Digital Cameras Product Guide
Remember photographic film? You can hardly find any these days. Virtually all cameras today don't use film anymore. It's a thing of the past. The concepts of picture albums are also different. Memory cards have replaced film. Where film had a limited number of pictures per roll (12 to 36), a memory card can hold hundreds - even thousands. Film needed to be processed at a lab. You can snap a picture and see the results in less than one second. Pictures use to be still. They still are but you can add a sound clip as well. Most digital cameras can also shoot movies - in standard and widescreen modes - that can be viewed on camera, TV, your computer, and elsewhere.
A remarkable thing that has been developing with the digital camera is the open use of the technology. When they were first introduced, owning a digital camera meant owning and using a computer. That is no longer true. You can create pictures and prints and view them without owning a computer at all. Many devices have built-in memory card readers or direct connections to your camera so no computer is ever required. Some cameras even have wireless communication capabilities to send pictures to cell phones and other wireless compatible display devices. A computer helps if you want to edit your images or place them on Internet sites or share them through email. Most computers are very digital camera friendly. But if you still don't feel comfortable using a PC or Macintosh, you really don't have to use one with a digital camera.
Today, pictures can be viewed on your TV, an MP3 player, your phone, your keychain, and your clock. You can send pictures all over the world in a matter of seconds. You can store them in web files that can be shared with all or just a select group of people. There are even picture frames that hold up to thousands of pictures and display them on an LCD screen. If you think a digital camera requires a computer, it doesn't. While a computer may help you share and edit your pictures, you don't really need one to make prints. Printers can print directly off your memory cards. Images can be quickly transferred directly from you camera to your iPod or other digital media player. Many TV models have card readers so you can view your images on your large-screen TV. Forget about picture albums stored in the closets. Digital Cameras breathe a new sense of life to images.
The digital camera has revolutionized the way we take, process, store, view, and share pictures forever. With digital cameras, taking pictures is a simple process, where you can instantly see pictures you've taken on a built-in LCD screen. You don't even have to look through a tiny viewfinder when taking a picture. You can also preview it on the LCD screen and (on most cameras) these screens are larger than 3 inches diagonal. Images are stored on memory cards that come in different capacities. Most computers have built-in slots to read off these cards. So do printers, many cell phones, even digital picture frames. Email photos to friends and family or post them on the web in an instant. Print them out, hang them up, color them, crop them, print them on a greeting card; the possibilities are endless. So, how do you choose which digital camera to buy? Allow the following guide put together by JR.com to help you find the ideal match.
If you can operate a traditional 35mm camera, then handling a still-picture digital camera should be easy. The main difference between the two is how the pictures are stored and developed. Instead of photos being stored on 35mm film, your digital camera itself, memory cards, or discs (CD, DVD) become the "film". You essentially become the photo developer by then placing your photos onto your computer, where you then can edit then print them onto paper, email them, post them on a website and many other fun and creative options. There are a couple of features to look into while buying a digital camera like resolution of images, what the photos will be saved on, battery life, and how snapshots get from your camera into your computer. All digital cameras are fully automatic - just point and shoot. Many models also include manual and semi-manual modes so you can explore your creativity. Your powers are virtually limitless.
Image quality among higher-end digital cameras has reached professional levels. Photojournalists, commercial, and wedding photographers use them.
Virtually every digital camera model is capable of taking still pictures and videos with or without sound. Many offer widescreen modes so you can view them on your HDTV. With a large screen, a typical digital camera is like having a camcorder and camera in one very compact and lightweight unit. Another important feature, Image Stabilization, has been added to keep your pictures sharp despite normal hand movements.
Resolution and the magic of pixels
Resolution on digital cameras is measured in pixels (picture elements). A pixel is a dot that can transmit dark and light and colors. A combination of how many horizontal and vertical pixels in a photo is what makes up a picture's resolution. For example, a high-definition TV screen has a resolution of 1920x1080. That means that the screen surface has 1,080 rows of 1,920 pixels. More pixels mean higher resolution and better images. As resolutions increase, so does the size of the image file increases. That's why all cameras allows a choice of selectable resolutions. It helps maximize the space on the removable digital memory card used in the camera.
