Posted by: I Am Raincrystal | March 22, 2012

Digital Camera Terms To Know

digital camera clipartIt helps when learning to use your new digital camera to also know what some of the more common terms mean.  Below you will find many of these common terms defined..

Automatic Mode — A setting that sets the focus, exposure and white-balance automatically.

Burst Mode or Continuous Capture Mode — a series of pictures taken one after another at quickly timed intervals with one press of the shutter button.

Compression — The process of compacting digital data, images and text by deleting selected information.

Digital Zoom — Cropping and magnifying the center part of an image.

JPEG — The predominant format used for image compression in digital cameras

Lag Time — The pause between the time the shutter button is pressed and when the camera actually captures the image

LCD — (Liquid-Crystal Display) is a small screen on a digital camera for viewing images.

Lens — A circular and transparent glass or plastic piece that has the function of collecting light and focusing it on the sensor to capture the image.

Megabyte — (MB) Measures 1024 Kilobytes, and refers to the amount of information in a file, or how much information can be contained on a Memory Card, Hard Drive or Disk.

Pixels — Tiny units of color that make up digital pictures. Pixels also measure digital resolution. One million pixels adds up to one mega-pixel.

RGB — Refers to Red, Green, Blue colors used on computers to create all other colors.

Resolution — Camera resolution describes the number of pixels used to create the image, which determines the amount of detail a camera can capture. The more pixels a camera has, the more detail it can register and the larger the picture can be printed.

Storage Card — The removable storage device which holds images taken with the camera, comparable to film, but much smaller. Also called a digital camera memory card…

Viewfinder — The optical “window” to look through to compose the scene.

White Balance — White balancing adjusts the camera to compensate for the type of light (daylight, fluorescent, incandescent, etc.,) or lighting conditions in the scene so it will look normal to the human eye.

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Posted by: I Am Raincrystal | November 30, 2011

Digital Zoom Versus Optical Zoom

Many digital cameras offer both digital and optical zoom.  These two often confuse the average camera buyer, until you know what you’re looking at.

Optical zoom works much like the zoom lens on a 35 mm film camera. It changes the length of your camera’s lens and draws the subject closer to you.  The optical zoom keeps the quality of the picture. Digital zoom works differently. It simply takes the picture and crops it then enlarges the part that is left.  It causes the quality of the photo to be reduced, sometimes greatly.

What this means in terms of output is you may have a larger view of an object with the digital zoom, but chances are your image will become unfocused.  Details will become lost.  It is actually best to turn off the digital zoom feature of your camera if possible.  This will prevent you automatically zooming in too close as the digital zoom is often an extension of the optical.

There are a couple of things you can do if you want a closer view of a subject but want the quality of your picture to still be good.  Try moving in closer when you take the picture.  Often only a foot or two will do the trick.  If this isn’t possible, you can set your camera to take a picture at its highest file size.  This will result in a photo that can be cropped to include only your desired subject, yet allow for an image that is still clear.

Digital zoom has its place.  It can be used if the only destiny of your photo is the internet.  Photos online can be a much lower quality in the camera and still appear acceptable when sent through e-mail or posted on a web gallery.  If your goal is printing, however, seek a camera that has a greater optical zoom and turn off the digital zoom.  Your pictures will be better in the end, even if they are not as close up.

3x Digital Zoom vs 3x Optical Zoom

Posted by: I Am Raincrystal | October 28, 2011

How Many Mega-Pixels Do I Need?

One of the confusing things in choosing a digital camera is deciding how many mega-pixels you should look for.  The answer depends on what you plan on doing with the finished pictures.

First, you need to understand what a pixel is.  In terms of digital prints, a pixel simply means a dot of color that makes up the image.  A mega-pixel is equal to one million pixels.  The more mega-pixels a camera has, the greater the amount of information it records.

The easiest way to decide what to look for is to know what size prints you are likely to print from your camera.  A one mega-pixel camera is fine for those who don’t plan on printing photos but rather just post them on the internet.  A small print, say 4 x 6, will print acceptably from this camera.

A 2 mega-pixel camera will enable you to produce good quality 5 x 7 prints and fair quality 8 x 10 prints.  When you reach 4 mega-pixels you can print out excellent quality 8 x 10 prints and acceptable 11 x 17 prints and a 5 mega pixel camera will allow you to print out high quality 11 x 17 prints.

