Basics of the Digital camera
Like most things in life when your experiencing something for the first time you are often unsure how to go about it. The same can be true when buying your first digital camera. You will undoubtedly be inundated with facts, figure and more jargon than you know what to do with. We will attempt in this article to help you along with some of the jargon and show you what to look for when buying a digital camera. Some of the feature may not interest you unless you need your camera to perform specific tasks, however its always worth knowing exactly what you are buying so you can pick a good deal when you see one.
The resolution of a camera is measured and advertised in megapixels. The idea behind this figure is the number of pixels that the camera has to take an image with. In this case the higher the number the better quality of picture you will be able to take. For example if you purchase a camera that has a resolution of 4 Megapixels, pictures that you take with that camera will be able to take images made up of 4 million pixels. Its obvious when you think about that a camera with a 2 megapixel resolution will not create as image as crisp or as detailed as the 4 megapixel one.
If you often print out your images on your PC or have them sent away to be printed then the megapixel rating of your camera can be very important to you. Higher megapixels on your camera will allow you to make prints larger in size while still keeping the quality. If you try to print a picture too large than what you camera was designed for then the image drastically loses quality.
The last thing to know about megapixels is the higher the resolution you take pictures in the more space on your memory card will be taken up. A picture taken on a 4 megapixel camera will need twice as much space on a memory card as a picture taken on a 2 megapixel camera. Be sure if you want quality pictures have enough memory on your camera to back it up., Either that or have spare media cards to plug in once your space has been used up.
Digital Zoom and Optical Zoom
No doubt when you are buying a camera you will want some sort of zoom function to take those in the distance shots. This is a troublesome area for some first time buyers. There are two types of zoom on the market for digital cameras. Digital Zoom and Optical Zoom. The only one that really matters is Optical zoom, this is true a true zoom function that brings the objects closer to you using the optics of the camera. Digital Zoom is like using the zoom function on an image editing software package. It enlarges a section of the image so it looks as if its closer to you.
Anything you can do with digital zoom you can do with a photo editing package so don’t splash too much money on a camera with digital zoom only. Sometimes you will also so “total zoom” advertised this means the number that is quoted here is the optical zooms magnification added to the digital zooms magnification. Try to find out the magnification level of the optical zoom alone for the true value of the camera.
We may be going a little further here than some of you would like to care about but bear with us as the aperture size can make a big impact on your pictures. The size of the aperture determines exactly how much light is let into the camera when your picture is taken. Think of the aperture like the iris of your eye. No big deal you may think, however having more light allows you take better pictures in a variety of lighting condition, cloudy days is a perfect example. With a large enough aperture you would be less likely to need the flash, personally I don’t like to use the flash function, the artificial flash of light does not always do justice to the picture you are trying to take. Also effects like red eye are also common.
Great effects can be made to images using a variety of shutter speeds. The thing to look for when buying a decent digital camera in terms of shutter speeds is the broadest range you can find. This will give you the best chance of manipulating the picture the way you want it. Combined with a pro-active aperture the shutter speed can make pictures come to life or freeze images in an instant.
This technique is great when you want to take moving objects exactly how they look as if they were still. Setting the shutter speed on a slower setting gives more exposure to the CCD (charge coupled device – the digital equivalent of film). The effect is that the picture almost seems to run. Moving objects are slightly blurred. You may think this is a bad thing but take an example of running water leaving the shutter speed on for longer will soften the image creating a pleasing image to the eye much like the way a waterfall appears in real life.
You can take digital photography to the extreme with a camera that has a very wide range of shutter speeds. With an incredibly slow shutter speed, you can have a long exposure of light to the CCD and hence receive like the famous traffic scenes where the headlights blend into each other into a constant stream.
Digital Cameras come with a slot for a variety of media cards. Check when you buy your camera what type of storage media it requires. There are several popular types including Smart Media, compact flash and xD picture cards. As long as you know what type your is you should be able to safely by the correct type. Always ask at your local store if you are unsure. If you give them your make and model they should be able to point you in the right direction.
The size of the media card you choose depends on your budget but get as much as you can afford. More memory means that you don’t have to change media cards, and you will be able to take pictures in the highest quality all the time. You will soon learn the benefits of having plenty storage space when you start to use your camera regularly.
The good thing about cameras media is that its just like a film if you do run out you can simply insert another one if you have one with you. It can be a bit of a pain when downloading your pictures to your PC but much less more of a pain than having to delete some picture because you have run of space on your media card.
Digital Cameras Quality Vs. Size
When looking to purchase a new digital camera there is always the debate between size and quality within the range of your budget. No matter what the budget, the choice will have to be made between a smaller size, more portable camera and a higher resolution camera with more features. Making the choice between the two is simply a matter off considering what the cameras purpose.
