Archive for July, 2008

Why Buy Digital Cameras?

Monday, July 28th, 2008
digital cameras
Roberto Sedycias asked:


Technology development started at a very high pace during the 20th Century. Like many other areas of development, photography also saw major developments in its field. Photographic camera technology has seen a constant improvement from way back in 1913 when a 35 mm still camera was produced till 1985 when digital technology was first introduced in photography by Pixar.

Basically digital camera is an electronic gadget which captures and stores photographs in a digital format without using any processing films. The first true digital camera was launched in 1988 by Fuji Company .This camera used a memory card for storage purposes. The latest models of Digital Cameras are also able to record sound and video. These digital cameras store pictures on a small device called CCD (Charge Coupled Device). From Digital cameras the images can be transferred to computer and the images can be edited with the help of software like Adobe Photoshop.

Advantages of digital cameras

Convenience of use: The foremost advantage of using the digital camera is that you don`t need to worry about buying films and changing the rolls. You can click as many pictures you want, transfer them to computer, have a close look at them and get only the good ones printed after editing them thoroughly.

Edit options: The Digital cameras allow you to edit the photographs in the easiest way with the help of software. The color, brightness and contrast of the photo can be adjusted and the image can be cropped and resized as required. This helps to optimize the resolution of the photographs.

Economical: Digital cameras are economical in the sense that they do away with the cost of films and the cost of processing. When pictures are taken in bulk quantity the cost of films saved works out to a considerable amount.

Flexibility: You can view the photo you have just clicked on the LCD display of the Digital Camera and if you don`t like it you can retake the same.

Disadvantages of digital cameras

Quality of output: For professional reproduction purposes the conventional film camera is still the best as digital cameras cannot match them in resolution and depth quality.

Initial Cost: The initial investment cost for digital camera is higher than the photo film camera. The cost of the camera for home use runs from around US$ 150 to $1000 whereas the professional models cost may go as high as US$20000.

Slower Speed: Digital cameras take some time for storing the images which is unsuitable for action photography in which you need very fast clicks.

Important features

The digital camera quality largely depends upon its optic features, color depth, resolution etc. While shopping for a digital camera one should take care of following.

High Resolution: Resolution of a digital camera depends upon its capacity to store the dots or pixels. The more pixels it can store the higher will be the resolution. Cameras with a capacity of 5 mega pixels or more are ideal for home photography while professional photographers may look for a capacity of more than 7 mega pixels.

Capacity: The capacity of the digital camera to store pictures is also very important. The cameras have a built in memory capacity and additional memory card slot to store pictures. The cost of the memory cards is high but nevertheless they are very important to serve the purposes of storage.

Bit Depth: This relates to the color capability or the capacity of a digital camera to reproduce colors. Good cameras are capable of handling 24 bit color which fulfills the range of the human eye.

Optics and zoom features: A good camera must have optical zoom lenses with automatic flashes in order to produce better images.

Display: A good LCD display is important for a digital camera as it allows the user to flip through the images he has taken.

The digital camera is certainly becoming more and more popular in the modern era and is set to replace the conventional ones for all general purposes.

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How to Know Your Digital Camera Type

Sunday, July 27th, 2008
digital cameras
Roberto Sedycias asked:


Photography is one of the most popular hobbies of many people around the world. Almost every individual with a camera creates his own world of pictures, least bothering the types of camera he is using. Most of the digital camera users have little or no idea on the configuration of the gadgets they have. Some people purchase digital cameras without caring to figure out what type of digital camera will best serve their purpose.

However, professional photographers know their needs pretty well in this regard. But it is wise for anyone to know the type of digital cameras before investing in one of them. Digital camera has many advanced features that the traditional cameras lack. But if you go through the minute details of each type of digital cameras you will find them differing from each other in their features and functionality.

Compact digital camera:

Generally, a regular sized digital camera is smaller in size. But if you are opting for a compact digital camera you will find them as portable as to keep them in your pocket or small purse. They are also available with LCD monitors with sensor image stabilization, dust reduction, wireless remote controller and image resolution quality. The LCD monitor shows the view of the picture to be taken and hence, helps capturing perfect images.

