Digital Camera – the Easy Way to Take Pictures

20th November, 2008
digital cameras
Roberto Sedycias asked:

In comparison to film cameras, digital cameras have number of advantages which includes displaying the image on the camera screen right after recording, a single small memory device can record thousands of images, records video with sound, provision to edit images, and above all storage capacity can be re-used by deleting the images. There are numbers of devices available that has in-built digital cameras like mobile phones, PDA`s etc. Specialized digital cameras are fit into astronomical devices like The Hubble Space Telescope.

Digitizing images on scanner and digitizing video signals are much older than making of still images using digital signals from an array of discrete sensor elements. It was then used for astronauts to provide onboard navigation information during their visit to planets. It provided the still photos of stars and planet locations during transit and also additional stadiametric information for orbiting or landing guidance while approaching planet.

Steven Sasson, an engineer at Eastman Kodak, attempted to develop first digital camera with solid state CCD image sensor chips. But it was just a technical exercise. The true digital camera was Fuji DS-1P developed in 1988. And the first commercialized camera was Dycam Model 1 in 1990. Then in 1991, Kodak launched its Kodak DCS 100. Else Casio QV-10 was the first consumer camera in 1995. Nikon D1, a 2.74 megapixel camera was the first digital SLR developed in 1999. And in 2003, Canon 300D, first 600 megapixel camera was launched.

There are various types of digital cameras available. For videos, there are professional video cameras which are used in television and movie production. Camcorders come with inbuilt microphone and a small liquid crystal display to watch video while recording and playback. One can get still photographs also with them. Webcams, attached to computers, can capture full-motion video and are also available with microphones or zooming ability.

In live-preview digital camera, there is an electronic camera that can be used to frame and preview before taking the photograph and also to review stored photographs. Many of such cameras can take motion pictures. Then the recorded images can be transferred to computer, printer or any other such device. USB mass storage device enables the camera to function as disk drive for computer and Picture Transfer Protocol is then used.

To use Firewire, storage device is removed from camera and inserted into other device. Compact digital cameras, small and portable with inbuilt flash, are easy to use, and images are stored using Lossy compression. They might be able to capture motion picture but that to a limit. Bridge or SLR like camera is higher-end-live-preview camera with more advanced features like superzoom lenses, takes movies with sound, etc. Digital rangefinder, a user operated mechanism, is capable to measure subject distance.

Apart from above mentioned digital cameras, there are other categories also. Professional modular digital camera systems are used in studios for commercial production. Line-scan camera systems, based on focusing mechanism, are used in industrial settings to capture images of constantly moving materials. They capture images at extremely fast with high image resolutions.

Most of the digital cameras come with pre-set modes for different applications. Data can be transferred through USB port, Firewire port, USB PTP mode and even through wireless connections like WiFi, Bluetooth etc. These data are mostly stored in Microdrives, Joint Photography Experts Group (JPEG), Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) and RAW. Formats for movies are AVI, DV, MPEG and MOV. Recently MP4 format is also developed. Digital cameras have small but powerful batteries to operate for enough length of time.

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