Changing to Digital photography strips the pain out of photography in several ways: No film means no mess and less expense. No lenses equals no clutter, and once you get used to using a digital camera, digital photography can even help you take better photos. . Took a photograph you didn’t like? A digital camera lets you review the shot on an LCD screen on the back of the camera right after you snapped it, and delete it.
Are you looking for a fun little camera to take pictures of family celebrations and get togethers? Or, are you more interested in developing your photography skills and becoming proficient at photo shooting and editing? No matter what your photography goal, you want good, clear pictures and a camera that is easy to use.
The four basic styles of digital camera are:
1) Ultra-compact- about the size of a credit card, and fits easily into the front pocket of your jeans.
2) Sub-compact- will fit easily into a shirt pocket.
3) Point and Shoot-normal size camera with more features, and needs a camera bag.
4) Single Lens Reflex (SLR) – high quality camera. It has the look and feel of a 35 mm, with a detachable lens.
Digital cameras give you photos that are extremely portable. You can download your shots to a computer to email or edit with programs like Adobe’s PhotoShop, print them out, or create slideshows – all without having to drop off film and pay for developing it. Some digital cameras even let you shoot quick videos.
Nowadays, even PDAs, cell phones and watches have entered the world of digital photography. Below we’ll talk about the fundamentals of how digital photography works. This will be important when choosing a camera.
A digital image, or photo, is made up of millions of tiny dots. The number of pixels determines the quality – also called the resolution – of the image. With digital photography, when you click the camera’s button, a computer chip called the “charge couple device” (CCD) inside the camera instantly records the location, color, and brightness of each pixel. Put all those pixels together and you have the photograph!
Resolution is an important factor when buying a camera. Higher resolutions cost more, but also result in images that can be enlarged digitally without losing quality. When shopping for a ‘point and shoot’ digital camera to use for fun look for cameras with a resolution between three to five mega pixels will let you print nice quality 4” x 6” up to 8” x 10” prints.
The decision about what type of battery your camera takes is an important one. Alkaline AA batteries don’t hold a charge as long as lithium batteries do, particularly if you are using your flash. However, the ability to purchase AA batteries anywhere can be important, especially if you travel.
Lithium batteries last a long time, but they are expensive to replace. Nickel Cadmium batteries are rechargeable. You must fully discharge them prior to recharging, or you will get very poor performance. Another type of rechargeable battery is the Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH). They come in all standard sizes, and last about 400 charges. These are probably your best buy. Lion (Lithium Ion) batteries last about twice as long as the others do, and are usually purchased as an ‘extra’. They are newer, not available in all sizes, and not as widely available as the others are.
Another important consideration for digital photography is the size of the memory card in the camera. The memory card is what stores your photo inside the camera – think of it as the camera’s hard drive. Digital images of high quality take up a lot of space. You can fit more low-resolution than high-resolution shots on to a single card.
You can carry multiple memory cards, but who wants to line up that perfect shot and realize the camera has suddenly run out of room? If your camera shoots between three to five mega pixels, a memory card with 128 MB to 512 MB should keep you shooting until your fingers get tired.
Some other great features to consider before deciding on your new camera include size and weight. A heavier camera is easier to hold steady, a lighter camera is easier to store and carry. Some cameras offer a multiple exposure option that will let you take a preset number of exposures when you press the button. A self-timer will allow you to automatically shoot a picture after a preset period. The remote control option will let you operate the camera from a distance. Other options include date and time indicators that stamp the image, and display the information when viewing the picture through the camera or software, and sound recording, which lets you add captions to your photos.
Most cameras come bundled with software that allows you to edit your photos. The type of software varies with each camera, and it should be a consideration when buying the camera.
There is no such thing as the ultimate camera. You have to consider your photography goals, your budget and your experience level to determine what camera options will be the best for you.