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With a digital camera, there's no more standing around scanning photos. The downside? No more exciting drives to the fotomat.

This story appears in the December 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Film is so last-century. Photo processing is so passé. Why wait one hour when you can have instant gratification? The rest of your business moves at Pentium speeds-and so should your photography undertakings. Digital cameras have shifted away from being interesting gadgets and become business essentials for many entrepreneurs. If you haven't taken the digital dive yet, now is a good time. If you were an early adopter, the technology has improved enough that you may want to upgrade.

The first decision when choosing a digital camera is 2, 3 or 4 megapixels. The maximum megapixels a camera is capable of indicates the highest quality image resolution it can achieve. Higher megapixels equals higher quality. For low-cal, Web-only graphics, you won't ever need more than a 2 megapixel camera like the $299 (all prices street) Kodak DX3600. When you start branching out into the world of brochures and high-quality images, 3 megapixels is enticing and suitable for most applications. Expect to pay in the $500 range.

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