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How to Choose the Right Digital Camera

Make no mistake about it, the state of cellphone camera technology right now is insane.

In fact, it’s fair to say that the premium digital cameras which we saw on sale ten years ago would have a hard time keeping up with something like the Google Pixel XL or Samsung Galaxy S8‘s image-taking capabilities. However, serious photographers will most likely want to invest in something a little more capable. Whether you’re just looking for a point and shoot model, or you want to go full-SLR, today we’re going to walk you through a few types of camera and help you to decide which is best for you.

Standard Compact Cameras

The first thing you need to do is decide why you need a camera. If you’re just looking for a way to capture better images from your day-to-day life, consider something like a standard compact camera. The majority of these cost less than $300, feature lithium-ion batteries, LCD screens, substantial zooming capabilities, and some of them even have handy Wi-Fi connectivity features so you don’t need to back up using a PC.

Likewise, a lot of them present the user with auto-intelligence features, meaning that they’ll automatically adjust their settings to provide you with the best image possible. Something like the Sony Cyber-Shot range, or the Canon IXUS line tend to fall into the decent entry-level standard compact camera range, while providing a variety of options depending on your own specific needs.

Enthusiast Models

If you’re wanting to find a camera with the same form factor as the standard compacts, but would like to achieve something a little closer to SLR-like quality, then opting for an enthusiast model is probably a wise choice. In low-light environments, they’ll struggle to produce that same kind of sharpness, but in any other case—so long as there’s a somewhat decent source of light—you’ll likely be stunned by the output of them.

Additionally, budding photographers will be pleased to know that these units provide a more affordable way to record in the RAW format. You can also, in some cases, attach proprietary accessories as well, such as viewfinders and flash guns. However, compatibility largely depends on the camera itself.

Something like the Canon G9X will set you back somewhere between $400 and $600; this will vary depending on which retailer you go to, and which options you decide to purchase alongside the camera. However, it’s a fantastic model, having received a five-star rating from ExpertReviews, and seven out of 10 from Trusted Reviews.

DSLR Cameras

While the term “DSLR” is thrown around a lot these days, no one can blame you for not knowing what that actually means. While they did—at one time—rule the roost in terms of image quality, Digital Single-Lens Reflex models have largely been caught-up with. However, they do offer some enticing options for photography enthusiasts, not least of which is their superior quality with lenses and peripherals; the vast majority of viewfinders, additional lights, wide-angle lenses, macro lenses, and even microphones are going to work with any major-brand DSLR you pick up.

You can also expect HD video-recording capabilities to be built into the vast majority of DSLRs now available on the market, while their APS-C sensors provide them with a much-better reach than their smaller-bodied counterparts (like the above-mentioned Compact or Enthusiast Models).

In fact, full-frame cameras such as the Canon EOS 6D and Nikon D610 both offer semi-affordable ways to start taking some stunning images. With each model costing around $1,400 and $1,200 respectively (depending largely on where you look), newbie photo-bugs can now start improving their portfolios without needing to make too large an investment.

These are just a few of the options that you can consider when investing in a new digital camera. While some of them may seem to have a hefty price-tag, it’s worth remembering that you’ll get what you pay for here. Serious photographers who want to start picking up work should really start off by capturing professional-looking shots to begin attracting prospective clients. However, hobbyists will likely find very little to complain about with the lower-end models mentioned in the earlier sections of the post.

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Tips for Lowering the Cost of Homeowner’s Insurance

Following a few Tips for Lowering the Cost of Homeowner’s Insurance can save you a bundle of money

Owning real estate property is something nearly everyone aspires to. That being said, being swamped under with homeowner’s insurance is something everyone can do without. While you can always talk to your local insurance agent to see what can be done about lowering your rates, there’s even more you can do to save on your insurance while still enjoying quality coverage.

Take Steps to Protect Your Home

Anything you can do to protect your home from intruders, fire, earthquakes, water damage and the like is sure to help lower the cost of your insurance. This is because a well-reinforced home is less likely to suffer damage, which means you’re less likely to have to file a claim later on down the road. While you might balk at the initial investment of making such improvements, you’re sure to appreciate how much you save in your insurance costs over the years, and there’s also the fact you can rest easy knowing your home is well-protected.

