A digital camera stores images digitally rather than recording them on film. Once a picture has been taken, it can be downloaded to a computer system, and then manipulated with a graphics program and printed.
Unlike film photographs, which have an almost infinite resolution, digital photos are limited by the amount of memory in the camera, the optical resolution of the digitizing mechanism, and, finally, by the resolution of the final output device. Even the best digital cameras connected to the best printers cannot produce film-quality photos. However, if the final output device is a laser printer, it doesn’t really matter whether you take a real photo and then scan it, or take a digital photo. In both cases, the image must eventually be reduced to the resolution of the printer.
The big advantage of digital cameras is that making photos is both inexpensive and fast because there is no film processing. Interestingly, one of the biggest boosters of digital photography is Kodak, the largest producer of film. Kodak developed the Kodak PhotoCD format, which has become the de facto standard for storing digital photographs.
Most digital cameras use CCDs to capture images, though some of the newer less expensive cameras use CMOS chips instead.