Many cameras that use film capture images as light is refracted from a lens onto specially coated film. Pictures can seem grainy depending on how sensitive the film is (higher sensitivity = higher grain).
As a digital camera does not use film, light is refracted through a lens onto an electronic 'eye' known as a CCD, charged coupling device. This CCD is filled with many light sensors called Pixels. If there are more pixels, the image is clearer and colors are sharper and more defined. Many digital cameras have sensors that have many Megapixels (1 megapixel = 1 million pixels) and can provide images with exceptionally high resolution. In most cases, these sensors often exceed 7 megapixels and can go as high as 25 megapixels.
Unless you're professional or are very critical about images quality, any camera between 7 and 14 megapixels will offer excellent images. Most displays and printers don't deliver resolutions that are anywhere close to the resolutions these digital cameras can capture.
In all digital cameras, the shot photo becomes information that is converted into electronic, digital code that is transmitted directly onto the digital memory card. Almost simultaneously, the image captured on the memory card is also presented on the camera's rear screen. If you like what app-ears, keep the image. Don't like it? You have the option to delete it. Most cameras have user-friendly menus to help you choose what you want to do.
Digital Cameras use memory cards that store pictures as information, somewhat permanently, unless you choose to edit them. You may transfer the images to a computer for storage on a hard-drive or CD (pictures may be enhanced, printed, emailed, or transferred over the Internet once they're in your computer). Once you've transferred all the pictures, you may choose to erase the card and use it all over again. Some people use memory cards over and over while others might keep and file the cards. If you shoot many pictures (especially at high resolutions), we suggest purchasing additional or higher-capacity memory cards.
Memory Cards accommodate different camera brands and models. The type of card you need depends on the digital camera model that you use. The most popular formats are:
- CompactFlash Memory Stick
- Memory Stick Duo
- Memory Stick Duo Pro
- SD (Secure Digital)
- SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity)
- MMC (MultiMedia Card)
- XD PictureCard
Some cameras may also use microSD, a very tiny memory card that's most often used in cellular phones. Most cellular phones have built-in digital camera features.
Of these memory card formats, the SD, particularly the SDHC format, memory card is the most widely used. If you aren't using a computer, many televisions and other non-technical devices are likely to have an SD memory card reader built-in to help you display or print your photos.
Memory cards come with different memory capacities. More memory translates to a higher number of pictures that the card can hold. High resolutions require more memory than lower resolutions. The available memory range among cards is vast. Some may have 1GB capacity (1GB equals 1 billion digital characters) while others go considerably higher.
When considering the purchase of a digital camera, think about the memory card format it uses. The different formats are not necessarily compatible with one another. If you're seeking extremely high storage capacities, you may want cards like Compact Flash, SDHC, or Sony Pro Duo.
The need for getting more memory depends on how many pictures you want available to shoot and the resolution you want to shoot them at. Most people prefer to shoot at the camera's highest possible resolution. If that's the case, you should consider memory cards with larger capacities.
A camera rated at 10 megapixels can generate a maximum resolution of about 3680 × 2770. That's 10.2 megapixels. Depending on colors and whether sound is added, a typical RAW file might be 12MB (1 MB equals 1 million digital characters). That means a 1GB memory card can hold about 80 pictures as 12MB files. If you compress the image file to a JPEG100, the file may be about 2.5MB. That would provide over 4-times capacity but some professionals prefer RAW files for maximum image integrity.
Many digital cameras have a menu selection of file types designating how you want to store your photos on a memory card. RAW files take more memory. A raw file is essentially the data that the camera's chip recorded along with some additional information tagged on. Other files in the menu are JPEG (JPG), GIF, TIFF, PNG, and BMP. These are compressed image files and take less space on your memory card so you can store more images per GB (gigabyte) of space. The ongoing debate is which is better?
Proponents of RAW will say that you're storing the entire image as it was taken and could be edited in a computer later. Proponents of compressed formats believe that the files could be made smaller without any or significant loss of qualities from the original image.