The image sensor tends to catch dirt and debris. But the dust reduction system removes dirt from it. The image stabilization mode of the digital camera sharpens the image by eliminating camera shake. The portable and lightweight digital camera with multiple features varies in its price depending on its features.

Point and Shoot digital camera:

Digital cameras of this category do not need a lot of creativity on the part of the user and therefore, are good for any user. It is easy to use and have many controls that don`t need much of your involvement while taking the snaps. The powerful camera has compositional technology which can be wonderfully used not only for photography but also for video taping, paining and some of the other visual media.

Though the camera has its limitations like lack of flexibility, you still can capture your memories with great pictures if you are smart to use the compositional technology. It is the best digital camera for the beginners. As any other digital camera they are also small light weight and the picture can be viewed on the screen before taking it.

Digital SLR camera:

A digital SLR camera is a digital camera with single lens reflex system. It has got a small mirror between the lens and camera films. The technology of this high-end camera creates more image control and focusing for the photographer. Also, this type of digital camera is developed with mega pixels. The number of pixels present is responsible for the clarity of picture.

Advanced digital camera:

The advanced digital cameras have got some advantages over the basic digital cameras. This type of digital camera is available with fully automatic, manual or semi-automatic control. The astounding digital camera captures amazing images with ease of handling. The extremely simple interface allows the user easily understand its functionality. The advanced LCD screen, megapixels and optical zoom makes the advanced digital camera feasible for professional and personal use.

Before taking your digital camera you can go through some reviews that give clear picture of every type of camera, its feature and functionality. Ask some of the digital camera owners about the pros and cons of the models they own. Try out many models of digital cameras before you settle down for the right digital camera for your purpose. Happy Buying!!!



Digital Camera: the Future of Cameras

Saturday, July 26th, 2008
digital cameras
Nicholas Tan asked:


Basically a digital camera is a deice use to capture pictures without the use of films. Unlike the conventional camera, the digital camera does not rely on mechanical and chemical processes. It has a built in computer and records the images it captures in an electronic form. Having and operating one does not even require the use of electricity.

Since the images that a digital camera captures is in electronic form, it is a language recognized by computers. This language is called pixels, tiny colored dots represented by ones and zeros that make up the picture that you just took. Just like any conventional cameras, a digital camera is furnished with a series of lenses that focus the light and creates the image that you want to capture. The difference here is then; a conventional camera focuses its light on a film while a digital camera focuses the light into a semiconductor device that electronically records the light. Remember the built in computer, it comes in here and breaks this information to digital data resulting to all the features of the digital camera.

Another feature of the digital camera is that it has a sensor that converts light into electrical charges. A charge coupled device or CCD is an image sensor that is found in a digital camera. While other low-end digital camera use complementary metal oxide semiconductor or CMOS as an image device, it can still become better and more famous in the future but most engineers are do not believe that it can replace the CCD for higher-end digital cameras.

A collection of tiny diodes, the CCD gathers electrons when they are struck by photons or the light particles. Each diode or photosite is sensitive to light, meaning that the brighter the light, the number of the electrons gathering will be larger

The price of a digital camera nowadays have been depreciating, one of the main reasons of this is because of the introduction of CMOS image sensors, this is because CMOS sensors are less expensive and are easier to manufacture than CCD sensors. A CCD and CMOS sensor works the same way at first, by converting the light electrical charges into photosites. Simply putting it, is to think that a digital camera works in such a way as thinking that the millions of tiny solar cells, each of which forms a part of the whole image. Both CCD and CMOS do this task using different methods.

When shopping for the best digital camera, take note of these key features.

Image quality. Check the resolution of the camera. The higher the resolution, the more thou will be able to enlarge your picture without the grainy or the out-of-focus effect that we all want to avoid.

Lens. Choose a digital camera with better digital zoom. The digital zoom of the camera will enable you take the pixels from the image sensor and incorporate them to make an image.

Power. Always opt for rechargeable batteries, they can always come in handy, plus you don’t waste as much money on the disposable ones.

Options. So you can brag to your friends how good a photographer or artist you are. Or choose the one that gives options that best cater to your lifestyle, so you won’t ever whine how you never get the right pictures.

Memory. If you’re a photo freak, be sure that you have enough memory in your camera to take all the wacky, freaky, funny and just about any photo you can. Think 512MB if you’re a photo junkie and takes pictures of just about anything.