Most families find a camera in the 3.2 Mega-pixel range to be the best choice.  The quality of both 5 x 8 and 8 X 10 prints is very good yet the files on your computer are not so large you need worry about not having enough space.

Any camera over 5 mega-pixels is unnecessary for all but professionals in photography; even then, only those who have need for poster-size prints find that many mega-pixels worth the money.  Most freelance photographers find 4 or 5 mega-pixels to be sufficient for excellent-quality prints.

The choice is yours.  Look to what you plan on doing with your photos and then decide.  In most cases spending the money for increased optical zoom and lower mega-pixels is the best choice.

Posted by: I Am Raincrystal | October 25, 2011

Your Digital Camera Owner’s Manual

All cameras come with an owner’s manual, but so few people take the time to read it.  Once they get past the basic operations, they get anxious to go out and try the camera.  Maybe all the new terms are confusing or there seems like too much information to digest.  This is understandable, but by not reading the entire manual, you limit yourself and many cool features of your camera are never used.  Hopefully you will find the following suggestions helpful in getting the most from your digital camera.

After your first overview of the features your camera possesses, decide what you would like to explore the most.  Pick only one special feature.  Read the instructions on what this feature can do and how to use it.  Don’t worry if it isn’t completely clear, that will come in time.

Now the fun part.  Take your camera and start using this special feature.  Try all the different settings within this one feature.  See how your pictures change.  Explore what this feature does.  Don’t stop until you know this feature inside and out  and don’t go onto the next feature until you have fully explored this one.

When you are satisfied you know the in’s and out’s of one special feature, return to the owner’s manual and pick another special feature you would like to learn.  Repeat the above process with this feature, only returning to the manual when you are satisfied you have mastered the new skill.

By working through the owner’s manual in this way, you will find it isn’t so overwhelming.  The hands-on practice of each skill will help you learn it thoroughly.  When you have covered all the cool things your camera will do, go out and enjoy them all.  You will be glad you took the time to become friends with this wonderful creation.

digital camera owner's manual

Posted by: I Am Raincrystal | October 23, 2011

What Is the White Balance Setting on my Digital Camera?

Have you ever taken a picture of a beautiful winter scene and been disappointed to discover the crisp, white snow came out with a bluish tint?  This is the kind of situation your digital camera’s white balance is meant to prevent.

The white balance is a sensor that analyzes the lighting conditions and colors of a scene and adjusts so the white in the picture appears white.  This helps insure the other colors appear as natural as possible. This is one advantage digital photography has over tradition film.  With film, you buy with a certain lighting condition in mind.  If that changes, you need to either change your film or hope you can fix any errors in post-production.

Most digital cameras allow you to use either automatic white balance or choose between several preset conditions such as full sun, cloudy day and so forth.  Automatic white balance will work in most conditions.  There may be times, however when you want to “warm” up a picture to enhance the color, such as for portraits or sunsets.  The best way to do this is  set your camera’s white balance to “cloudy”.  This will deepen the colors and add a glowing quality to portraits.  It will take a beautiful sunset and enhance it to the point of incredible.

Practice taking the same photo with different white balance settings to get a feel for the changes each setting evokes. Keep notes until you have a good idea of what each setting does.  In time, you will come to automatically sense which setting is best for your particular situation.

White balance is a small setting that can make big changes in your finished photos.  Make it your friend and you will no longer have to worry about faded sunsets or blue snow.

white-balance

Posted by: I Am Raincrystal | October 20, 2011

Take Better Pictures With Your Digital Camera

Today’s cameras make taking pictures a lot easier than the ones of yesterday.  There is always room for improvement, however.  Use the following tips to help make your photos go from acceptable to great.

1. Always be aware of the background. You don’t want to find trees growing out of people’s heads or a passing vehicle to draw attention from your subject.  Sometimes moving your subject just a couple steps to either side can make all the difference.

2. Use available light. If your digital camera has an option to turn the flash off and it’s light enough outside to read a book then use the available light and turn the flash off. In general camera flashes are too harsh for human skin and make all of us look pale.  Indoors, where there isn’t enough daylight, place your subject by a window and use your fill flash feature.