You will often hear the terms "lossy" and "lossless" compression. A lossless compression algorithm discards no information. It looks for more efficient ways to represent an image, while making no compromises in accuracy. In contrast, lossy algorithms accept some degradation in the image in order to achieve smaller file size.
Among the most popular lossless compression formats is JPEG, an acronym for Joint Photographic Experts Group, also sometimes referred as JPG. This system is administered by this group and offers vast adjustability and has issued several revisions over its history. One of the newer JPEG releases is JPEG2000 that uses 'wavelet' technology. Wavelets have demonstrated unique potentials for quality and resolution scalability in still-image coding. The goal is to store image data in as little space as possible in a file. It claims at offering better image compression (up to 20 per cent plus) and can allow an image to be retained without any distortion or loss. Simply sending the first part of such a 'lossless' file to a receiver can result in a lossy version appearing (like present JPEG) - but continuing to transmit the file results in the fidelity getting better and better until the original image is restored.
JPG is optimized for photographs and similar continuous tone images that contain many, many colors. It can achieve astounding compression ratios even while maintaining very high image quality. JPG works by analyzing images and discarding kinds of information that the eye is least likely to notice. It stores information as 24-bit color. The degree of compression of JPG is adjustable. At moderate compression levels of photographic images, it is very difficult for the eye to discern any difference from the original, even at extreme magnification. Compression factors of more than 20 are often quite acceptable. Better graphics programs, such as Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop, let you view the image quality and file size as a function of compression level, so that you can conveniently choose the balance between quality and file size. Apart from the concept of getting more images on a memory card, the average digital camera user really doesn't need to be bogged down with compression nuances. Using a compression format like JPEG means:
Files are smaller and therefore more of them fit on a card.
For many applications image quality is more than sufficient (family or friend snapshots, tour photos, and general unprofessional use).
Small files are more easily transmitted wirelessly and online.
Many digital camera owners may not be interested post-process images on a computer using one of the popular image editing programs (i.e. Photoshop, or iPhoto).
Many cameras cannot shoot quickly when working in raw mode. Some lower-end models can't record raw files at all.
Many photo displays don't have the resolution to match most high-megapixel images. Viewing a 10-megapixel image on an HDTV automatically scales it down to about 1920x1080, the maximum resolution of a 1080p display. Most notebook and desktop computer displays have even lower resolutions. Most digital picture frame have resolutions up to 1024x768. A typical cellphone display might be 320x240.
So in the "real" unprofessional world, creating high-megapixel, uncompressed files seems a little futile. On the other hand, a raw file is comparable to the image contained in an exposed piece of film. It holds exactly what the imaging chip recorded. Nothing more. This means that the photographer is able to extract the maximum possible image quality. If print and display resolutions improve over time, the raw file may be easier to match-up to the new technologies.
Another cool thing is that no rule may apply to all images. Some images may be shot as JPEG while others may be shot as RAW. Ultimately, the choice is yours.
High quality pictures require many megapixels. That translates into lots of data; files of memory. Larger files mean that it takes longer for images to appear unless, of course, the processing speed changes. This is handled (at least two ways) by memory card manufacturers and by digital camera manufacturers. models that accept SD format cards may also accept MMC cards.
Memory cards have speed ratings - What's the amount of memory that this card process in a given second? Cards are rated by speed using a number followed by an "x" (i.e. 1x, 2x, 4x). The "x" equals a speed of 150,000 bits of information per second. A typical memory card is rated at 4x (up to 600,000 bits of information per second. Some memory cards are rated at speeds over 60x (9,000,000 bits of information per second).
For many users, this is a relatively minor matter. You need not ache to consider whether you've got the fastest possible memory card for your camera. Each digital camera model has a built-in image processor tuned to the camera's megapixel rating. This helps deliver virtually any image to the camera's screen in less than 1 second. Just make sure, when you buy memory cards, that you're buying a card that is compatible for use with your camera.
