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Digital Camera Tips:

Is a Digital Camera Extended Warranty a Smart Buy?

An important consideration when you buy a digital camera is whether or not to get an extended warranty.

The answer depends on how expensive your camera is and how you handle it. An extended warranty is kind of like insurance —you hope you'll never need it, but if you do, you're really glad you have it because it can save you a bundle of money.

One good reason to get an extended warranty is that the manufacturer's warranty has limitations. To begin with, it only lasts a few months. Then it only covers faults in the manufacture of the camera. And it won't cover any accidents or damage you might cause the camera.

And the truth is, a digital camera is pretty easy to damage:

- If you accidentally drop it or bang it against something,
it could break.

- If you put it in your purse, the lens or the LCD screen can get scratched.

- If it gets wet from rain or the beach, it may not function.

- If you leave it in a hot car in the summertime, the heat can ruin your camera and your memory card.

The manufacturer's warranty won't cover this type of damage. And it can be very expensive to fix. So it definitely pays to have an extended warranty if something like that happens.

If you're really careful and always use a padded camera bag, the lens cover, and never let your camera get wet or hot, you may not need an extended warranty. Or if you get a basic, inexpensive camera and are planning to upgrade within a year, then there's no point in it.

But if you get an advanced, state-of-the-art model, protecting your investment makes sense. It seems that the more complex the camea, the more prone it is to something expensive going wrong, so it pays to be protected with an extended warranty.

Whether buying an extended warranty for your digital camera is a wise move or a waste of money depends entirely on you and your lifestyle — how often and how hard you use your camera, it's value... and luck (or lack of it).

While that may be a decision that requires thought, this one doesn't — great digital shots require good digital photography technique. And that's the subject of our next lesson —important digital photography techniques you need to know.

Stay tuned...

Rufina James

P.S. Don't forget to sign up for our free Digicam Newsletter. You'll get news, reviews, tips and the latest developments in digital photography in your email every month. Just send a blank email to: digicamnews@masteryourdigitalcamera.com

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