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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.

By Amanda C. Kooser

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Film is so last-century. Photo processing is so passé. Whywait one hour when you can have instant gratification? The rest ofyour business moves at Pentium speeds-and so should yourphotography undertakings. Digital cameras have shifted away frombeing interesting gadgets and become business essentials for manyentrepreneurs. If you haven't taken the digital dive yet, nowis a good time. If you were an early adopter, the technology hasimproved enough that you may want to upgrade.

The first decision when choosing a digital camera is 2, 3 or 4megapixels. The maximum megapixels a camera is capable of indicatesthe highest quality image resolution it can achieve. Highermegapixels 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 outinto the world of brochures and high-quality images, 3 megapixelsis enticing and suitable for most applications. Expect to pay inthe $500 range.

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