chosen, the Expand Search box appears. It tells how many cameras were found and shows all the chosen criteria. Simply click on a criteria and the search will be done without that criteria, usually showing more cameras as a result. For example, search for Ultra-Zoom, Hot-Shoe and AA batteries finds 3 cameras. Removing the Hot-Shoe icon from the Expand Search box brings that number to 18.

When at least two cameras are found, the Refine Results box appears showing the set of features which are different among these cameras. It lets users be very picky to narrow their results all the way down to one camera model. For example, if the found cameras do not all have the same megapixels count, users may see, under the heading Megapixels, values such as 10 (2) and 12 (1). This signifies that there are two cameras in the results with 10 megapixels and one with 12. Clicking any of these narrows the results to only include the matching cameras. Since the refinement criteria are always chosen from the results, it will never let a user end up with empty results. This time matches are exact, so clicking on 10 under megapixels only shows cameras with 10 megapixels. For criteria where there are too many potential values, options are grouped in ranges.

That’s it! In a couple of clicks you can search among current cameras for specific photographic needs. Some places would call it search but we like to think of this as the finding tool. Get started >>>

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