What to look for when buying a digital camera?
Traditional camera uses film to record images. But for digital camera, the film is replaced by a small sensor chip – either CCD (charged Coupled Device) or CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) – which stores the image into a digital format.
The CCD or CMOS sensor's surface is divided into tiny squares called pixels and each pixel records one segment of an image. The more pixels a sensor has, the more details it can record. While it's true that the number of pixels a CCD contains is an excellent measure of the details the digital camera can contain, this is not enough.
Picture quality doesn't necessarily improve with another million pixels. Other features such as lens, colour filter used on the sensor and digital image processor also play an important role in determining picture quality. (See picture below to understand the intricacies of a digital camera in the analogy of a human eye).
To capture an image, lights first have to go through the lens (equivalent to human's eye) which are later gathered as electrical charges by the sensor (equivalent to human's retina). The sensor, by itself, is incapable of perceiving colours, so it obtains colour data via a colour filter arranged above individual pixels. Image data gathered by the sensor is converted into digital signals to be analysed and processed by the image processor (equivalent to human's brain) before recording the image onto a memory card. Each process is crucial in determining image quality.
So don't just be deceived by pixel count. Check for manufacturer's lens and CCD.
Compose your picture using the LCD first.
Firstly, identify the subject that you are interested to emphasize. Next compose your picture using the LCD. Ensure that only the things you want viewer to see appear in the LCD screen. If you are taking a moving object, always leave enough space in front of the subject so that it appears to be moving into the picture. Now take the shot and you'll end up with your full image size 'framed' the way you like it. If you are not happy with the composition, reshoot it.
Ensure that there is sufficient light in the background.
Make sure that the automatic flash function is working when using a snap happy camera. If you are using a camera with creative controls, there are several ways to overcome the lighting conditions during your filming.
Use special longer-life lithium batteries, which cost twice as much, but last three times longer.
Use rechargeable Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) or, even better, Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. NiMH batteries charge up to 500 times and take just three hours for a full charge.
Store it in your PC
The new range of digital cameras comes with a USB cable for fast connection to PC. Just download the software and get the digital camera to 'talk' to the PC. Once your photos are loaded into your PC, convert the image from its original format (usually a .tiff or .gif) into a .jpeg file. This is the most common way to send images because they are 'compressed' and load faster. After the connection, organise the digital images using bundled album software like ZoomBrowser to help you organise your picture. Remember to delete those pictures you do not want or it will take up too much memory space.
Send it to your friends via email
Make sure your recipient uses an e-mail program (like Microsoft Outlook) that allows him or her to view attachments. Then scan your 'best' photos. Limit your attachments to 1 or 2 — they will load faster.
Resolution is the measurement of an image in pixels. Since the maximum available resolution of an image is only getting higher, digital cameras use a process known as 'Compression' to reduce the size of the image to a manageable size before it is stored. While this dramatically increases the amount of pictures you can store on each memory card, there is a trade off in quality.
Pending your usage of the images, the table below is a suggested guide.
|Usage of images||Suggested Resolution||Suggested Compression Mode|
|Low - Medium||Normal|
Digital Cameras store images in removable storage media such as compact flash card. The storage capacity depends on the memory space of the compact flash card , for instance, 32MB can store more images than an 8 MB compact flash card.
However, the amount of images a storage media can keep varies with the CCD size in a digital camera. It also depends on the resolution and the compression of the picture.
Dirt, dust and fingerprints impact the performance of your lens. And believe it or not, there is a right way and a wrong way to clean a lens. Do it right and you'll maintain peak optical performance. Do it wrong and you could scratch an expensive piece of photographic equipment.
For best performance, use only the Canon Lens Cleaning Kit which contains cleaning solution, lens tissue and blower brush, available through your authorized Canon Camera Dealer.
Your lenses are precision instruments just like your EOS camera is. Protect them from shock, impacts and dust by using an appropriate lens case. And store them in cool, dry areas whenever possible.
Whether it's a dramatic close-up or a stunning wildlife shot from a 100 yards away, focal length will determine if you get the shot you want. See below to see just what a difference focal length can make in an image.
Built-in flashes typically produce harsh shadows and edges, unnatural skin tones and "flat", washed-out images. So when using electronic flashes, don't use it head on. Instead, diffused the flash using various accessories such as bounce cards or soft boxes, or aimed to reflect from other surfaces, also known as "bounce flash".