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Digital cameras are now available for both professional photographers and amateur enthusiasts. The more expensive professional cameras function as sophisticated 35-millimeter cameras but record the picture information as pixels, or digital dots of color (see Computer Graphics).

There can be several million pixels in a high-resolution, full-color digital photograph. Some digital cameras are able to transfer their large picture files directly into a computer for storage. Others accept a disc or similar portable storage unit to achieve the same purpose. The original high-resolution image can later be reproduced in ink (in a magazine, for example) or as a conventional silver halide print.

Digital cameras aimed at the amateur photography market function much as point-and-shoot cameras do, with automatic focus, automatic exposure, and built-in electronic flash. Pictures from these cameras contain fewer pixels than those from a more expensive camera and are therefore not as sharp. After taking pictures, the user can connect the camera directly to a television set or video cassette recorder, so the whole family can look at snapshots together. Alternatively, image files can be transferred to a home computer, stored on disks, or sent to friends via electronic mail.

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