3.  Aim your camera slightly down at the person’s face.  Also don’t shoot just face on to the person, try a little to the side, a three quarter view, so that you see more of their face. Remember camera higher looking down and a three quarter view, it will slim your subject.

4.   Remember your focus.  Get closer to your subject. Fill the frame with your subject and there will be no doubt as to what the picture is saying.

5. Never put your subject dead center.  Put your subject just slightly off center; not a lot just a little. When you’re shooting  groups of people, find the imaginary center line of your group and put that line just a bit off center in your view through your lens or screen.

Following these tips won’t turn you into an award-winning photographer today, but you will be on your way to better, more powerful photographs that others will comment on for years to come.

Posted by: I Am Raincrystal | October 18, 2011

Capturing the Little Things With a Digital Camera

Have you ever wondered how a photographer gets such clear, detailed photos of things like flowers or insects?  Capturing such close-up pictures is most often done with a setting that comes as an option on many digital cameras–the macro setting.

What the macro setting on your camera essentially does is focus on a very small area.  The background often appears unfocused to further bring out your intended subject.  Getting in close to capture all the detail of a small object is nearly impossible with the regular setting on a camera.  Anything closer than about three feet becomes blurred.  The macro setting changes the distance your camera will be able to focus and often allows you to take clear pictures from as close as two or three inches.

This camera mode allows for a lot of experimenting.  Try taking a picture of a bee sitting on a flower petal or a close-up of frost on the window.  You will be amazed at the details brought out.  You will be able to almost feel the furriness of the bee and the ice crystals are beautiful.

If you are planning to sell at online auctions, a macro setting on your camera will help with taking better pictures–and better pictures help with sales.  You can take close-up photos of such objects as stamps and coins, show the engraving on an object or allow a viewer to see that a piece of jewelry is flawless.

Don’t save your photo taking for big events exclusively.  Take a walk and notice the little things like the pattern on a tree trunk or an ant carrying a bread crumb twice his size.  There are interesting photos everywhere once you start to look, and the macro mode on your digital camera is the perfect tool for capturing them.

dragonfly close-up

Posted by: I Am Raincrystal | October 16, 2011

Red Eye and Your Digital Camera

You’ve seen the dreaded demon-eye effect that occurs when the camera flash bounces off the eye of a person or pet. An otherwise wonderful picture can be ruined by this. Technically, this is called red-eye and is caused when the pupil of your subject’s eye is wide open and the light from the camera’s flash reflects off the subjects retina. In people, the color ends up red; in pets, the color is often green.

Many photo editing programs include a red-eye correction filter, but this may not allow your photograph subject to appear “normal. These filters also do not work on the green effect produced in a pet’s eyes. Photo stores sell pens that are used to clear up red-eye, but again they are not always natural-looking and do not work on the green. The best thing is to prevent the demon-eye effect from the start.

It is rare to find a digital camera that does not come with a red-eye reduction feature. This feature can be turned off or on. It is best left on in all circumstances other than direct sunlight. The red-eye reduction feature works by flashing a short burst of light at your subject before you snap the picture. This burst of light causes the subject’s pupil to close and makes it less likely for the camera’s flash to reflect off the retina. This in turn reduces the chance of red-eye.

It also helps to direct the flash of your camera so it does not directly hit your subject’s eyes. Bouncing the flash off a nearby wall or other object will soften its effect and reduce the chances of this unwanted malady. Between bouncing the flash and using your digital camera’s red-eye reduction feature, your little angel, whether human or animal, will have eyes that don’t glow.

redeyeexample

Posted by: I Am Raincrystal | October 15, 2011

Three Steps to Buying Your First Digital Camera

You’ve decided it’s time to buy a digital camera, but which one?  The aisles are full of different brands with different features and a wide variety of prices to match.  The task can be overwhelming.  Following are the three most important things you can do to make the decision easier :

Do your research.  Talk to people who have digital cameras and ask them how they like theirs.  What features do they use often and which ones are “just there”?  Go online and visit sites that review different cameras and read what they have to say.

Next, decide how much money you are willing to spend on a camera.  There is no sense going into debt over a camera unless it will be used as your major income source.  Decide how often you will use the camera, what places you will be using it and who else will be using this particular camera. How much money can you reasonably spare?  All these things will help you narrow your choices.

