Digital cameras – Basic Categories:
Ultra compact: perfect for slipping into a pocket or purse, but typically you will find that the controls and viewfinder are very crowded compact: generally what most people purchase, very practical and can generally fit in a pocket, somewhat easy to control
Creative compact: typically contain more features and options than the “compact” camera, sometimes as much as $200 more expensive; perfect for techno-junkies
SLR-like: chunky, easy to use controls, larger sensors and much better image quality in low light
SLR: usually large and cumbersome with the best image quality, best low-light capability, and best tool when you are going out specifically to take photos.
You can always do further research on the above models using the internet.
New to Digital Photography?
Read the cameras manual.!!Take your time and find all the controls and learn how to use them. Make sure you understand how to load batteries, plug it into your computer, and turn it on and off.
Also understand which buttons you don’t want to push. (I recently watched someone wonder aloud what one button did, so they pushed it — and watched their rechargeable battery fall into the Pacific Ocean.)
Typically speaking, the better the camera, the harder it will be to operate. Inexpensive digital cameras rarely support more than “point and shoot” technology. You point the camera, push the button, it takes a picture.
You will find that more expensive digital cameras will enable you to manually adjust focus, focal length, lighting, and countless other settings which will help you turn a good picture into a really bad picture — if you don’t read the manual.
Take your camera with you
This may seem obvious but it appears that it isn’t so: you can’t take a picture if you don’t have your camera. Therefore, if you purchase a digital camera — take it with you. Take it to work. Take it on trips. Take it when you go for a walk. Take it to visit relatives and friends.
Don’t set aside your digital camera for only “special occasions.” I’ve used my camera to photograph car wrecks (the guilty parties were not very happy, the innocent were delighted, the insurance companies were bemused).
Interesting clouds, strange flowers, patterns in fallen leaves, funny signs and bumper stickers, and a variety of other things I would never have “wasted” on film. Apart from batteries and electricity, digital cameras cost very little after the initial purchase.
So take pictures. A lot of pictures.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice, practice, practice
Since you are using a digital camera you have the ability to take lots of pictures without the cost of film developing and hopefully some of them will be great. The more photos you take the better your chances of having at least one turn out brilliantly.
I’ve seen the photos — all the photos – from professional photo shoots. Generally most of them range from bad to OK. Yet professional photographers recognize the premise behind taking lots of photos, and quite literally will take more photos than “normal” people.
Professionals use more angles, more types of lighting, and move around more. Most of their photos are unexceptional. But on occasion they hit something, and get a great photo.
Shoot lots of photos. The film is free.
SLR Tricks of the Trade
SLR cameras produce good quality images in low natural light, e.g., indoors without blasting everything with flash
SLR’s have the ability to attach specialty lenses, e.g., very wide angle lenses for interiors, scenery, and architecture, or long telephoto lenses for sports photography
Additional things you may want to purchase include a lens cleaning kit.
You will also definitely need at least one memory card.
- 1 GB SD cards: SanDisk
- 2 GB SD cards: SanDisk
- 4 GB SD cards: SanDisk (good for a long trip into a remote area where you can’t copy images to a computer)
It is much more convenient to use a single memory card for an entire project or trip rather than using multiple cards.