The ability to magnify your subject for close-ups, or pull back for wide shots. Most current cameras include a variable optical zoom lens.
A camera's CCD consists of millions of pixels, each one building up a tiny charge of electricity in response to the light it "sees." The more pixels a CCD has, the higher its resolution.
The effective pixel count is the the number of pixels that are actually used when a picture is taken, because some pixels on a CCD don't get used for picture information. Effective pixel count is a more accurate way to assess a camera's capacity.
LCD Screen Size
The LCD display's size, measured diagonally, in inches.
Most cameras these days can shoot detailed, high-def video in addition to still photos.