Learn Digital Photography Now – Buying a New Digital Camera

Learn Digital Photography Now – Buying a New Digital Camera

Purchasing a new digital camera can be a very overwhelming experience. Technology is continually changing and there seems to be upgraded cameras available every month! With these changes you can still ensure that you purchase the right camera for your needs by understanding the technology. You will not be able to understand all of it, however you can gain the knowledge to make the right decisions. This article will cover the features of digital cameras that are most important for you to understand.

For starters we have to understand the similarities of film and digital cameras. In short, a camera is a light tight box that allows exposure of a light-sensitive material through the use of a shutter and an aperture. This definition does not change from film to digital cameras, nor does the process.

Both types of cameras have Lenses, which focus the image and control how the image will look (wide or telephoto). The lens is also one of the most important factors in determining overall image quality. The better the lens quality, the sharper and more clear your image. In film or digital photography- poor lenses=poor image quality.

Shutters control the duration of the exposure in both types of cameras. Both film and digital cameras use an Aperture to control how much light hits the sensor during the time frame that the shutter is open. Very large apertures (2.8 or 4) will let in a lot of light, while small apertures (16 or 22) will let in very little light.

Whatever type of camera you may use, Focusing will always be a necessary step in creating sharp photographs. Manual and auto focusing can be found on both types of cameras.

So what are the differences? The main difference is the way in which it records light. The traditional camera has film and the digital camera has a sensor and a processor. Understanding the sensor and processor is the key to knowing digital cameras.

In the beginning, when digital cameras first became popular, something called Lag Time was a major issue. The “lag” in between the time you clicked the shutter button and the time the shutter opened was very obvious. With the recent advances in technology there has been a significant reduction in lag time. Even the most budget friendly cameras have a very quick turn around time in between shots or during a series of quick exposures. If your photography requires fast shooting and many frames per second (i.e. sports photography), it would be a smart idea to research the frames per second and lag time statistics prior to purchasing.

When digital cameras first became popular, something called Lag Time was a major issue. The “lag” in between the time you pressed the shutter and the time the shutter opened was very noticeable. Recent advances in technology have reduced lag time significantly. Even most low priced cameras, have a very quick turn around time in between shots or during a series of quick exposures. If your photography requires fast shooting and many frames per second, it would be a good idea to check out the frames per second and lag time statistics before purchasing.

In Digital Photography ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor. The same principles apply as in film photography – the lower the number the less sensitive your camera is to light and the finer the grain. Higher ISO settings are generally used in darker situations to get faster shutter speeds (for example an indoor sports event when you want to freeze the action in lower light) – however the cost is noisier shots.

This increased sensitivity does have its drawbacks however. With film you get an excess of grain, with digital you get what is called noise. The grain of film, in most cases is considered acceptable and in some cases even desired. Noise, however does not have the same allure. Unlike different emulsions of film, the sensor really only has one sensitivity. To manage an increased ISO, or during very long exposures, the camera must send more power to the sensor, which results in the appearance of small specks or dots of white or color. A blotchy look can also be created from the higher ISO’s or long exposures. Most of the noise will generally manifest itself in the darker areas of your image. This is an important point to pay attention to if your photography requires higher ISO settings, nighttime or long exposures. In higher end cameras, manufacturers have spent the money to reduce the noise problem, but it still may present itself on the lower cost models. Look to reviews for how much noise individual cameras will produce.


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