Computer Interface. Always make sure that it is compatible with your PC, laptop, palmtop or whatever your local picture printer software is, you don’t want to go running around the whole state or the country looking for a computer that’s compatible with your digital camera, wont you?!

Physical. If you are going to be bringing it everywhere, choose a handy and portable digital camera. This way, it won’t always feel as heavy and bulky as those cameras that you see professional photographers are always dragging on their neck. Don’t they ever get tired of that?!

These are just the basic things you have to look for in a digital camera when you buy one. A digital camera is so great that it is quickly replacing all conventional cameras in the market, with all its technology and portability, truly the digital camera is the future of cameras.



Canon Elf Digital Camera Will Make an Exellent Choice for the Choice Hobbyist Photographer

Friday, July 25th, 2008
digital cameras
Muna wa Wanjiru asked:


Digital cameras have been used for different occasions and events. These events can be weddings, birthdays and pictures of nature. The various Canon digital cameras are suited for both the novice photographer as well as the more experienced professional. In the digital camera range the Canon Elf Digital camera has the ability to provide superior images to the users.

The various models of Canon Elf Digital cameras are about the size of a credit card. The Canon Elf Digital camera is considered to be among the smallest digital cameras that have been produced. While this camera is small in size it still manages to give you high quality pictures.

The Canon Elf Digital camera cases are made from strong substances like steel that will protect the camera body from a variety of difficulties that you may encounter. The stylish look will make this an appealing digital camera for you to buy. Most of the newly made Canon Elf cameras have a flat appearance.

Some of these digital cameras will have an automatic lens cover. This cover will protect your digital camera when it is not in use. Since the Elf camera is made from steel and it has a protective covering for the camera lens you can take this camera along with you whenever you go out.

There are many great features that can be found with the different digital cameras like red eye reduction, fast shutter speeds, and a variety of scene modes like automatic, sports action mode, portrait mode, and landscape mode.

Most of the digital cameras that are being sold in the world are known by one name like Nikon, Minolta and Canon Elura digital cameras. The Canon Elf Digital camera models will have other names in a variety of countries.

For instance, in Japan the Canon Elf Digital camera is called the Ixy Digital camera, and in Europe and South East Asia it goes under the name of Digital Ixus.

The best fact that is known and recognized about the Canon Elf Digital camera range is that it has been designed to merge traditional photography with that of digital photography.

The many experts who review various digital cameras state that the Canon Elf Digital camera line has some superior digital camera products that are excellent for anyone who is looking to expend their picture taking abilities with no problems.

The Canon Elf Digital camera will make an excellent choice for the amateur hobbyist who is looking to expend their photographic abilities, and also for the novice who is just starting out on their photographing jaunts.



Canon Rebel Digital Camera

Thursday, July 24th, 2008
digital cameras
Corwin Brown asked:


Canon cameras are well known in the world for their quality cameras. The Canon Rebel Digital camera was released on August 20th 2003. At this time there were other types of digital cameras on the market. The new features of the Canon Rebel Digital camera make this digital camera well worth looking into.

The Canon Digital Rebel XT builds on the huge success of the original Digital Rebel, a camera that literally turned the digital camera world on its ear

The various camera experts who have reviewed this Canon camera state that this is a moderately priced digital camera. The $900 and upwards price tag will not be a deterrent for the digital camera enthusiast.

You can also buy the Canon Rebel Digital camera in various other countries. You should be aware of what to ask for when you are asking for the Canon Rebel Digital camera, as there are a few different names that it goes by.

For instance in the United States it goes under the name of the Canon Rebel Digital camera, in Europe under the name of Canon EOS 300D and in Japan you will hear it being referred to as the Kiss Digital.

You will also find that at the time that the Canon Rebel Digital camera was first released it was considered to being less expensive than its predecessor.

For the digital camera enthusiast you will find a Canon Rebel Digital camera kit that can be bought separately from the Rebel Digital camera. This kit contains an EF-S 18-55 mm 3x lens. The price of the entire digital camera kit is only $100 more than the single camera alone.

Inside of the Canon Rebel Digital camera you will find various specifications like a 6 megapixel CMOS sensor and image processor. These are housed in the inexpensive plastic body of the Canon Rebel Digital camera.