Digital camera users who plan to use a camera for simple point-and-shoot purposes will want to focus their budget on a small, portable camera. These individuals are most likely using their camera to document travels, family events, and personal experiences for their own memory. The photos dont need to be or a super high resolution because they will not be blown up to poster size, but will remain 4 x 6 or 5 x 7 in a frame on the mantel. It is important to consider that when size is traded for quality, while the photos will be higher quality, users may be less inclined to take photos as the size of the camera becomes a hindrance to taking it along for the fun.
Photographers who are more interested in the end product will want to sacrifice size for a higher resolution camera or one with more features and/or accessories. The bulkier high-resolution cameras or digital SLRs will be the better choice for users who are taking artistic or professional photographs. Even the amateur artist, will want to invest in quality over size to produce the kind of photos that can be enlarged to show detail. Cameras used for professional shots, whether to be displayed in a portfolio, brochure or website, will also need to be of higher quality, and it will be worth hefting the extra weight to get the higher-end photos.
Knowing the type of photographer you are, will help you make the right choice in cameras. When you have an idea of what characteristics are most important to you, take the time to shop, read the reviews, and compare the various cameras in your price range.
Why photographers need to use digital camera downloader software?
As a digital camera owner you may not be surprised to learn that digital downloader software to automate image transfer from your camera or card-reader is important. Everyone needs to get their images from point A the camera to point B the PC and we need this task performed with the minimum of fuss and bother. As photographers we are all aware that there are occasions when we will need photographs rotated or some photographs may require a little resolution adjustment. Using professional digital camera downloader software like RoboImport to automate photo transfer and to perform some image adjustments easily manages mundane digital camera workflow tasks.
When purchasing your new digital camera it may come with software that claims to be the gift with your purchase, some quaint little photo viewer. Usually this digital camera downloader software is offered on a trial basis or it is the bare minimum quality, if its any good at all. With the lower cost of digital cameras today many dont even come with any digital camera downloader software at all, in fact if youre lucky your camera package might come with a driver for your computer for digital camera communication but nothing else at all. Some new photographers may believe that since their new camera did not come with any special digital camera workflow software, its not required. Unaware that the uploading photographs from their camera does not require time consuming steps. They will begin by creating folders, then picking pictures out one by one and face the next process of cataloguing and arranging. This is simply unthinkable for professional photographers or even new photography enthusiasts who have thousands of picture to process and organize.
Digital camera workflow software specifically developed to transfer your photographs from your camera to your PC does far more than automate the photo transfer process. Any program that would just perform just this task is really quite inadequate. Photographers require professional digital camera workflow software such as RoboImport. This recommended digital camera workflow software will detect the camera connection for us photographers that may not be seasoned computer experts. RoboImport will create the required folders to transfer the images into, and even rename it accordingly. Some less professional digital camera downloader software may present a problem during the upload process by duplicating filenames and sadly overwriting other treasured photographs that may be present in the computer. RoboImport takes the precaution of renaming pictures from the standard number your digital camera presets, by reading and recording the EXIF information of the photographs to create a unique code representing the date and time the photo was photographed. The complete EXIF information including your cameras make, model and settings will also be transferred with your pictures, retaining this information is absolutely necessary for professional photographers.
RoboImport will also rotate images when required, correct image resolution (DPI) and add any further IPTC information to the photographs you would like to include. When managing hundreds of pictures this is an exceptional time saving feature. Travel and wildlife photographers are also considered with the added ability of RoboImport to include GPS coordinates of the photographs location.
Professional photographers who do not have access to their RAW photos do not do their work any justice. JPEG images are not as good in quality and are prone to bleeding and blurring the photographer was not responsible for, and certainly their camera did not create, this is a result of the compression required to convert photographs JPEG pictures or other formats. RoboImport saves both the RAW image file and the JPEG image in separate folders giving the photographer the image they real
Professional photographers who do not have access to their RAW photos do not do their work any justice. JPEG images are not as good in quality and are prone to bleeding and blurring the photographer was not responsible for, and certainly their camera did not create, this is a result of the compression required to convert photographs JPEG pictures or other formats. RoboImport saves both the RAW image file and the JPEG image in separate folders giving the photographer the image they really took, as security and backup against format conversion damage.
Excellent digital camera workflow software like RoboImport will also open your Picajet photo manager, or other available digital picture manager you might have on hand for further assessment of your photographs. The time and fuss saved by using software to automate image transfer gives the photographer back their time to spend on the tasks they want to be performing, like taking masterpiece photos.
Offsite Data Backup or Online Storage, which solution is the Best?
Offsite Data Backup or Online Storage, which solution is the most suited to you
Most people still think that backing up to an offsite environment is the same solution as moving files to an online storage system. If you want to know what the differences are, so you are able to make an informed decision, please read on.