When it comes to batteries, there's little choice when choosing a camera. Each camera uses a battery as a power source and, in most cases, batteries are not compatible across manufacturers or even within the same manufacturer.
Batteries power all digital cameras and most of these cameras use a great deal of power, especially in high resolution and motion modes. Many digital cameras use AA size batteries while some others may use a dedicated rechargeable battery pack. In some instances, an AC adapter is available (included or optional). When traveling or if you're expecting a lot of use that day, it is often recommended that you take an extra battery supply with you.
Some people prefer cameras that use a dedicated rechargeable pack. This internal battery has been specifically designed for this use and usually supplies more power than AA alkaline batteries. Though these batteries may be available at most camera and electronics stores, they may not be available in certain fringe areas. It's a factor to consider when traveling.
AA batteries, however, are very common and can be easily found virtually anywhere on this planet. If you do a lot of traveling, getting a camera that has the ability to use AA batteries may be the wiser choice. Alkaline batteries, though powerful, may only be used once, will be used rather quickly and you may need to keep a supply of them with you. Several manufacturers make AA rechargeable batteries and external chargers. These may be used over and over so carrying a supply of rechargeable batteries (and a charger) is advised. In case of an emergency, you can always find and use AA alkaline batteries at a nearby convenience store.
While cameras that use AA batteries are a wise consideration when hopping around the globe, those cameras that us AA battery power tend to be larger than those models that use dedicated batteries. When a manufacturer designs a camera for a small size and lightweight, the type of battery is inherent to the design. Often the battery may be dedicated to that specific camera or that specific series of cameras.
Evaluate how many pictures you can take with a battery between charges. If you don't plan on shooting more than 100 pictures between recharging, most batteries should meet your needs. If your aiming to shoot hundreds of pictures between charges, then you should find a camera that offers more pictures between charges or purchase additional batteries - and keep them fully charged.
A crucial consideration is that the number of pictures that can be taken between charges may vary depending:
- If your viewing screen is bright or dim
- If you use your screen when taking pictures
- If you do a lot of previewing and reviewing on your screen
Use of the LCD screen, especially if it's a large one, may alter the rated number of images you may capture between battery charges.
If you have a camera with an internal memory, after taking your photos, the camera will indicate that the memory is full. Then you would need a wire (usually included when you purchase your camera) to connect your camera to your computer via a USB or other compatible port. Some cameras save photos onto flash or media cards. The cards come out of the camera and fit into an adapter that then fits into a portable hard drive. If you have a computer handy, you can transfer images directly into its drive or to your Internet file account.
Virtually all inkjet and photo printers, as well as digital cameras, available on the market are PictBridge compatible and this is a very simple way to transfer and print your pictures. PictBridge is a standardized technology that allows printing images from a memory card in a digital camera directly to a printer. The technology completely bypasses the need for a computer. The other compatible device automatically recognizes each PictBridge device. The camera compares its PictBridge functions to the functions of the printer. The camera then displays the supported functions on menus on the LCD screen or in the viewfinder. All you need do is connect camera to printer via USB transfer cable.
A Card Reader is a cable that is primarily used to transfer the content of a memory card into a computer or other compatible device. Essentially, on one side of the cable is a slot or series of slots that may be compatible to one or several formats of memory card types. The other end is a USB connect plug. While card reader cables are still popular, card reading/writing functions are now built-in to many electronic devices. There are also printers, televisions, and media players made with a built-in card reader. Just insert the card, press a button, and the unit prints or displays images stored on the card. Please determine compatibility with your memory card format when purchasing a device with a card reader.
Most, if not all, digital cameras come with an electronic-flash feature. On some cameras you have the option of turning the flash off, or leaving it on automatic.
These flashes have several modes. One popular one is a pre-flash indicator. This is designed to help reduce something known as a "red-eye" effect. Red-Eye Effect refers to the way in which a subject's eyes or pupils tend to turn red in certain pictures. Red eye will appear in pictures if the camera's flash hits eye's retina or if the subject's iris doesn't have enough time to sufficiently contract.
