Picking Up a Digital Camera Gift

So you have decided to buy a digital camera for someone. Digital cameras are hot gift items. They are also high tech devices with many features and options. This article will try to help you pick up the right digital camera by understanding the considerations when buying one.

Current camera: If the gift receiver is already using a digital camera you should get the model number, the memory storage and the accessories they have. In such cases getting a digital camera would only make sense if you can afford to buy a new digital camera that is significantly better than the current one they have. A better camera is not simply one that has more mega pixels. As you will see later other considerations like lenses, flash and battery are no less important.

Photography and technology level: If the gift receiver is savvy when it comes to technology and photography you can consider higher end cameras that allow more flexibility and options but are harder to use. Digital SLR cameras fall into that category. If the receive is not into photography or technology you might want to choose a camera that is easier to use such as a digital point a shoot one. It can result in high quality pictures, is easy to use and thus can be very satisfactory to the amateur user.

Expected usage: What is the expected usage of the camera? It is hard to answer this question but you can try to estimate based on knowing the gift receiver. For example if he or she travel a lot for long periods you want to pay attention to features such as camera weight, size, battery life and memory storage. If he or she hardly travel these features are less important.

Additional cost: The cost of owning a digital camera is not limited to the money paid to purchase the camera. In most cases the owner will spend more money on accessories and other additional products. When giving a gift you want to make sure that the receiver would not have to spend more money in the near future for such additional accessories. To make sure that it does not happen the gift should include additional accessories such as batteries, memory cards, lenses and cables as needed.

How many megapixels: It is hard to avoid this question. New cameras are packed with an ever increasing number of mega pixels. Is more mega pixels better? it really depends. More mega pixels is important if the receiver is going to print photos (especially enlargements) or if they are going to zoom in and crop fine details out of big photos. If they just plan to view the photos on their computer screen and maybe print a few 4X6 prints every now and then than 2 or 3 mega pixels is more than enough (yes… just 2 or 3). When buying a gift you would want to buy what is considered the standard megapixels number to date. A good advice is to buy what is considered standard. If after budgeting for extra accessories you still have more money to spend on the gift you can always go for a higher megapixels number.

Batteries: There are two kind of batteries that can power a digital camera: disposable or rechargeable. The advantages of disposable batteries are that it is easy to buy a few, carry them and replace the ones that are empty. They are available in any store and thus very convenient when traveling. The disadvantages of disposable batteries are the cost of buying new batteries every time your batteries are empty and the capacity (in most cases disposable batteries do not last as long as good rechargeable batteries). Disposable batteries are not friendly to the environment you do not want to get them for someone who is environmentally conscious. Rechargeable batteries require only one purchase. The disadvantage is that if you run out of batteries during a photo shooting session or somewhere away from home or a power supply you can not just buy another battery. If you know that the gift receiver travels a lot and might be involved in long photo shooting session you might want to include an extra battery in your gift.

Zoom: There are two types of zoom optical and digital. Optical zoom works by physically moving the camera’s lenses and changing the focal length. By changing the focal length you can make objects appear bigger and fit the full photo frame. Digital zoom works by applying built-in software in the camera to define a portion of interest in the photo. Once chosen the software crops the rest of the photo and enlarges the area you chose to fit the complete photo frame. The downside of this digital process is that the enlarged photo quality is lower than the original photo’s. The conclusion is that optical zoom is superior to digital zoom. From a practical point of view digital zoom should not be considered zoom at all.

Some manufacturers state the camera’s zoom figure without specifying if it is optical or digital. This information is confusing and done on purpose to inflate their real zoom numbers. When you compare different cameras zoom always compare their optical zoom capabilities. You can totally ignore the digital zoom figures.

By: Chris Marshall

About the Author:

This article can be reprinted as long as the resource box including the backlink is included. Ziv Haparnas is a veteran technologist. You can find more information on digital photo printing and photography in general on printrates.com – a site dedicated to digital photo printing Ziv Haparnas writes about science and technology.

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Best Compact Digital Cameras

powerful, small is a revolution- this is the idea of the technology followed by the compact digital cameras. As the world is getting more and more fast, people want their gadgets to be handy. And, digital cameras are no exception to this. This is the major factor behind the birth of a compact edition of digital cameras.

The digital technology is the most revolutionary discovery in the field of photography. It has attracted the world by producing high quality images in limited cost. The compact digital cameras are comparatively smaller in size and have added many special features to their name. They are, no doubt, one step ahead the digital SLR cameras or any other camera models.