Online file storage is a means for moving your digital photos, music, movies and projects off your computer via the internet to a remote storage facility, so you can access them from anywhere, share them with friends. Online file storage works by giving you and thousands of other people storage space on large internet servers. This storage is basically used as an extension to your local storage.
A typical example of use would be anybody how has non-critical data such as MP3, MPG, JPEG files who would wish to store data remotely in case of drive failure or loss and may also wish to share said files with friends. Please note this form of data storage is for file data only and would require manual transfer via ftp. Online storage is ideal for a home user looking to secure or store data offsite.
Offsite Backup is a commercial offering, originally used buy large corporate organizations who could afford high bandwidth connections ensuring their data is backed up to third party locations with highest emphasis placed upon security. As the cost of internet connectivity has greatly reduced, offsite secure backup services have become available to smaller businesses. I am sure you can appreciate, if a company, business or organization was to lose data, it would not know who its customers are, who owes money to whom, therefore creating many more challenges than a home user losing their MP3 collection would face.
It is not just an issue of moving file data to a remote location, there are many other factors a company has to address, such as:
What type of data has to be backed up most companies will have a database in one form or another such as, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL, MySQL, Oracle or Lotus Notes which will be running 24 hours a day. A backup solution must contain agents for backing up the databases in question whilst the database is running and must support multiple operating systems, such as Windows, Novel, Linux and Unix etc.
Security The data to be backed up is sensitive and you would certainly not wish to share this data. Before data is backed up it must be encrypted to the highest levels possible, levels used by your bank or the military for example. Your data must be stored whilst still in the encrypted state ensuring only you have access.
Data Backup can create a large manpower overhead, so your offsite solution must be totally automated requiring no human intervention, set and forget.
The hardware must be dedicated for backup and resilient as possible with no single points of failure and then for good measure this whole infrastructure must be replicated in real time to a second datacenter.
All the above factors will ensure your business data is backed up and available for restore regardless of data disaster.
In summary, online storage, great for home users storing MP3, Video and file data. Offsite data backup is a must for business use.
Five Steps To Back Up Your Digital Life
Computers & Technology | Total Words: 398
More and more, our lives have gone digital. We’re quickly filling up our hard drives with digital photos, music, videos and documents, and in doing so we’re flirting with digital disaster.
Think about it: What would happen if you lost all that data on your hard drive? In a millisecond your family photos, home movies, years of work, and digital music collection could vanish forever. It could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to have a data- recovery service attempt to get the lost data back, but there’s no guarantee they’d be successful.
This is a disaster that doesn’t have to happen.
With today’s advances in external storage and backup solutions, backing up your digital assets can be done easily and automatically. With an external hard drive such as the Maxtor OneTouch solution, you won’t be forced to rummage through a pile of CDs/DVDs if you need to restore something. It’s all stored in one location. Just supply power to the drive, plug it into a PC or Mac via a USB or FireWire port, pop in the included disk, and follow the simple setup wizard. In just a few minutes, you’ll be able to automatically back up your entire hard drive every night. If new data can’t wait, press the glowing button to start an immediate backup.
If you’re connected to a home or small business network, look for a shared storage device, such as the Maxtor Shared Storage Plus solution that plugs into a wired or wireless router and can automatically back up everyone’s computer data on the local network to one location.
The good news is that getting started on a backup program is simple.
• Develop a backup schedule-back up data daily or, at a minimum, weekly.
• Back up everything-no need to sort through every file and folder. Invest in a storage solution that’s twice the size of your internal hard drive to give your system room to grow.
• Do it automatically-set it and forget it. Use a solution that’s easy to set up and provides automatic backups.
• Rotate backups-for added protection in case of theft or natural disaster, use two drives and rotate one off-site.
• Don’t procrastinate.
Unfortunately, the need to back up data is often a lesson learned from a bitter experience. Don’t let it happen to you.
Modern technology can help you be sure your digital family memories are safe.
Digital Photography Printing: Simplifying the Pixels and DPIs
Digital photography printing has opened new avenues for amateur and professional photographers alike. For most photographers, the backup of digital photography printing offers unprecedented freedom to get the best shots. No more worrying about wasting that precious piece of film running out, in addition to not knowing for sure that anything worthwhile is on it!
However, when it comes to getting the printing done, there are a few things one should keep in mind to prevent wasting too much of quality photo paper, and the costly printing ink. In this article, well review a few basic terms related to digital photography and offer a few tips on getting the best prints.
Resolution refers to the ‘image-sharpness’ of a document, and is usually measured in dots (or pixels) per inch (DPI). It also refers to the image-sharpness that printers and monitors are capable of reproducing. Depending on your particular needs, documents can be scanned at various resolutions. The higher the resolution of a document, greater the image-sharpness, and larger the file size will be.