One way to control how frequently you might need a flash for a picture is to adjust the ISO setting.
ISO stands for International Standards Organization. In digital photography, ISO refers to the camera's sensitivity to light.
When cameras used film, the ISO number referred to the film's light sensitivity. A low number meant low sensitivity and a higher number meant higher sensitivity. With film, higher sensitivity influences the overall image since the light-sensitive particles had to be larger. That contributed to an image's grainy appearance. Commercial photographers generally used low sensitive film for finer images.
In digital cameras with ISO controls or menu selections, you can adjust the ISO rating per image. If you normally shoot pictures outside at about ISO 100 and then want to take a picture indoors without using a flash (to avoid glare or prevent distracting other people), you may raise the ISO setting to 400. This advises your camera's automatic exposure system that light sensitivity is now over 4-times higher than before. That allows it to modify the shutter-speed and aperture (lens opening) to the new light sensitivity. This allows taking a picture indoors, without a flash, using only available light.
All but few digital cameras come with zoom lenses. This means that one lens can change visual perspective from wide to normal to telephoto. A landscape picture might be shot at wide to get capture most of the image's width. A pack of wolves roaming in Yellowstone Park might require a long telephoto image so you can take that picture from a safe distance. When this range of focal lengths is done through a camera lens, it's called optical zoom.
The range of a zoom lens is determined by an "X" factor. X equals the lowest focal setting (usually measured in millimeters or mm). Many digital cameras might have a lowest focal setting at about 7mm. If the focal range of a lens is 7x, then the lens's range is from 7mm to 49mm. That is a wide to telephoto zoom range.
Usually, zoom ranges are compared to those that were made by a 35mm film SLR camera. That's because a 35mm film SLR is considered a standard measuring stick. The length of the lens of any 35mm SLR had to coordinate to a fixed standard to deliver an image onto film.
Digital cameras have yet to develop a standard so the focal lengths can vary. Sensors are placed in different distances from the lens, usually to accommodate the design and size of the camera. So on one camera a 7mm length might have a 30mm equivalent to a 35mm SLR. On another camera, 7mm might be closer to a 40mm equivalent to a 35mm SLR. As digital camera standards develop, those comparisons are likely to become obscure.
Most digital cameras come with a 3x zoom lens. These are generally called compact cameras. There are larger cameras that appear more squarish. These models can have up to 16x zoom lenses.
Once considered a major feature, many camera manufacturers hardly mention it. Digital zoom is not really zooming with a lens. It's an electronic simulation of what optical zoom might be. It enlarges a portion of the viewed image, thus 'simulating' optical zoom. In other words, the camera crops a portion of the image and then enlarges it back to size. The end result is compromised image quality. In a sense, it's less zoom and more image scaling.
Many cameras have digital zoom ranges up to about 5x. Here 'x' equals the original viewed image.
Macro or Close-Up
What if you wanted to take a photo of a flower, pebble, insect, or coin, from a really close distance, so the object fills your image? You can with your digital camera. Nearly every digital camera has a close-up mode.
One of the most common pratfalls of photography is blurry images that result from normal hand movements while taking a picture. Sometimes the mere push of the picture-taking button can shift the camera slightly ajar. Image stabilization (IS) is an electronic way to increase the stability of an image. There are several methods. Whether it's called optical image satabilizer or vibration reduction, the goal is similar. There are essentially two competing techniques at arriving to a stable image. One is optical - used as a compensation through the lens. The other is digital - a framing program from within the camera. Both have their benefits. Some cameras are now offering dual image stabilization to help assure that images are free of blur that result from hand movements
With the exception of digital SLR cameras, most digital cameras have done away with viewfinders to allow space for larger LCD screens. That's why there are some tiny little cameras that have screens in excess of 3 inches diagonally.
Many digital cameras come with some form of image editing software that may be installed into your computer. Once you've transferred the pictures from your digital camera to your computer, this software allows you to crop, color, and add text to them. There are also utilities to help organize and file them on discs or hard drives. It's like having a professional photo studio of your very own! Cameras usually come with limited edition or promotional software.