Shop Around

While you might be happy with your current insurance provider, that doesn’t mean you can’t shop around. If it’s possible for you to get the same coverage with a lower price tag by switching providers, take the leap. You might hate to part with your current agent or company, but you also probably hate parting with your hard-earned cash when you don’t have to. Right? Before you change providers, see if your current home insurance company can do anything to lower the price of your premiums without compromising your coverage.

Raise Your Deductible

Increasing your deductible is another way to better save on the overall cost of your homeowner’s policy. Know that it’s possible to lower your premium cost by as much as 25 percent if you’re willing to raise your deductible to $1,000. No matter what your deductible might be, make sure you always have quick and easy access to that amount should you ever have to file a claim. Even better, put the money in an interest-bearing account so it works for you.

Ask About Discounts

Simply asking for a discount is another way to save money on coverage for your home. If you’ve been with your insurance company for a while, you might be eligible for savings. You might also be able to bundle policies if you also need auto insurance or the like. If you’ve never filed a claim, or if it’s been several years since you’ve filed a claim, you might qualify for a discount.

Review Your Policy

Have you had your homeowner’s policy for a while? If so, your coverage needs might have changed in recent years, which means you might not need the same type or policy or need to pay the same price for your premiums. Sit down with your agent to talk about your life and lifestyle. A single conversation can reveal you have coverage on your current policy you don’t need to pay for.

Think Before You Make a Claim

In the event you have to make a claim, think before you reach out to your agent. This is because making a claim can potentially drive up your premiums, and there’s also the fact your insurance company might view you as a policyholder who’s more trouble than you’re worth if you have a history of filing a claim for an issue you can easily take care of on your own. You might not like having to take care of the cost on your own, but it’s better than developing a bad reputation in the insurance world.

Paying home insurance is a necessity, but paying more than necessary for it most certainly isn’t. Let these tips guide you to getting the coverage you and your home deserve without an inflated price you don’t need.

5 ways to protect your children while you’re away

As a parent, you probably spend a lot of time worrying about your children’s safety. That feeling is amplified when you’re away on business or working. It’s never easy leaving a child unsupervised. In fact, depending on their age it could also be illegal to leave them alone or unattended.

However, if your kids are old enough to spend a few hours alone at home but young enough to be at some risk, you need to take certain precautions before you leave them. Here are five ways you can protect your kids while you’re away:

  1. Install surveillance

Surveillance cameras could be your best bet to monitor the house and make sure your children are safe. Try to get an integrated system that hooks up to the internet and lets you livestream video while you’re away. Also, inform your alarm company about the hours you’ll be away so that they can be more alert. Leave signs and posters around the house to advertise your security. This is probably the best way to deter burglars and keep your kids safe.

  1. Create an illusion

Another great way to keep your kids safe is to create the illusion that you’re at home. Leave some of the lights on and keep a pile of unopened mail out the front door. You can even invest in timers that schedule turning lamps on and off. Attackers won’t target a house if they think the whole family is at home.

  1. Keep It Off Social Media

A surefire way to put your kids at risk is to broadcast your location on social media. If you’re travelling or working, keep it off social media so that no one knows your kids are unattended. Nearly eight out of ten burglars use social media to figure out your location before planning an attack.

  1. Trust a friend

If you’ve got a friend who lives close by, get them to check on your kids regularly. You can even ask a neighbour to drop in from time to time. Perhaps the best way to keep your kids safe is to hire a professional babysitter while you’re away.

  1. Train Your Kids

Teach your kids all the basics of being safe while you’re not around. Speak to them openly about the risks and make sure they know the dangers of talking to strangers or leaving the house without permission. Give them a spare pair of keys if you think they can handle it. Get them to check on the electricals and gas stoves. Make sure they have all the emergency contact numbers they might need.

It’s never easy leaving your kids unattended. Sometimes, it’s unavoidable. Make sure you’ve taken all the necessary precautions if you have to step out for a few hours or more.