How To Choose A Digital Camera For Beginners




How To Choose A Digital Camera For Beginners




How To Choose A Digital Camera For Beginners (from videojug)

How To Choose A Digital Camera For Beginners

How To Choose A Digital Camera For Beginners. The second part of VideoJug's tutorial on picking the correct digital for a beginner. Expert advice on buying the right digital camera for your wants and needs.


Step 1:

Why digital?

Digital cameras have several advantages over film cameras:
You can see the photos straight away. 
You can save them onto the camera. 
You can adjust them on your computer. 
Your photos can then be printed out, stored on your computer, or shared on the web.

Step 2:

What do you need the camera for?

The broad range of digital cameras on the market today reflects the broad range of needs that digital photography can meet. Are you a point and shooter who needs a broad range of automatic settings? Are you an accomplished photographer who demands complete control from your camera? Or are you someone in between, who wants a camera they can grow with? This film has been made for the novice photographer who wants a fun camera that can take the strain out of good quality pictures.

What to look for:


Step 3:

Comfort & Weight

Pick up the camera and hold it. Does it feel comfortable to hold? Don't buy something too bulky if you want to carry it around in your pocket. There are a good range of compacts available for beginners, so there's no need to settle for something too heavy.

Step 4:

Viewfinder

There are 2 types of viewfinders used on digital cameras. 

You can use a small glass window found at the back of your camera. This is an optical viewfinder. Not all digital cameras have one.

Digital cameras usually have LCD viewfinders. This is a screen that is larger than the optical viewfinder. It makes framing a picture very easy and shows the image after you have taken it. The best LCD's are the ones with highest numbers of pixels, as this means the image you see more closely resembles the image you've captured.

LCD screens are difficult to use in bright sunshine and can drain a set of batteries - so look for a camera with both an optical and LCD viewfinder.

Step 5:

Resolution

Digital images are made up of a grid of dots which each contain the information for that part of the picture. These dots are pixels. The more pixels, the sharper the image. 

A megapixel is one million pixels. The current range is from 1.3 megapixels to around 22 - and the price rises with the pixels. 

But remember the high end pixel counts only really pay off if you print enlarged pictures and only if the printer you use can cope with that much information.

Step 6:

Lens

Get a good optical zoom lens. It will allow you to go in much closer and give your photo more detail. 

Watch out for 'digital zooms' as they only crop the picture and blow up the remainder. As there are now less pixels in the picture, the quality suffers.

Step 7:

Camera Modes

There are some conditions which make it difficult for a camera to capture a good image on its normal settings. Almost all of these conditions are to do with light - either too much or too little. A digital camera which has preset camera modes can save you the bother of having to delve into shutter speeds and iris settings to get a better picture.

Common modes include:
"Party" or "night" mode which allows photographs for darker scenes
"Portrait" mode in which the camera attempts to blur the background of a shot to bring the subject out of the picture
"Landscape" in which the camera tries to show detail in background and foreground.
And "Sports" mode in which the camera uses an increased shutter speed to try and freeze moving objects.

Step 8:

Extra Features

In addition to these camera modes, some models include extra features which increase the types of pictures you can take with your camera.

"Movie" or "Video" mode allows a stills camera to take moving video pictures for short lengths of time

"Stitch" mode allows the photographer to combine several shots to create one very wide shot. This is a great function for getting those panoramic views.

Another feature to look out for is a remote control. A remote control will allow the photographer to join the photo while still having control of the moment it's taken.

Step 9:

Flash

For a fun loving point and shooter, a flash is essential to make sure you can see your subject in dark conditions. 

Many modern flashes come with a feature known as red-eye reduction. Red-eye is the name given to the phenomenon when a camera flash is reflected in the retina of someone in a photo. As this unfortunately tends to make your nearest and dearest appear like something out of a horror film, this feature is a good option to look out for.

Step 10:

Autofocus

Autofocus limits the risk of blurring objects and losing detail. Have a go with the camera and see how the autofocus works. 

On some cameras it can take longer to focus as the mechanism is slower - which is annoying if you want to catch a moment. With some models you can press the shutter release button halfway to get the focus ready before you take the shot. Check if the camera you want has this function

Step 11:

Storage

Digital cameras use memory cards to store images. The larger the memory on the card, the more you are likely to spend. Most cameras use Smart Media and Compact Flash memory cards, and these can be bought as an add-on.

Step 12:

Image transfer

Cameras come with a cable to link up to your computer which allows you to transfer the images. This is easy, but there are faster ways of doing it. 

A memory card reader is quicker, as is a flashpath device which lets you plug the memory card into your computer. Be aware that some computers come with memory card reading hardware already built in.

Software

Although images can be viewed on the camera itself, computer software enables you to edit and print your photos. Every camera comes with a software package for your computer. Follow the instructions to install. You may also want to invest in a new printer to print good quality photos at home.







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2 Responses to "How To Choose A Digital Camera For Beginners"

cdason said... September 12, 2008 at 9:45 PM

Good advice... thanks

-=THIS IS MY SITE=- said... September 13, 2008 at 10:06 AM

cdason = you're welcome, glad you find it useful :D

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