There are a host of new features that you can find in the Canon Rebel Digital camera. These features include a contrast, saturation and sharpness settings. The contrast and saturation settings can be adjusted for your various needs. The sharpness setting will clearly define your pictures.

There is also a new default parameter setting on the Canon Rebel Digital camera. This setting is called Parameter 1. The Canon Rebel Digital camera was the first digital camera to support and use a new lens called EF-S. The S in the EF-S stands for short back focus.

This lens however can only be used with the Canon Rebel Digital camera as the other Canon Rebel series cameras were not designed to support this lens. These are just a few of the modifications and changes that you will find when you buy this digital camera.

For the photographer – whether they are experienced or a novice – there are many interesting photographs you can take with a Canon Rebel Digital camera in your possession, and that’s the entire point of owning a camera, to take visually interesting pictures that tells a great story.



Things you Should Know Before Buying Digital Camera

Sunday, July 20th, 2008
digital cameras
jay smith asked:


If you are looking to buy a digital camera, you should properly educate yourself about all the different aspects of digital cameras. There are many types of digital cameras out there all with different features, so you should first ask yourself a few questions before actually spending several hundred dollars on your big purchase.

1. What exactly are you going to be using the camera for?

2. Will it be used as part of your job or will you use it for recreational purposes?

3. Should you buy a mini digital camera or should you look for a standard size digital camera?

4. How much money are you willing to spend and what is your budget for your digital camera expenses?

Remember, the camera itself is just one part of the cost; you still need to pay for batteries, computer cables, and memory and media types for storing your pictures and video.

Some other things you should keep in mind when trying to select a suitable digital camera are the weight of the camera and the look and feel of the digital camera. If you need to take the digital camera with you during your daily routine or job, you should make sure that it will not get in the way of whatever it is that you need to do. Another important aspect of digital cameras that you should be aware of is the zoom function.

There are two basic types of zoom, optical zoom and digital zoom. Optical zoom is the type of zoom where you press a button and the lens physically moves around in order to zoom in or out. This is the zoom method that you are probably the most familiar with. The other type of zoom is known as digital zoom.

Digital zoom is a new method of zoom that has been introduced with the invention of digital cameras and does not rely on any moving parts. It basically crops the photo you take and then enlarges it, which in effect creates a type of optical zoom effect. Generally speaking, you should try to use optical zoom over digital zoom, since digital zoom reduces picture quality by a great deal in most cases.

If the reason that you want to buy a digital camera is for recreational purposes only, you should consider the option of buying a mini digital camera. Generally speaking, mini digital cameras are not as powerful as your standard size cameras, but they have several advantages. Obviously, they are portable and very convenient to bring along with you on your travels. Most mini digital cameras will fit in your pocket without a problem, whereas standard size digital cameras can be quite bulky and awkward to carry around at times.

Another benefit of having a mini digital camera is the fact that they are great to show off to your friends and family. They make great conversation starters and if anyone sees you taking a picture with a tiny digital camera, odds are that they will stop to chat with you a bit about the price and specifications of your camera. Finally, mini digital camera accessories are a bit cheaper than standard sized accessories so you can expect so save a bit of money when buying your accessories.



Canon Rebel Digital Camera is a Digital Camera Well Worth Looking Into

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008
digital cameras
Muna wa Wanjiru asked:


Canon cameras are well known in the world for their quality cameras. The Canon Rebel Digital camera was released on August 20th 2003. At this time there were other types of digital cameras on the market. The new features of the Canon Rebel Digital camera make this digital camera well worth looking into.

The various camera experts who have reviewed this Canon camera state that this is a moderately priced digital camera. The $900 and upwards price tag will not be a deterrent for the digital camera enthusiast.

You can also buy the Canon Rebel Digital camera in various other countries. You should be aware of what to ask for when you are asking for the Canon Rebel Digital camera, as there are a few different names that it goes by.

For instance in the United States it goes under the name of the Canon Rebel Digital camera, in Europe under the name of Canon EOS 300D and in Japan you will hear it being referred to as the Kiss Digital.

You will also find that at the time that the Canon Rebel Digital camera was first released it was considered to being less expensive than its predecessor.

