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Simple Answers to Digital Camera Questions
How many of you out there love snapping digital photos? Are you satisfied with the digital photos that you take or do you feel that something is lacking?
If you fall into the lacking category maybe I can make most of you feel better by pointing out that the digital camera you use could be the problem
- What kind of action or lack of action are you most likely to photograph?
- Is most of your photography likely to be indoors or outdoors?
- How far away will your subject be?
- Will you want to crop?
- Will you want to carry your digital camera with you at all times?
- Do you long to take video that can be shared with all?
Action shots are best taken with a camera with a fast shutter speed. Huh? Don’t worry this is not that complicated.
The shutter is the part of a camera that allows light in. Lag time between when the shutter opens and when it closes determines whether action shots are blurry or not. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you have to have a big expensive professional camera to accomplish action shots. There are some compact digital cameras that have a faster shutter speed than the professional SLR cameras. It is best if you can manually adjust the shutter speed.
TIP: If your camera does not have manual controls you can overcome some blurring buy pre-focusing by pushing the button part of the way down – waiting for the shot – and then press the button the rest of the way down.
Light is all important to taking a great digital photo. The ISO setting measures how much light is allowed into the sensor. When the light is inadequate the digital photo will have noise in it. Sounds strange I know, but, noise means that it will look grainy. A lower ISO setting will result in a photo with less noise and a higher ISO setting will result in more noise. It is best if the digital camera has a manual ISO setting.
TIP: Use a tripod when the light is low. It is important to keep the camera as still as possible.
Zoom settings let you adjust the visual distance between the subject and your camera. The focal length can be the same between a digital zoom and an optical zoom but the optical zoom will be the one giving you the actual details of the picture. If you have the choice, choose an optical zoom.
TIP: If possible buy a camera with both digital and optical zoom capabilities. The larger the optical zooms “number” the better.
Cropping is a way to cut out the parts of the photo that you do not want or need. As you crop the subject is brought more front and center. Going back to the zoom options – you will get a much better cropped photo from an optical zoom. Remember that the optical zoom retains more of the pictures information (pixels) so it does not have to fill in the blanks with guessed color and clarity.
TIP: Subjects do not always need to be centered in the photo.
Portability is a concern to anyone that wants to be able to grab their camera at a moments notice to catch the next great shot. Compact point and shoot cameras are great to carry in a purse or small bag. Often they do not have the high end features available on an SLR but the line between the two are beginning to blur.
TIP: Determine the features that are most important to you and shop for those features. The right camera will reveal itself if you keep those features in mind.
Video is more important to more people than ever before. YouTube, Yahoo and other online sites lets anyone to upload personal videos for everyone to see. It is no longer necessary to carry around the big, bulky video camera to catch the kid’s birthday party or vacation fun. A cell phone, a point and shoot camera and now even some SLR cameras have a video function.
TIP: The length of video is determined by the amount of memory that the recording device has. Extend the video length by adding a high SpeedSD memory card.
You probably noticed that I did not mention megapixels. No special reason for that. There is no need to get hung up on the number of megapixels a digital camera has or does not have. If you want to print poster or life size prints from your digital photography then you need a high megapixel digital camera. For example a 5 megapixel digital camera typically produces a pretty good looking 8x10 printed photo.
I hope that is information clears up a few issues that you may be having with your digital camera. Maybe you want to buy a new digital camera for yourself or for someone else but needed better questions to ask the salesperson.
I enjoy taking digital photos and I have a few compact digital cameras. One takes really good close up pictures – like details on a coin. One takes great video and the other sports a 4X optical zoom. Sometimes one digital camera is not enough.