The standard proportions of compact digital cameras can roughly be 3.5 W x 2.5 H x 1.0 D. These dimensions can vary a little here and there, depending upon the type, the model and the brand of your compact digital camera. One interesting thing that you must know about the compact digital cameras is that an ideal compact digital camera has to have the certified label of Jeanspocket. A compact camera with this trademark is so compact that you can keep it in the pocket of your jeans, comfortably. It is a newer striking criterion added to the compact digital cams by fast generation of today.

The whole idea behind the compact digital cameras is that they make the photography fast and simple, without causing any discomfort due to their large size.

There are many plus points in the compact digital cameras, apart from their small size. Most of the models of digital cams have added features to their cap such as multiple scenes, optical zooms, exposure modes and other handy functions. Some compact digital cameras, having 11 mm or less diagonal sensors make fairly low noise at ISO 100. But, at ISO 400 and above, the noise of the camera can be quite bothering. Some compact digital cameras are so small to look at, that they demand a close look from those who wish to buy them.

The range of $200 to $500 includes the most popular selections of the compact and ultra-compact digital cameras. All the brands of compact digital cams offer a vast array of exciting functions and features. The sensor resolutions vary from 3.0 to 8.0 mega pixels and even more. The ultra-compact models can have the size so small like a credit card. They are just less than an inch thick and are equipped with advanced features and high-resolution sensors. the advanced controls include common features like, multiple AF zones, manual settings and sophisticated scene modes.

There are some shortcomings of compact digital cameras also. As the sensitivity of a digital camera can be calculated through ISO, the ISO range of a compact digital camera varies between ISO 50 and 400. While, on the other hand, the ISO range of a digital SLR camera can range from ISO 100 to1600. This makes the compact digital cameras less sensitive than digital SLR cameras.

There is much advancement in compact digital cameras, as compare to the digital SLR camera. While, in some cases digital SLR camera appears to be having more features than a compact digital camera as well. Your job is to conjure up the best one as per your needs after measuring all the pros and cons.

By: Dan Feildman

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Find a Nice Digital Camera

digital cameras
Where are you going today? Are you going alone or together with your friends or family? Don’t forget to bring your camera. Don’t leave home without your camera. A lot of unique thing happen in the street. You can capture anything with your camera.

What is your camera? Do you still have your grandfather’s camera? Many people still use SLR (single lens reflection) cameras. A SLR camera is great because you can create photography art. A professional photographer will use both digital and analog camera.

If you go to the city and enter the camera shops, there are not many conventional cameras available now. Most people are preferred to use a compact digital camera. A digital camera is slim, full with features and easy to use. You don’t have to bring a big size camera and film wherever you want to take some pictures.

When you need to buy a digital camera you must think about the price, brand, features, picture quality, mega pixel, services and guarantee, etc. You can choose many brands such as Kodak, Canon, Pentax, Panasonic Lumix, Leica, Casio, Nikon, Sanyo, Samsung, Sony, and other brand. A digital camera starts from 1.3 mega pixels and above 10 mega pixels. You can get a good quality picture from 4 or more mega pixel resolutions. Don’t buy a digital camera below the 4 mega pixels because the picture quality is not so good when you print your photo. Recently, Canon PowerShot, Casio Exilim, Sony Cyber-shot, Panasonic Lumix and other Chinese brand Mikona camera promote 12.1 Megapixel digital cameras. Wow…

The latest digital camera also equipped with face detection technology, high sensitive ISO, anti shake, anti blur, auto focus, internal editing, and other high tech features. Also you can connect your digital camera to view full HDTV 1080p for better images. You don’t have to buy a separate video camera if you are a traveler because a compact size digital camera also equipped with a capability to make a movie. It’s incredible.

Before you make a decision please consider the feature of the camera. Don’t forget to check the brochure and browse the information in the Internet. Make sure that the lenses size, zoom, and flash light, battery life, etc. fits your needs. Ask the shop owner about bonus if you choose a particular brand. Sometime they give some bonuses such as external memory or soft case. Most digital camera also include video capture capability, but make sure that you can make a video or movie with sound or audio. Video without audio is not complete. It’s a great idea if you purchase a digital camera in a promotion season. Digital cameras are now available for both professional photographers and amateur enthusiasts. A professional digital camera is expensive and the size it’s bigger than the compact size digital camera.

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By: Komang Setiabudi

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Insurance agent.
Hobby Photography.

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Consumer Reports – Digital Cameras

digital cameras
Digital cameras, which employ reusable memory cards instead of film, give you far more creative control than film cameras can. With a digital camera, you can transfer shots to your computer, then crop, adjust color and contrast, and add textures and other special effects. Final results can be made into cards or T-shirts, or sent via e-mail, all using the software that usually comes with the camera. You can make prints on a color inkjet printer, or by dropping off the memory card at one of a growing number of photofinishers. You can upload the file to a photo-sharing Web site for storage, viewing, and sharing with others.