For the digital camera enthusiast you will find a Canon Rebel Digital camera kit that can be bought separately from the Rebel Digital camera. This kit contains an EF-S 18-55 mm 3x lens. The price of the entire digital camera kit is only $100 more than the single camera alone.

Inside of the Canon Rebel Digital camera you will find various specifications like a 6 megapixel CMOS sensor and image processor. These are housed in the inexpensive plastic body of the Canon Rebel Digital camera.

There are a host of new features that you can find in the Canon Rebel Digital camera. These features include a contrast, saturation and sharpness settings. The contrast and saturation settings can be adjusted for your various needs. The sharpness setting will clearly define your pictures.

There is also a new default parameter setting on the Canon Rebel Digital camera. This setting is called Parameter 1. The Canon Rebel Digital camera was the first digital camera to support and use a new lens called EF-S. The S in the EF-S stands for short back focus.

This lens however can only be used with the Canon Rebel Digital camera as the other Canon Rebel series cameras were not designed to support this lens. These are just a few of the modifications and changes that you will find when you buy this digital camera.

For the photographer – whether they are experienced or a novice – there are many interesting photographs you can take with a Canon Rebel Digital camera in your possession, and that’s the entire point of owning a camera, to take visually interesting pictures that tells a great story.



6 Important Features to Consider While Selecting the Best Digital Camera!

Friday, July 11th, 2008
digital cameras
Neelima Reddy asked:


There are various types of digital cameras made by different manufacturers with different features. Among all, selecting the right digital camera which is suitable for you is not a typical task if you follow these techniques.

1. Resolution

2. Optical zoom

3. Digital zoom

4. memory

5. Usability

6. Investigate

These techniques are explained as follows:

Resolution

Each and every digital camera has certain resolution factor. Most advanced cameras will have high resolution where as the normal digital cameras will have low resolution.

Basically the picture resolution will be dependent on pixel rating. The resolution of the camera will vary for different cameras with different pixel count.

The cameras which have high resolution power produce larger images and the rate of these cameras will also be high. Normal and average photographer need not require these cameras with high resolution.

Most probably these high resolution cameras are preferred by professional or expert photographers. They also don’t use these cameras all the times (except for taking special pictures).

Optical zoom

Optical zoom is necessary to view the object in large size. Almost all digital cameras will have this optical zoom facility. Before buying the camera, you must check the optical zoom present in it and you must not afford it if it has the optical zoom less than 2.

Digital zoom

Digital zoom is used to increase the size of the picture. Most of the digital cameras offer this digital zoom facility. Check out the clarity levels of the picture clearly when you increase the size of it because some of the pictures will loose their clarity if you apply digital zoom to them.

Memory

Before getting the new digital camera know how much memory is present in it. Most of the digital cameras will have less memory to store more number of snaps in it. So, better along with your digital camera get the extra memory card which has enough space to store more snaps in it.

Usability

You have to select the camera depending on your usability. If you have high usage of it, go for advanced cameras which provide more techniques and high resolution or else if you have less usage of it better get the digital cameras which don’t have high resolution and more advanced techniques. So, depending upon the usage you have to select the right camera suitable for you.

Investigate

After getting your new digital camera, investigate it on various aspects by knowing what are the different modes and new techniques present in it. Try to learn all the techniques regarding how to handle it properly without causing any damage to it before using your new digital camera for the first time.

Do you like to know the reason behind this? Some cameras will be damaged easily if you don’t handle them in the right way. So, to avoid this situation try to know how to handle it in the right way.

Other than these things, you should also get all the necessary accessories required for your camera when you get the new digital camera. These accessories will be helpful to you in more number of ways and they also prevent the damage of your digital camera. Visit Digital Picture Zone



Trusting Digital Camera Reviews

Friday, July 11th, 2008
digital cameras
Nicholas Tan asked:


Digital camera reviews are abundant not just online but also in the newspapers, magazines and even TV shows. We often wonder why most digital camera reviews always praise all the digital camera out in the market, that’s why we end up getting confused on which product to buy or get our loved ones.

