Advantages of Going Digital

Digital, it’s a word a lot of photographers are hearing these days. Digital photography is new, fresh, and innovative. Even though digital photography is still in its infancy it is a highly capable photographic tool. The information and insights provided here will help you make the decision to go digital.

There are so many ways to use digital photography. Advertising, family photographs, graphic design, security, fashion, design, and inventory control are just some of the ways that digital photography is being used these days. Digital photography is a wonderful tool for those who love to capture life.

Digital and film cameras have the same fundamental basics when it comes to taking a picture. The only severe difference is that with digital photography you get instant gratification. Most models of digital cameras allow you to delete photos you don’t want, saving you time, memory card space, and money.

Digital Technology

Digital cameras use electronic chips that process the electrical information into digital information. This process is completed by using millions of tiny electrical receptors that convert the energy into a digital image. The millions of color elements that it takes to make a digital photograph are called pixels. The standard pixel commonly used is the mega pixel (mp).

Mega pixel refers to the number of sensors used to convert the energy into a picture. If you have a digital camera with a resolution of 8 mega pixels, it is equivalent to about 8 million sensors. The more mega pixels you have the better quality of image you will get. Typically 1.9 mega pixels are enough to get great quality 4 x 6 photographs.

File Formats

There are three basic file formats that are used in digital photography; JPEG, RAW, and TIFF. JPEG stands for joint photographic export group. This is the most common file format used in today’s digital cameras. JPEG is a compressed file that allows more storage than some other file formats. JPEG converts the image into a thumbnail that can be viewed immediately. JPEG is also universally recognized by all software programs and most digital cameras.

RAW file format is an unprocessed form of data. RAW files are not universally recognized by all software or cameras. The data can be retrieved and developed using specific software. RAW files store only data that is later processed using software to create an image.

TIFF stands for tagged image file format. TIFF files are also uncompressed, meaning that they take up more space. TIFF files also create thumbnails that can be viewed on your camera. When using TIFF files formatting you will most likely achieve better picture quality but less storage. Typically the same quality can be found using a 1.9mp JPEG formatting camera.

Media Cards

Media cards are tiny computer chips that store information until it can be processed to create a photograph. The media card is the memory for your digital camera. Media cards come in all different sizes to fit a variety of cameras. Usually, the larger the card you buy the cheaper it is to store per print. With a larger card you can also save more pictures. Using smaller cards is also a great way to organize your prints.

Formats for media cards are constantly changing and evolving to fit smaller and smaller cameras. Most models come with a standard media card but can be interchanged with larger styles or different brands. Some cameras do not come with a media card but have an input for one. If you choose to store pictures on the digital camera itself you may be limited in the amount of pictures you can save.

Downloading Pictures from the Camera

Nowadays it is easy to download your pictures from camera to computer. Simply load the software that came with your digital camera and follow the instructions. Typically you run the software first and then connect the camera using a USB or Fire Wire Cable from the computer to the camera. You can use a card reader/printer if you like. The new models of memory card printers are exceptionally fast.

After you download the pictures you can save them to your computer, upload them to the internet, print them, or email them. There are millions of ways that digital photography can be harnessed. Digital photography has proven to be quite a useful tool for on line market places and bidding sites.

Buying a Digital Camera

With the popularity of the digital camera the price has been reduced dramatically since it first went on the market. Currently you can buy a digital camera anywhere in the range of $30 to over $300. Just remember that you get what you pay for. If you get a cheap camera don’t expect it to take exceptional pictures.

When looking for a digital camera it is useful to know that there are a few different types. Digital SLR, Range Finders, and Electronic View Finders are some of the fastest emerging models. A Digital SLR is very similar to a film loaded camera. The optical path is controlled by a series of mirrors and prisms that produce a digital image on the screen. When you look through the lens to take a picture you actually see what you are photographing.

Range Finders and Electronic View Finders work quite similarly to a video camera. Instead of using a lens, the picture is controlled by an optical view finder. With these types of digital cameras you do not look directly through a lens at what you are taking a picture of. Instead it is a digital image of what you are looking at. Since the technology in these types of cameras allows for video footage often it has been enabled by the manufacturer. Depending on the quality of the camera you are using you may be able to shoot 30 seconds to over 3 minutes of video on your digital camera.

When making a purchase, make sure that your digital camera is at least 2 mega pixels resolution. Anything up to 8 mp is sufficient to get great photos. There are some digital cameras on the professional market that offer more than 8 mp, but 1.9-2.5 mp seems to be the standard. A camera operating with less than 2 mega pixels will create fuzzy and blurred pictures most of the time.

Check out the sharpness of the pictures before you buy. Ask a sales associate if you can see an example. Also check the focus system and zoom. The lens quality will affect the quality of your photos, so make sure you have a good lens. Digital cameras work best in natural light or with flash bulbs. Make sure that your camera is equipped with a flash otherwise you will not be able to take pictures indoors.

Most digital cameras have a controlled mechanism that will not allow you to take a photograph if it is too dark on unfocused. Make sure you understand all the controls and features before you buy a digital camera. Sometimes it can be confusing when you get home and try to remember how to work the camera.

Improvements in Digital Technology

The digital camera industry is constantly evolving and coming up with new creations every day. Shutter response has greatly improved since the first digital camera came out. With the first models there was usually a lag time between when you pressed the button to take a picture and when the picture was actually taken. Digital cameras are now available with more mega pixels at a lower price. This has allowed many more people to use digital technology in recent years.

Video improvement such as added color has added to this technology. In the beginning, digital cameras that took video were just a novelty. Video was often only available in black and white and the duration was less than 30 seconds. Now video can be taken for several minutes at a time in color.

Digital cameras nowadays have better image quality than standard film cameras. They also will save you hundreds of dollars on film and processing. Computer companies are also making cheaper 6 color and 8 color inkjets and photo printers, making digital technology more affordable for the average person. Although digital photography is still in its infancy the market is constantly producing new models and advancing every day.

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