For professional or serious users, more sophisticated imaging software like Adobe Photoshop is purchased as an option. There are many other software packages available for everyday situations. A scaled down version of Adobe Photoshop (Photoshop Elements) offers many features to help you edit, enhance, and organize your images.
Most cameras include editing software. Google offers Picasa as a free photo storage and display application. There are also image enhancement features built into Windows and Macintosh operating systems. We recommend using Adobe Photoshop because there are many Photoshop guidebooks available that help you discover and use available features.
Some people believe that digital cameras require the use of a computer. That isn't true. It's possible to print images without using a computer.
Using a computer is actually more as a tool for convenience, organization, and sharing. Computers are really used for transferring images from the camera (or its memory card) for storage. Software may be used to enhance and organize images. Internet sites may be accessed to share and send images.
Most cameras usually work with both PCs and Macs, but it's a good idea to check upon purchase of your camera. In many instances, the software included with the camera might only be Windows compatible. The camera might likely work with a Macintosh if it were used with a Mac photo editing and enhancement software package.
Printing or Displaying Your Photos
All digital cameras have connecting ports (i.e. USB) that allow transfer of memory directly to a PC or Macintosh computer. You may also remove the memory card from your camera and transfer images to a computer using a (optional) card reader. Once the images are stored in your computer (using software that is usually supplied with your camera), your pictures may be printed using any color or photo-grade inkjet printer. When a printer and camera are both PictBridge compatible, a computer really isn't necessary. Many printers now have slots to fit your camera's memory cards. Some even have screens and some editing features so you can view the image prior to printing.
Almost every inkjet printer has the ability to print color photos. Many printers have multiple color cartridges for outstanding accuracy and depth. Printing a photo is often much slower than printing a page of text. Lots of ink is used and the paper must be thicker to absorb and deliver a bright image. With a standard computer printer, you might be able to make photo business cards and go all the way up to the maximum size of the printer's ability. Photo printing paper is available in many different sizes and textures. You can print large images based on how large sheets your printer can handle.
Some printers are dedicated to photo printing. Most deliver photos of 4x6 or 5x7 inches. Almost all of these are PictBridge compatible. They are generally a little faster and more efficient at printing photos than a typical computer printer. Some are smaller and extremely portable. While a percentage of these also use inkjet technology, some use a method called dye sublimation or heat-transfer. This method is a smaller, more economical version of expensive printers used by professional, commercial photographers, where color depth and acuity are crucial.
Dye Sublimation is a printing process that uses heat to transfer dye to a medium such as a plastic card, printer paper, poster paper, or fabric. The process is usually to lay one color at a time using a ribbon that has color panels. Each sheet has its own corresponding film. When printing concludes the film is removed and a very professional looking print appears.
Displaying and Sharing Photos and Movies in Other Ways
In addition to still photos, many digital cameras allow motion to be recorded. Still and motion images may be displayed on the Internet and through email. Some cameras or computers may have ports that allow display on ordinary televisions. Many televisions and media players offer ports for transferring images directly.
There are several popular Internet sites where you can deposit your images. Some are for all to see while some sites allow restricted access capabilities. Some are free while some require a minimal charge, based on capacity. Popular ones are "flikr" for stills and YouTube for videos. Many search engines under AOL, Yahoo, and Google have their own. Some multimedia software, such as Nero, offer an image publishing site as well.
Seeking something more personal? Consider a digital picture frame.
The Digital Picture Frame
The Digital Picture Frame is probably the most revolutionary product for the digital camera user. It replaces the photo album. Resembling a picture frame, this has an LCD screen - usually 5-inch to 15-inch diagonal. Most have slots that accept direct input from your camera's memory cards. Virtually all have USB connections. With various memory capacities, you can store hundreds to thousand of pictures on them. You can organize slideshows. Some have speakers for synchronizing music.
Many models also integrate clock and alarm functions. It's a perfect nightstand accessory. It's also a great gift for a relative and friend.