Like camcorders, digital cameras have LCD viewers. Some camcorders can be used to take still pictures, but a typical camcorder’s resolution is no match for a good still camera’s.

WHAT’S AVAILABLE

The leading brands are Canon, Fujifilm, HP, Kodak, Olympus, and Sony; other brands come from consumer-electronics, computer, and traditional camera and film companies.

Digital cameras are categorized by how many pixels, or picture elements, the image sensor contains. One megapixel equals 1 million picture elements. A 3-megapixel camera can make excellent 8x10s and pleasing 11x14s. There are also 4- to 8-megapixel models, including point-and-shoot ones; these are well suited for making larger prints or for maintaining sharpness if you want to use only a portion of the original image. Professional Digital cameras use as many as 14 megapixels.

Price range: $200 to $400 for 3 megapixels; $250 to $400 for 4 and 5 megapixels; $300 to $1,000 for 6 to 8 megapixels.

IMPORTANT FEATURES

Most Digital cameras are highly automated, with features such as automatic exposure control (which manages the shutter speed, aperture, or both according to available light) and autofocus.

Instead of film, digital cameras typically record their shots onto flash-memory cards. CompactFlash and SecureDigital (SD) are the most widely used. Once quite expensive, such cards have tumbled in price–a 128-megabyte card can now cost less than $50. Other types of memory cards used by cameras include Memory Stick, Smart Media and xD-picture card. A few cameras, mainly some Sony models, use 3 1/4-inch CD-R or CD-RW discs.

To save images, you transfer them to a computer, typically by connecting the camera to the computer’s USB or FireWire port or inserting the memory card into a special reader. Some printers can take memory cards and make prints without putting the images on a computer first. Image-handling software, such as Adobe Photoshop Elements, Jasc Paint Shop, Microsoft Picture It, and ACDSee, lets you size, touch up, and crop digital images using your computer. Most digital cameras work with both Windows and Macintosh machines.

The file format commonly used for photos is JPEG, which is a compressed format. Some cameras can save photos in uncompressed TIFF format, but this setting yields enormous files. Other high-end cameras have a RAW file format, which yields the image data with no processing from the camera.

Digital cameras typically have both an optical viewfinder and a small color LCD viewer. LCD viewers are very accurate in framing the actual image you get–better than most of the optical viewfinders–but they use more battery power and may be hard to see in bright sunlight. You can also view shots you’ve already taken on the LCD viewer. Many digital cameras provide a video output, so you can view your pictures on a TV set.

Certain cameras let you record an audio clip with a picture. But these clips use additional storage space. Some allow you to record limited video, but the frame rate is slow and the resolution poor.

A zoom lens provides flexibility in framing shots and closes the distance between you and your subject–ideal if you want to quickly switch to a close shot. The typical 3x zoom on mainstream cameras goes from a moderately wide-angle view (35mm) to moderate telephoto (105mm). You can find cameras with extended zoom ranges between 8x and 12x, giving added versatility for outdoor photography. Other new cameras go down to 24 or 28 mm at the wide-angle end, making it easier to take in an entire scene in close quarters, such as a crowded party.

Optical zooms are superior to digital zooms, which magnify the center of the frame without actually increasing picture detail, resulting in a somewhat coarser view.

Sensors in digital cameras are typically about as light-sensitive as ISO 100 film, though some let you increase that setting. (At ISO 100, you’ll likely need to use a flash indoors and in low outdoor light.) A camera’s flash range tells you how far from the camera the flash will provide proper exposure: If the subject is out of range, you’ll know to close the distance. But digital cameras can tolerate some underexposure before the image suffers noticeably.

Red-eye reduction shines a light toward your subject just before the main flash. (A camera whose flash unit is farther from the lens reduces the risk of red eye. Computer editing of the image may also correct red eye.) With automatic flash mode, the camera fires the flash whenever the light entering the camera registers as insufficient. A few new cameras have built-in red-eye correction capability.

Some cameras that have powerful telephoto lenses now come with image stabilizers. These compensate for camera shake, letting you use a slower shutter speed than you otherwise could for following movement. But an image stabilizer won’t compensate for the motion of subjects.

Most new 6- to 8-megapixel cameras come with full manual controls, including independent controls for shutter and aperture. That gives serious shutterbugs control over depth of field, shooting action, or shooting scene with tricky lighting.

HOW TO CHOOSE

The first step is to determine how you will use the camera most of the time. Consider these two questions:

How much flexibility to enlarge images do you need? If you mainly want to make 4×6 snapshots, a camera with a 3- or 4-megapixel resolution will be fine. Such a camera will also make an 8×10 print of an entire image without alteration that looks as sharp as one from a 6- or 8-megapixel model. But to enlarge the image more or enlarge only part of it, you’ll want a 6- to 8-megapixel camera.