Here’s one thing you should never trust regarding digital camera reviews – never trust press releases or reviews that are directly from the manufacturer or advertising office that is directly connected with producer of the digital camera. Why?! Well because these digital camera reviews are never too truthful, or they just give out the good points about their products. I mean, what would you expect, supposing you own your own line of digital cameras and to boost your sales, you release digital camera reviews about your products. Of course you wouldn’t point out the bad things or the glitches of your product in your digital camera reviews, because that way you will never be able to shoot up your sales. Press releases or digital camera reviews from manufacturer are always half-truths. Haven’t you had any experience with that?! I mean, that just doesn’t go for digital camera, remember that brush-blower thingy that you bought over the internet that says it would work tremendously for your hair, but ended not working for your hair after all. Press releases are press releases, meaning that they are aimed to get people to buy the product or to give the product a better name.

On more thing that you can never fully trust are home shopping networks and advertisements. As much as press releases, they pretty much pose the same claims about their products. But hey, don’t trust me, you can always get them and return them after proving to yourself that it doesn’t work. Never mind the time and effort that you’ve wasted, you chose to listen to a half-truth digital camera review, that’s what you get for that.

The best digital camera reviews available are those found in specialty magazines (computer based and technical magazines), special websites catering to techie stuff and unofficial digital camera reviews. Why?! Well because! Because these digital camera reviews are always truthful. These reviewers and critics are never afraid to list down the good as much as the bad points of digital cameras. These digital camera reviews usually points out the difference between the products that a certain manufacturer has released and how it is worse or better than the previous one. These reviewers and critics are also knowledgeable in their craft, so its say to safe to say that they know what they are talking about when it comes to digital camera reviews. One more thing, most of the time, these digital camera reviews are actual first hand experience with the product itself and not just some advertising agent asked to come up with flowery words to capture you and your wallet.

Another best source for a digital camera review is one that you can write yourself. And how can you do that?! Of course, you first need to buy your own digital camera, try it out and compare everything that you do with it to the things that it claims to be. (be careful to read the specs, options and features that you need to try out, be on the lookout for words such as weatherproof, meaning that they are splash resistant as to waterproof that are water resistant. You don’t want to get your newly bought weatherproof camera wet, just to prove to yourself that the things they claim are not true). After doing so, then you can write your own digital camera review or reviews, depending on how many things you’ve learned from your digital camera. Be sure to indicate that your review is an on-hand experience with the product and not just some wild guess.

The most honest digital camera reviews are the best reviews you can look for and trust. Anyway, you can always call customer center or return your digital camera if they don’t live up to their claims.



Top 20 Questions to Consider When Buying a Digital Camera

Thursday, July 10th, 2008
digital cameras
aldrin garcia asked:


My top 20 key questions to ask yourself when buying a digital camera.

1. How many “megapixels” /resolution?

Once and for all, at least to me, you have to get the highest resolution your money can buy at the time you buy. Period.

2. Who made the lens?

Most cameras will give you an idea where the lens was made just by looking at the front of the lens. Know if the lens of your camera came from a reputable company like Leica, Zeiss, Canon, Etc… Lens quality is one of the most important factors you should consider especially if you’re going to use it for commercial, technical or scientific purposes.

3. Will I need interchangeable lenses? How many are available for my specific camera in mind?

Having the option of interchangeable lenses gives you the freedom to experiment with different kinds of focal lengths. Although some P&S (point and shoot) cameras can rival DSLR’s with a generous zoom range for a non interchangeable lens system.

Also note the number of lenses available for use with your specific camera because of flexibility reasons. You can practically cover the entire “zoom range” with interchangeable lenses versus modest zoom ranges on non interchangeable lens systems or P&S cameras.

4. Does it have a zoom capability? What’s the range?

Almost all applications that I listed above will need some form of zooming in (telephoto) or out (wide angle), especially if you don’t have the space to move around the object you are shooting.

For Landscape shots, wide angle shots are very common and appealing while zooming in on the details serves as a break and complements the wide angle shots.

For weddings and events, you need a zoom because there will be times where you are limited by the shooting space and you will have a difficult time moving around. Its a good thing to know that you can do all sorts of framing without even moving from your position.

A nice zoom will give you the efficiency and versatility in your photography, so my suggestion is to go for the longest range you can get (usually from a 7X to a 10X for Point and Shoots).