Your Computer As An Imaging Lab
A great advantage of transferring images to a computer is the use of software to edit and enhance your images. You can adjust tones and even add special effects and characters. Some allow you to create and organize photo albums. On special occasions and holidays, you can create greeting cards using stored photos. What you can do is only limited by your creativity.
Image enhancement software lets you apply touchups and effects to your photos. You can even overlay images and insert new characteristics. You can apply filter effects if you didn't use a filter in the first place. Prices range from as low as $30 to as high as over $600. The leading professional application is Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop Elements is a bestselling application for general use.
Types of Cameras
Cameras come in two particular styles. Compacts or Point-&-Shoots make up most of the camera models. Optically these cameras have built-in lenses. The majority have zoom ranges from 3x to 20x or higher. The SLR tends to be larger and heavier. Its main difference is the ability to change lenses.
Compact cameras aim at general-purpose photography. While compacts and SLR cameras have point-&-shoot modes, the compacts have a wider range of features to assure that pictures are sharp. In some cases, you may find compacts that are water resistant up to ranges of 30 feet. Compacts also have movie modes, many compatible with widescreen TV. Most SLR cameras do not have movie modes.
Digital Compact Cameras
Most digital cameras are compact. They are often referred as Point-&-Shoot cameras because exposure and focus are automatic. They weigh about 5 ounces with battery and memory card. Many are less than 1-inch thin. Most of these have a 3x to 5x optical zoom range. LCD screen sizes can range from about 2 inches to nearly 4 inches diagonally. Advanced models may also offer a menu of specific automatic modes and, among those, there are manual modes for exploring your creativity. Virtually all of these camera models offer the ability to capture stills and movies, with sound. Point-&-Shoot cameras are perfect for general use and touring. They are designed for simple use and offer many features to provide great images from a variety of situations.
Another class of cameras is thicker, slightly heavier, and more square in size. These cameras have similar features but offer optical zoom capabilities of over 10x. The zoom capabilities are amazing. Some models have 20x or over. As an example, a 20x zoom lens can deliver a (35mm equivalent) focal length of 24mm to 480mm. This encompasses Ultrawide-angle for landscapes all the way to telephoto where you can view a bird on a tree branch from 500 feet away. Some models that offer zoom ranges of 10x may actually be as small as most point-&-shoot cameras.
Digital SLR Cameras
The SLR was the last to join the digital camera market but is now extremely popular. It retains the ability to change lenses and many have open architecture for a wide variety of lighting equipment. Although the through-the-lens viewfinder is still available, many cameras already include a 3-inch LCD screen. Critical and demanding photographers use the SLR. This has been the most difficult camera to make the transition to digital. It tries to maintain its traditional feel while film was entirely absent. For a while, sensor placement was an issue regarding some forms of photography. At this point, all manufacturers have corrected sensor placement and the digital SLR (or DSLR) remains a strong contender in the marketplace.
The digital camera has basically replaced the use of film for about 90% of photo applications. It's expected that it will replace 100% within a few years. In a sense, the digital camera is the only type of camera available.
Storage cards have replaced film. A typical storage card can hold hundreds of pictures. Images need no lab processing and are available for view on your camera's display immediately.
All cameras are designed and engineered with features that assure absolute simplicity for taking excellent pictures. No experience is required.
Digital cameras do not require the use of a computer. A computer is more a matter of convenience - for organization and enhancement of images. It is also capable of placing images on the Internet for sharing and mailing.
Most printers can print pictures directly off memory cards. Digital Picture Frames let you view images in many types of ways. In addition, images may also be viewed on most HDTV models. You can take movies as well as prints with the same camera.
Glossary for Digital Cameras
Usually associated with cameras, Point-&-Shoot means that the camera is fully automatic (or has automatic modes) so you can just lift the camera, point it and click. Taking a picture is that easy. In most cases, the camera will automatically focus and automatically set the optimal exposure. It will also automatically advance film to the next picture and will automatically rewind the film when it reaches the end of the roll. These cameras almost always have a built-in electronic flash that also may have automatic operation modes
Did you find this guide useful or have something to add?
comments powered by Disqus