Evaluate your needs and experience level.  Do you have experience or is this your very first camera?  Do you have time to learn a lot of features or are you happy with a camera you can just point and click?  Do you plan on growing in photography?  If so, a digital SLR may be your choice so it can be added onto to grow with you.

Buying a digital camera doesn’t have to be a purchase full of stress.  Do your homework and know what you are looking for, then stick with the decision.  You are the best judge of what you need, trust yourself.  Each of the above steps will narrow your choices considerably and make that final decision easier to make and you can enjoy discovering the wonders of photography with your new purchase.

Posted by: I Am Raincrystal | October 10, 2011

NIKON DIGITAL CAMERA: DIGITAL SLR CAMERAS

Nikon is a camera brand, best known for producing SLR camera. As with the boom of digital cameras all over the world, Nikon joined the bandwagon by producing what they make best, thus the new era of the Nikon digital camera was born – digital SLR.

Nikon-D70

One of the best in DSLR, the Nikon digital camera called Nikon D70 is 6-mega pixel Nikon digital camera. Coated with polycarbonate over its stainless steel chassis, this Nikon digital camera is furnished with a 50mm AF Nikkor lens that can combine with an 18-70mm kit lens and still be portable enough to be carried around. It has a 200-1600 ISO effective speed range, great for taking pictures both in the shade and under the sun. and why won’t it be?! With its three frames per second continuous shooting rate and its 1/8000 second shutter speed, taking pictures is as easy as clicking away and having fun. this Nikon digital camera is supported with a Flash card.

 

Nikon Coolpix 8800

Nikon Coolpix 8800

Another SLR from Nikon is the Nikon Coolpix 8800. An 8-mega pixel Nikon digital camera, the Coolpix 8800 has a compact body. Furnished with a 1.8 inch flip-out and swivel LCD, this baby is surely first rate SLR. This Nikon digital camera features an image stabilizer system to reduce camera shakes particularly on long shots since this gadget can zoom up to 10x (optical zoom) and can focus to up to 3cm in macro mode with its 35-350mm lens. Key controls are very user-friendly, with modes such as sensitivity, image size/quality and white balance – found directly with the mode dial. The image output quality is the middle name of this Nikon digital camera, with great detail rendition, color fidelity and saturation. a rather exceptional feature of the 8800 is the continuous shooting modes, where users can choose 1.2 or 2.3 frames per second. A bit bulky to carry around, the 8800 is perfect for shooting action and sports shots. The 8800 works with a Compact Flash card for storing up your images.

 

NikonD50

NikonD50

Another digital SLR from Nikon is the Nikon D50. A 6.1 mega pixel Nikon digital camera, this gadget has 7 varied modes to shoot from using its AF-S DX Zoom Nikkor 18-55mm lens. These modes are Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close Up, Sports, Night Portrait and Child. To see the images that you took, this Nikon digital camera is furnished with a 2.0 inch LCD screen. How fast can this camera shoot? It has 2.5 frames per second and with uninterrupted shooting of up to 137 frames per second. This Nikon digital camera is not too bad, especially for novice photographers. This package also includes a software for touching up, editing and sharing your pictures. The software even enables you to burn your images to VCD or DVD format.

 

coolpix_4800

coolpix_4800

One of the first point and shoot Nikon digital cameras is the Nikon Coolpix 4800. A four mega pixel Nikon digital camera, the old school designed 4800 is equipped with a 1.8 inch LCD screen for viewing your pictures. The 4800 is an 8.3x zoom Nikon digital camera with 6-50mm Nikkor Ed lens that zooms quickly and has continuous auto focusing (a feature where your lens is always trying to keep your pictures sharp). It also allows users to shoot, record and playback short movie clips with its assist and excellent scene modes – meaning that includes providing outlines for portraits (for tweaking purposes), exposure and sensitivity settings. These features are very helpful especially for novice photographers that want to try their hands at photography. Along with that, it comes with a 13.5MB SD card and the Li-on battery pack.

 

Remember to check out Nikon’s website at www.nikon.com.sg or www.nikonusa.com to see the latest Nikon digital cameras.

 

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