With digital photography printing in mind, the first thing you need to ensure is that you download the pictures at their full resolution. If in the end, you have 72dpi (dots per inch) pictures, your print quality will be useless. A 72dpi resolution is good for viewing on your computer screen, but an image with 200 to 300dpi will give a good quality 8×10 inch print.
Pixel is short for Picture Element. It is the smallest part of a digital image, and each image is comprised of thousands or millions of pixels. This basic unit, from which a video or computer picture is made, is essentially a dot with a given colour and brightness value. The more pixels an image has, the higher the resolution of that image will be. One Megapixel is equal to one million pixels.
Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) is a standards committee that designed this image compression format. The compression format they designed is known as a lossy compression, as it deletes information from an image that it considers unnecessary. JPEG files can range from small amounts of lossless compression to large amounts of lossy compression. This is a common standard on the World Wide Web, but the data loss generated in its compression makes it undesirable for printing purposes.
When dealing with digital photography printing, you will mostly work with the JPEG file format. Remember that every time you open and save a JPEG file, you lose some of the image information. Therefore, it is advisable to do all the changes in one sitting, and then save them only once.
Resolution Guide to Quality Prints
The higher number of megapixels a camera has, the more detail an image will retain when enlarged and/or printed.
1 to 2 Megapixels
Cameras with this resolution range are sufficient for sending photos electronically via email, but are not ideal for printing photos. Most camera phones, PC camcorders, and PC cameras have a resolution in the 1 to 2 megapixel range.
3 to 4 Megapixels
Cameras with this resolution range are good for printing and retouching the standard 4×6 inch images.
5 to 6 Megapixels
Cameras with this resolution range produce professional results when enlarging photos up to an 8×10 inch format.
Cameras with a resolution range of at least 7 megapixels promise superior quality and detail when printing or enlarging photos beyond the 11×14 inch format.
By simply looking at the file size, you will quickly learn to be an expert judge on quality. A picture of 100kb (kilobytes) or less is most probably too low-resolution for good quality digital printing. Once you get to a minimum size of 400kb, you are working with a more useful resolution for an 8×10 inch print.
If you’re proud of your photographic effort, or if you want those family shots to be available for the next generation, you will definitely want your prints to be done on decent paper. Needless to say, in the end, your prints will be only as good as the paper you use.
There are many new coated papers available on the market specifically for this purpose, and you should consider what is recommended for the printer you are using.
Archival paper, popular in the world of inkjet printing, is the longest-lasting paper and it is acid-free. These printing papers don’t come cheap, so plan carefully. Print only after final cropping, or on completion of other changes, such as after the addition of a border with your imaging software.
Regular colour inkjet and laser printers are good for text and charts, but not always best for digital photography printing. PictBridge-enabled printers allow you to print your digital photographs directly from the camera. Portable printers, such as the HP Photosmart 320 series, allow you to take a picture and print 4×6 inch sized pictures anywhere on the move.
Incidentally, for smaller 4×6 inch prints, dye-sublimation printers give outstanding quality prints, and they are generally waterproof. However, the materials for such printing do not come cheap!
If you cannot get satisfactory results with your own digital photography printing, especially if you’re printing larger than 8×10 inch sized images, you could try one of the brick-and-mortar, or even online photo labs that make use of dedicated photo printers with excellent results.
Photo labs can easily handle digital files directly from your memory card. Take your digital camera, a homemade CD, or your cameras memory card along for professional quality digital photography printing.
What is Photo Mosaics?
Photo Mosaics are actually a very new invention, believed to be first created in the 1990’s. Photo mosaics have become widely popular around the world, though, for their unique appeal.
A Photo Mosaic is a photo made up of many smaller photos. To say it another way: A photo mosaic is a photo that has been divided up into small squares or rectangles. Each rectangle is the replaced by a separate photo that closely approximates the color the rectangle was.
A picture is worth a thousand words in explaining what a photo mosaic is like, though. Go to Google Image Search or Yahoo Image Search and search for photomosaics.
One of the first creators of photo mosaics, Robert Silvers, patented the production of and name photomosaic. However, Mr Silvers patent does not give him the exclusive rights to make photo mosaics. There are many companies around the world using various methods and technologies to legally create photo mosaics.
There are several ways to create or obtain photo mosaics.
The first method is tedious, to say the least. Using photoshop, or any other editor, you can manually cut and paste images together to create the larger image. This technique is very time consuming, though, and there is really no need to employ this method.
The second method is to use photographic mosaic software. There are many versions of free software that can help you much more easily create photo mosaics. Of course, there will be at least a short learning curve, but most are not too difficult to use.
The third and final method to obtain a custom photo mosaic is to pay a professional photo mosaic designer to create on for you. This is obviously the most expensive option, but it will probably also give you the highest quality finished product.
Really, it’s all up to and what you need and want! Happy photo mosaic-ing!
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