Archive for August, 2009

Questions To Ask When Buying An Slr Digital Camera

In a world of low-priced cameras, it is good to know that are also options for people who take their photography seriously, but don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on a camera. For these photography “purists”, there are SLR Digital Cameras. SLR means Single-Reflex

Camera and the digital versions of these cameras allow the individual to take high-quality pictures using a variety of different lens types.

The following are some important questions that every one considering a digital SLR camera should ask before making this exciting purchase.

Auto-Focus or Manual Focus?

Auto focus SLR cameras provide you with a tremendous amount of convenience when it comes time to snap your picture. However, there are several drawbacks to auto-focus cameras, including:

• Auto focus systems are run by electronics, which can fail you at the worst possible time

• Auto focus cameras burn through batteries faster than manual focus models

• Auto focus cameras can be noisy

• Sometimes the lasers that control auto focus lenses see things differently than they human eye

Individuals who like additional control and customization options may wish to choose a manual focus camera. Manual focus SLR cameras allow the user to control shutter speed, aperture and the zoom focus features. Disadvantages of manual focus cameras include the steeper learning curve and the additional time it takes to properly set up each shot.

Can you auto-preview pictures with a digital SLR camera?

Yes. Digital SLR cameras offer all of the convenient features found in standard digital cameras, including the ability to preview pictures on the camera’s screen, cycle through photos and delete unwanted images and easily transfer photos onto a memory card or computer.

What are the Most Important SLR Camera Accessories to Buy?

Everyone who takes their camera on the road with them should have an extra battery always on hand. (NOTE: Be sure to keep your spare battery properly charged at all times.) Also, a neck strap helps you keep your camera handy while on the go. Finally, a tripod is a great choice for anyone who plans on taking posed or stationary pictures with their Digital SLR.

What are Gray Market Cameras?

When you a buy a Digital SLR camera online or at a traditional camera store, you will either be purchasing a gray market or warranty-covered camera. Both are the actual manufacturer’s product, but gray market cameras are generally not covered by a warranty (and are less expensive as a result).

How much do Digital SLR Cameras Cost?

Digital SLR cameras are available at a wide variety of price points, from $400 to $5000. The price of the camera depends upon the features included and the zoom capability of the lenses. Price may also be dictated by the lens package included.

How much Memory is Required?

Although the amount of memory is a personal choice, experts agree that a one gigabyte card is the most appropriate place to start. A one gigabyte memory card will hold hundreds of even the highest quality images comfortably.

To make the most informed decision possible when it comes to purchasing a digital SLR camera, visit is the leading online price comparison website where you are always just a couple of mouse clicks away from the absolute best deals on the web. At, we’re dedicated to providing you with the best, most unbiased product information on the web.

By: Mark Etinger

About the Author:

Mark Etinger is a business strategist at Ajax Union Marketing Ajax Union specializes in Business Development and Internet Marketing

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Make Friends With Your Digital Camera

When a brand new SLR (single lens reflex) model digital camera is put into

your hands, whether it is a purchase or a gift, you are holding an exquisitely crafted instrument designed to deliver sharp, crisp, brilliantly colored photos. If you spend the time to acquaint yourself with its technical aspects, a whole new world of photography can open up to you.

I admit that the typical manual for digital cameras can be intimidating. I have two manuals for a small digital camera that I bought two years ago. The camera can be used in automatic (point-and-shoot) or manual mode and the basic guide is 32 pages, the advanced guide is 144 pages.

Fortunately, camera manufacturers now have show and tell instructions in the form of DVDs and that should help. But sometimes technical terms discourage new owners from getting up close and personal with their new cameras.

With computer access it is really easy to search Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, to investigate many technical terms like, for instance, mega pixels (tiny, tiny dots of color). When you see that the more mega pixels a camera has, (like 10.1mp or 12.1mp), the sharper the image is going to be because there is more pixel information being recorded when you shoot.


This means that you will be able to have your photos blown up to, say, poster or mural size because there is a greater density of pixel information and the image will keep its clarity at large sizes. Photos taken with less mega pixel data appear grainy because there are fewer recorded dots of color information.

Perhaps you remember with fondness the user-friendly cameras preceding the latest addition to your collection of memory makers.

With the stalwart (if slightly boxy and heavy) 35mm film camera, inserting a roll of film was sometimes a little tricky, lining up the film edge holes on the sprockets, and being careful to shield the camera from too much light when inserting the film.

But then once that was done, your automatic film camera was good to go. Just point, shoot and no worries. Of course, you really had no idea if you actually got the photos of what you were shooting until the film was developed days or weeks later.

Stepping into the 21st century, that scenario has changed dramatically with the advent of the digital camera. You know what you have right away.

(I was amused recently while watching a TV show where an irate actor snatched a camera from a paparazzi photographer to destroy unwanted photos. A scene like this done ten years ago would have been super dramatic with the person pulling out yards of exposed film. Now it is merely a matter of snapping out a tiny memory card!)

Here are a few of the basic things to learn about your camera.

Controlling the amount of light perceived in a scene

Put very simply, the aperture (opening) of the camera lens is like the iris of the eye, enlarging to let in more light in low light situations and narrowing in brightly lit scenes like snow or water-reflecting scenes. In automatic mode, when there is too much or too little light coming through the aperture, the camera computer corrects for this.


You can manually control the amount of light by adjusting the f-stops on your camera lens. Basic f-stops range from f-1.2 to f-22. The lower number setting indicates a low light situation where the camera aperture is opened to its widest diameter to allow in more light. The high number setting shows an extremely brightly lit situation where the aperture needs to be closed down, letting in less light so that the image will not be over-exposed and washed out.


Setting the speed (ISO) at which the camera shutter opens and closes

You can control the speed (ISO) at which the photo will be taken. In film cameras, the only way to change speed was to change rolls of film, sometimes wasting much of a roll. With your digital camera, you simply switch by dialing the speed you desire.

This is important if you are, for instance, shooting sports photos where the shutter is open a tiny fraction of a second so you can capture action without blurring. Or, you may want the shutter open for long periods if you are shooting night scenes or fireworks


Selecting the focal distance

The part of your camera that is governing how far away from your subject you are shooting is the lens. If your new digital camera is an SLR (single lens reflex) model, you are a very fortunate person. The SLR model is very versatile because with the flip of a button, you can change lenses quickly and easily. You can instantly change from shooting panoramic shots to intimate portraits or switch to a macro mode of ECUs (extreme close-ups).

Even if you start out with a basic lens of 18-55mm, the time you spend learning about the effects of using different focal length lenses will reward you with the knowledge to take spectacular photos.

Your digital camera is capable of taking stunning and memorable photos if you take a little time to really get acquainted.

(If you are thinking about upgrading from a digital point-and-shoot camera, take a look at the EOS Canon Rebel XTi SLR 10.1mp digital, the camera I love. With the professional level of this camera, your photographs can exhibit a whole new level of clarity and brilliance.)

By: Lynne Albright

About the Author:

Artist / Decorator – Lynne Albright
· Bachelor of Science in Art – Skidmore College
· Master of Fine Arts in Design – Yale University
· Set Decorator – Motion Picture and T.V. Industry – 1978-2000
· Decorator – Theme Park Industry (Disney & Universal) – 1980 – 2000
· Gallery showcasing Artwork – Hollywood Cinema Arts – 1998 to present
· Professional Photographer

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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 – a site dedicated to digital photo printing Ziv Haparnas writes about science and technology.

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