How much control do you want over exposure and composition? Cameras meant for automatic point-and-shoot photos, with a 3x-zoom lens, will serve snap shooters as well as dedicate hobbyists much of the time. The full-featured cameras in the 6- to 8-megapixel range offer capabilities that more-dedicated photographers will want to have. Two of the more important capabilities are a zoom range of 5x to 10x or more, which lets you bring distant outdoor subjects close and also lets you shoot candid portraits without getting right in your subject’s face, and a full complement of manual controls that you determine the shutter speed and lens opening. ‘

Once you’ve established the performance priorities that you need from a camera, you can narrow your choices further by considering these convenience factors:

Size and weight. The smallest, lightest models aren’t necessarily inexpensive 3-megapixel cameras. And the biggest and heaviest aren’t necessarily found at the high end. If possible, try cameras at the store before you buy. That way, you’ll know which one fits you hand best and which can be securely gripped. In our tests, we have found that some of the smallest don’t leave much room even for small fingers.

Battery type and life. All digital cameras can run on rechargeable batteries of one of two types: an expensive battery pack or a set of AA batteries. In our tests of the cameras, neither battery type had a clear performance advantage. The best-performing cameras offer upward of 300 shots on a charge, while the worst manage only about 50. We think it’s more convenient to own a camera that accepts AA batteries. You can buy economical, rechargeable cells (plus a charger) and drop in a set of disposable lithium or alkaline batteries if the rechargeable run down in the middle of the day’s shooting.

Camera speed. With point-and-shoot cameras like the ones we tested, you must wait after each shot as the camera processes the image. Most models let you shoot an image every few seconds, but a few make you wait 5 seconds or more. They may frustrate you when you’re taking photos in sequence.

Your other cameras. If you’re adding a camera to your lineup or trading up to a more versatile model, look first for one that’s compatible with the other cameras. If it is, you can share memory cards and batteries. Designs within a camera brand line are often similar. So staying wit the brand you have lowers the learning curve on the new camera for family members who switch between cameras.

Copyright © 2002-2006 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc.

For the latest information on this and many other products and services, visit www.ConsumerReports.org.

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Digital Cameras

digital cameras
The digital cameras have the ability to display the images on the screen immediately after the image is recorded. The images to be captured can be seen on its screen instead of its viewfinder. This way you can get a clearer preview of the image you are intending to capture.

The digital camera outdoes the traditional film camera in its image storing capacity too. The digital camera has the ability to store thousands of images on a single memory device. In addition you can even erase or unload the captured images onto your computer and reuse the camera’s inbuilt memory. In some cases you can even put a new memory card and store more pictures. Digital cameras also allow you to edit images. When capturing videos, digital cameras have the ability to record sound too, thus making video capturing a fun experience.

There are varied categories of digital cameras:

Video cameras: They are the cameras that exclusively record moving images.

The professional video cameras are the ones used for film production, etc. these have multiple image sensors thus enhancing the resolution of the end product. These do not have a inbuilt VCR or microphone.

The camcorder is another type of digital camera that has a microphone to record sound and an LCD screen to view the image that you are going to capture. This is mostly used by amateurs.

The web cameras are the type that is attached to the computers. Some of these web cameras have microphones, while some of them also include zoom abilities.

Compact digital cameras: They are small and portable; the smallest of them are called subcompacts. They are easy to use with not many special features or high picture quality. They have built in flash of not a very high power, but sufficient for close objects. It also permits live preview. They have a greater depth of field thus allowing objects from larger distances to come in sharp focus.

Bridge cameras: They are higher-end digital cameras that look a lot like Digital SLRs. Bridge cameras have the same advanced features as SLR and the live preview like the compact digital cameras.

Digital single lens reflex cameras: This is the digital camera that works like the single-lens reflex with a film.

Digital rangefinders: A rangefinder is an optical mechanism used to measure subject distance. They were once widely used on film cameras.

Professional modular digital camera systems: Mostly these cameras are used in studios for commercial production. Since they are bulky and difficult to carry they are rarely used in action or nature photography. They can be changed to digital or film cameras by simply replacing the back part of the entire device.

Line-scan camera systems: This type of camera is used in industrial areas in order to capture an image of a constant stream of moving material. This technology has the ability

These cameras are almost solely used in industrial settings to capture an image of a constant stream of moving material. Line-scan technology is capable of capturing data extremely fast, and at very high image resolutions.

By: Mohit Sharma

About the Author:

Mohit Sharma is a well known writer and has written many articles on price comparison, whirlpool refrigerators, online shopping, digital camera etc.

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