Also note the speed of zooming in or out as this will be a factor if you’re shooting events like weddings. You will fail to capture that “decisive moment” on a mediocre zoom speed.

5. Does it have the provision to capture raw images?

Many photographers will say you’ll need this digital camera feature if you want to have big prints from your pictures. Although this is correct, the main reason why you will want this is because of the benefit it will give you…pure total control of your pictures… from exposure, color, metadata, hdr and a lot more.

6. Can I attach an external flash?

Having an external flash capability will give you the power and creative freedom to light your subjects any which way you like.

You can connect your digital camera to all sorts of lighting equipment thus giving you more options and versatility. This comes in the form of a hotshoe or a PC-Sync socket.

If your digital camera doesn’t have this feature, there is still hope because accessories called flash slaves are being sold by third party companies in different flavors that will also do the same job more or less.

7. Does it have a tripod socket?

Some of the most beautiful landscape pictures that I’ve seen are undoubtedly made with a tripod, so this is a must have if you are planning to do this kind of photography.

The “available light shots” in a wedding, still life and product shots, studio and fine art shots … all need a tripod for successful execution… so guess what happens if you don’t have a tripod socket?… You cannot effectively use a tripod!

8. Does it have automatic and manual focusing?

It will not be evident at first why you’ll need this especially if you’re just starting out in photography. But if you’re like me… A total control freak when it comes to cameras… and you really want to express your creative side, this is definitely a must have.

9. Can you attach filters to it? and what filter size?

Creative expression through special effects is just one of the many reasons that makes photography fun and interesting, and experimenting with filters is one creative pursuit you should try with your photography especially if you’re a beginner.

Always remember to ask if the particular digital camera you are eyeing for can handle filters and ask for the filter size. (To save you from buying the right filter with the wrong filter size) Please note that most Digital SLRs should be able to to handle filters as most lenses that come with it have a filter thread built into the lens.

Most P&S (point and shoot) digital cameras normally doesn’t have a filter thread built-in and might need special accessories to accomplish this so you should check to know for sure.

Again, there are many third party accessories that you could buy to adapt filters to your P&S digital cameras that don’t have this provisions. I’ll discuss all about this in a future post so watch for it. (Or subscribe to my announcement list (feed via email) so you’ll know when it’s up.

10. Can I upgrade the firmware?

The good thing about some digital camera manufacturers is that they keep on improving their digital cameras even after they sold it to you… this comes in the form of a firmware upgrade.

Usually this involves an improvement on one or many features of a camera. Be sure that the digital camera you’re planning to buy has an easy way of upgrading its firmware. This comes in the form of either an easy download via the manufacturer’s website (find it and bookmark it now) or a FREE CDROM.

Another caveat – be sure to consider if a downgrade is also possible or available with your digital camera… Why is there a need a downgrade you ask?… Because, you may want to reinstall an earlier firmware… just in case you don’t like the results from a firmware upgrade.

Occasionally there’s a feature that will be removed by the upgrade that you failed to read about and you decided that you just want to keep that feature instead of a bunch of trivial upgrades from the new firmware. (Yes, I personally experienced this.)

11. Are there extra goodies or software that come with it?

Some people ignore the fact that you can save a lot of money just by doing a simple arithmetic. Did you know that you could actually get your digital camera for a lot less if you study the deals and offers on the marketplace?

If you buy a digital camera and it comes with software that you can really use… like photoshop, elements, or any other image editing software for that matter, then you already saved some money you would otherwise spend. Some dealers will throw in lots of extras… If you just simply ask.

Always try to ask for these things that you’ll end up buying anyway if you don’t – like camera bags, extra lenses, extra batteries, memory cards, tripod, lens cleaners etc. Trust me… you will end up buying these things if you don’t ask for it on the deal. What have you got to lose? Simply ASK. Would you believe that I effectively lowered one of my camera purchase cost by as much as 30%? Ask away.

12. Is there Local Support in your area?

Finding the answer to this one will give you a great benefit in the long run. Wouldn’t you sleep better at night because you feel that extra security – that in case there is something wrong with your digital camera, you can bring it in for repair at a moments notice?

Not knowing when your camera will be repaired (or if it even arrived at a distant repair facility) is one of the worst feelings a photographer can have especially if you’re in the middle of a photoshoot or project.

