* This article is: Royce's beginner notes on using a digital camera. Using words kids can understand.
* This article is not: Technical, complex, or wordy. Not about video.
* Similar Articles: None at the moment. Eventually I'll make a Photoshop Introductory video.
* Submit Improvements Here.
What is Digital Photography?
* Different people prefer different sizes of camera.
* Taking photos can be for fun, to express yourself, for profit, for insurance, for memories of loved ones and material items, for travel, etc. There are unlimited reasons to desire to remember a visual moment in time.
Digital Camera VS Old Fashioned Camera
(Terms for this list came from popular camera manufacturer websites, whom set trends in standardization of terms).
* Image Sensor:
* Total Pixels VS Effective Pixels:
* Lense Information: Can you switch out the lense, who makes it, can you connect older style lenses.
* Focal Length:
* Focusing Range:
* Digital Zoom Length:
* Auto Focus:
* Manual Focus:
* Viewfinder: Digital and optical:
* Screen and Screen Size: Where you view your images, adjust settings, edit images. Some are touch sensitive.
* Maximum Aperture:
* Shutter Speed:
* Exposure Sensitivity:
* Light Metering Method:
* Exposure Control Method:
* Exposure Compensation:
* White Ballance Control:
* Built-In Flash: Corrects red eye.
* Battery: How long it lasts, what kind of battery,
* Shooting Modes: Sets the camera to a biased sensitivity or effect, such as fast motion, fireworks, low light at night, beach, long shutter, movie taking, panorama stitching, etc.
* Photo Effects: Some common effects are negative color, cartoony outline, black and white, grey colors, brown colors.
* Self Timer:
* Wireless (Remote) Control:
* Continuous Shooting:
* Storage Media: Usually a SDHC Memory Card.
* File Format: The mode your camera saves photos as. JPG is very popular due to saving space. Other image formats you may recognise are PNG, BMP, GIF, etc.
* JPEG Compression Mode: More compressed photos take less file space, but look blotchy.
* Video Recording Resolution and File Size:
* Physical Interfaces: The openings on your camera for memory cards, cables, accessories,
* Operating Tempatue and Humidity: Don't run your camera with too much heat or water in the air.
* Dimensions and Weight: The measurable size and weight of your camera with memory card and batteries inserted.
* Price: You can buy a camera new, used, refurbished (factory fixed a flaw), on sale, on rebate (money back in mail),
* Other aspects to know: The warrenty, a service phone number, included accessories in the box, text reviews, youtube video reviews, high resolution sample images.
* Common "Optical Sensor" types: BSI EXR CMOS. BSI-CMOS. CCD. CMOS. Exmor CMOS. MOS.
Tips and Tricks
* Point your flash at the ceiling, or cover it with a translucent material, so the light becomes softened, and won't bounce off your subject and back into the lens in an ultra-bright fashion.
Digital Camera Categories
* Digital SLR aka dSLR:
* EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens):
* Super-Zoom aka Mega-Zoom:
* LifeProof is Durible:
* Ultra Compact is Pocketable:
* Gorilla Pod
* Extra Lenses
* Wireless Remote Control
* Wireless BluTooth Memory Card
* Shoulder Strap
* Light Softening Gadgets
* External Mic when Taking Video
* External Flash
* Battery Charger for AC Outlet and Car Outlet
* Audio/Video Cable
* Photo Editing Software: Examples are Adobe Photoshop Elements, or the free software The Gimp, or PhotoScape. Windows Live Photo Gallery will also edit your photo.
* 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, SDHC Memory Cards
* Telescope Connection
Future of Digital Cameras
* One could imagine the future will have object recognition with visual augmentation, voice command, tiny cameras and sensing equipment built into more devices such as cars for backing up. Mobile cameras on tiny radio control helicopters.
* Trends: Higher resolution images. Better night viewing. Higher optical zoom. More GPS location recording. Duel-lens for 3D movies. Water proofing. More rugged. Thinner camera body. Electronics on a smaller chip.
Elderly Camera Guide
* Take a Photo: 1.) Focus the camera by pointing it at what you wish to photograph, and pressing the button Half Way. The camera will beep to let you know it’s focused. 2.) Continue to fully press the button. This will take the photo.
* Blurry Photos Are… Dirty lens. It’s dark out. Subject was moving. Camera wasn’t held still. Zoomed in too far. The background was too bright, such as a person standing in front of a light. The camera focused on the wrong subject. Camera was in manual mode.
* See the Photos You Took: Press the triangle "Play" button. The camera has Left and Right buttons to move between photos. Viewing your photos, will use a lot of battery.
* Camera blinks when it’s charging. The light turns solid when it’s done charging.
* Turning the camera on and off multiple times, uses a lot of battery. Leave the camera on if you might take another photo. The camera will automatically turn off.
* After taking a lot of pictures, or when the camera battery is empty, plug in the power cord for roughly an hour.
* Taking photos at night, uses the Flash, which uses a lot of battery.
* Develop the Photos, They Are Cheap… Any big store can develop your photos. They'll know what to do. I use Costco, Target, Wal-Mart, etc.
* Camera Lens is Delicate, needs to be protected. Don't let anything touch it. If dirty, such as a fingerprint, only use a special lens cloth to clean the lens. Don't use liquids. Keep the camera in a soft bag, or cotton bag, to protect it.