13. What type of warranty does it have? Worldwide / Countrywide?

If you travel a lot its good to know that a countrywide or even better – a worldwide warranty can get your camera fixed wherever you are. Always bring the warranty card and glue it on your camera bag.

14. Does it have the ability to take video and audio?

I know, most DSLRs don’t have this function. But some non interchangeable lens DSLRs have it. This is a very useful feature to have if you’re on a project or photoshoot and want to document or record a procedure, a moment, or an idea that you would otherwise have trouble remembering or even writing. It’s always a good idea to bring a P&S camera backup that have this function.

The things that you could do with audio and videoclips on a photoshoot are only limited by your imagination… interviews, documentation, funny quips, training procedures, bloopers, etc..

15. Does it have a manual white balance?

White balance is one of the most interesting aspects of digital cameras. Its fun and fascinating to work with. Having this option puts the photography fun-o-meter way way up. In future posts, I will be discussing white balance in detail so be sure to stay tuned.

16. How sensitive is it to infrared?

If you’re planning to make infrared pictures or enter the exciting world of Infrared fine art photography then you’ll want to know if your digital camera can do it.

TIP: There is a simple way to test how sensitive your digital camera is to infrared using a very common device – a TV remote control. For P&S, you can aim the remote control towards the lens and gauge how bright the LED from remote is. This should give you an idea how sensitive your digital camera is to infrared. For DSLRs you will need to take shots of the LED and experiment a little or you can simply research or google the particular camera model you have in mind for other people’s experiences and thoughts about it.

17. How high is the ISO sensitivity? Is it manually adjustable?

ISO sensitivity is a term referring to the sensitivity of film to light. In the digital camera world, it refers to the sensitivity of the electronic sensor in your digital camera in relation to the ISO standard used for film.

The higher the ISO sensitivity of your camera the faster or better it can record a specific amount of light.

High ISO sensitivity is useful for taking better pictures in dark settings… such as inside a church or at night. The higher the ISO setting, the more details you can capture of a dark scene.

One caveat – take note of the amount of noise a particular camera exhibits at higher ISOs. Some people like it and some don’t. Again, don’t be afraid to ask or do research on the noise characteristics of your camera model in mind to see if this is the right choice for you.

18. How high or low can you set the shutterspeed? What are the minimum and maximum aperture settings?

Shutterspeed and aperture settings are the basic mechanisms that drive your camera and controls the amount of light that is exposed by the film or image sensor.

You use high shutterspeeds in action shots and to prevent camera shake, and you use low shutterspeeds for movement effects and bulb or long exposures. You can check for these figures on the websites that I gave you in part 1. You can see it in the technical specifications for a particular camera.

A bulb or “T” function is a nice feature to have because you can take exposures for virtually very long periods of time. Another feature to have is if your camera has a remote control to use this bulb or “T” mode. This gives you the capability to take pictures without holding your camera and adding to the “camera shake”.

With the subject of apertures, a small one (small aperture opening) lets you have a wider depth of field so your shots are sharp from near to far versus a large aperture (big aperture opening) where your shots have a narrow depth of field and appear “selectively focused”.

19. Does it have some form of an image stabilizer?

New cameras coming out as we speak often have this feature. Simply put, an image stabilizer is some form of a mechanism built into the lens or the camera body (depending on the manufacturer and their implementation) that basically prevents you from getting blurred pictures when taking pictures in low light or you are using a long or telephoto lens. Having this feature can mean the difference between a blurry picture (aka no picture!) to a usable one.

20. How close can it focus? Macro abilities?

The closer your camera can focus… the bigger the picture of an object you can take in relation to the image dimensions of the final photo… and the bigger the picture of the object… the more detail you can get. If you want to take pictures of small objects such as flowers and fine details then this is a must-have.

That’s it. Whew.

Do you really have to go over all these questions?… Of course not, but even if you only study and ponder on half of them…and take the time… I promise you that one thing will surely happen…

You’ll be…

a lot smarter!

than when you first started asking these questions… ergo you’ll be in a better position to decide what digital camera to buy… Because you are now armed with the most powerful tool anybody can have

the power of information!

In any case, I hope you find as much value in these questions as many of my friends have and be able to get the camera of your dreams.

Enjoy!