* Water is Bad. Never let any rain touch the camera. Do not clean the camera. Do not use liquids near the camera.
* Wrist Strap is Good. Use the attached wrist strap when possible, because the camera is slippery. Dropping it any distance will permanently break it.
* The age of non-digital analogue camcorders has long died, and we live in an age of instant, digital lifestyle.
* Common digital camera rules apply to Video Camcorders, such as the importance of Image Stabilization. This list will skip over typical Digital Camera tips, focusing specifically on Video Camcorders.
* Common Media Types: Tape. DVD. Hard Drive. SD Memory Card. Multi Format.
* Tapes may require you to connect your camcorder to your computer, sometimes this is not straight forward, and requires capture software. I prefer using a Hard Drive or SD Memory Card, to quickly and easily transfer to your computer.
* Common Connections: S-Video, Firewire, USB2, old fashioned RedWhiteYellow, modern HDMI.
* Screen: The screen uses battery very quickly, so having a View Finder can be useful. Some screens swivvle, allowing you to view them at many angles.
* Form Factors:
* The larger your CCD Light Censor, the more light enters your camcorder, giving a better image especially at night. Some camcorders have 3 CCD's for different colors.
* Some camcorders come with night vision, allowing video in pitch black rooms.
* Regional Formats: Ensure you get the right region format for your country. America uses NTSC video format, while Europe uses PAL, and there are a few others.
* Always look at ten review websites before buying your camcorder or any expensive item.
* Largest Photography Communities: Flickr. DeviantArt.
* Wikipedia Articles:
Royce's Current Cameras
* PPanasonic DMC-FZ150. Category: Mega Zoom Point and Shoot. 12.1 MP. MOS Sensor. 24x Optical Zoom with nano coated lens. Lens size 52mm. Lens is permanent and can have additional lenses attached to it. Purchased on Nov 2011.
* Kodak Kodak Easyshare C875. 8mp. Very old!
* Flip Mino
Royce's Next Camera Will Be DSLR
* Camera ideas..?
* Features I Require: Excellent pixel clarity. Excellent auto-focus. Fast shutter speed (motion images). Fast processing. Fairly light weight. At least 10megapixels. Not a huge camera. 5/5 stars rated. LCD as viewfinder. Quality image stabilization.
* Features I'd like but not vital: Wide-angle lens. GPS tagging. Fast startup. Great in low light. True 1080p video at 30fps. Remote control capability. Mega zoom 30x optical. Almost no barrel distortion. Near-perfect pixel clarity. Large community of fans. RAW. 3inch LCD. Super macro (photos of ants).
* Unacceptable: Heavy. Giant size.
* Features I don't care either way about: Photo effects. Software.
* Research Method: Seek out Editors Picks and Best of 2010 cameras.
* Categories for a spreadsheet: Camera Make & Model. Camera Style. Basic Stats. Generally Rated. Megapixels. Released Date. Price New. Image Sensor. Pro's. Con's. Questions. Notes. Notes. Notes.
People I Know Use...
* Mom uses: Canon..?
* Dad uses: Canon..?
* Leo Laporte uses:
* Jaimie Uses: Kodak..?
* Renee Newman Uses: KODAK Z740. 5mp. 10x optical. First deveoped November 24, 2003.
* John and Conny:
* Lori Lusk: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi. DSLR. CMOS image sensor, of APS-C size. DIGIC II Image Processor. Weight 2 pounds. Known as "Canon EOS 400D" and "Canon EOS Kiss Digital X" internationally. Mid-range digital single-lens reflex camera introduced by Canon August 24, 2006.
Features I Enjoy...
Large image sensor.
Great image processing chip.
Digital Viewfinder VITAL.
RAW Images VITAL.
Mega Zoom 30x or more.
Super Macro (Photos of a penny).
NO IMAGE GRAIN is VITAL.
Great Image Stabilization VITAL.
Bright Flash Built-in.
Full HD 1920x1080 pixels video recording capability at 24 fps. record footage at a long zoom range.
Swivel Screen VITAL.
Main Companies: Kodak(no), Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Nikon, Fuji, Casio, Olympus.
Small Light Sensors vs Large Light Sensors
From what little I know, the DSLR cameras have detachable lense and a postage-stamp size light sensor. They are about $400.00 to $600.00 on a budget. Some have flash built in, some don't let you preview your photo as you take it, but the cameras are fast and the light sensor is big enough for nice crisp pixels. They don't bother promoting "15 megapixels" when they are happy with 8 to 12 really sharp megapixels.
Then there are the compact digital cameras along with the big chunky mega-zoom digital cameras, both using a itty bitty pinky-nail-size light sensor. These seem to be $200 to $400, quite randomly. The lens is permanent, the flash is usually weak, the megapixels are way too high for the light sensor, the batteries don't last long, the build quality is flaky on some. But if you find a really good compact camera or mega-zoom camera (like the two I listed above), then having a pathetically small light sensor doesn't hurt any because it's well made.
That's all I know so far between full postage-stamp size light sensors vs sad pinky-nail sized light sensors, and I bet there is a lot more I'll learn.
The two I looked at, are pricey for pinky-nail sized sensors (assuming they use tiny sensors), but they are a good deal for someone who wants absolute pixel perfection on a budget price.