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Nuts & Bolts of Digital Cameras Sterling Heights Public Library Mary Lou Metzger –

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Presentation on theme: "Nuts & Bolts of Digital Cameras Sterling Heights Public Library Mary Lou Metzger –"— Presentation transcript:

1 Nuts & Bolts of Digital Cameras Sterling Heights Public Library Mary Lou Metzger –

2 Agenda The terms Kinds of digital cameras How to buy a camera Evaluation sources

3 Should you get a digital camera? View pictures immediately on the LCD screen. Share photos easily via e-mail Unlimited pictures (look, delete, keep snapping) Print only those that you love Use CD or DVD to archive photos. Do slide shows yourself.

4 The Terms

5 Digital Cameras Just like a conventional camera. Series of lenses that focus light to create an image of a scene. Instead of focusing this light on a piece of film, it focuses onto a semiconductor device that records light electronically. In other words, it stores the image on some kind of memory device (like a computer records data on a disk).

6 Megapixels or Resolution The amount of detail the camera can capture is called the resolution and it is measured in pixels. The more pixels, the more detail. The more detail, the more the picture can be blown up and not become grainy. Cameras come in 1-6+ megapixel sizes. Remember, the higher quality picture, the more memory space it takes. BEST BUY: 3 MP or better

7 Pixels and Picture Quality 256 x 256 pixels- found on cheap cameras. Picture quality is poor 640 x 480 pixels-low end on most cameras. Good for e-mail pictures or posting on web. 1216 x 912 pixels-good resolution if you plan to print pictures (this is 1 megapixel) 1600 x 1200 pixels-high resolution, pictures can be printed in larger sizes with good results (this is 2 megapixel)

8 Zoom Optical Zoom uses the lens to zero in on the subject. You’ll be using all your available pixels. Makes the picture richer and more detailed at every level of the zoom. You’ll see the lens move. Digital Zoom crops the number of usable pixels as you zoom in on your subject. So, the picture won’t be as sharp. Lens doesn’t move. BEST BUY: Optical zoom

9 Compression or Storage Most cameras store in a compressed JPEG format. Usually low and high. You can also save in hi-res TIFF. JPEG can mean loss of image quality when you work with it, BUT… TIFF eats up memory. BEST USE: high-quality JPEG format will work just fine. Makes good prints and web and e-mail pictures.

10 Flash Memory Early digital cameras only had fixed storage inside the camera. Today, most use flash, removable memory. Pay attention to amount and type of storage camera uses. Most use some form of flash memory. Most work the same, but storage size differs. Think of them as reusable “digital film”.

11 Flash Memory Built in-most cameras have some SmartMedia-SM-small flash memory module CompactFlash-slightly smaller than SM MultiMediaCard-SD-secure digital (smaller) Memory Stick-proprietary flash from Sony Floppy Disk-just like those in a computer Hard Disk-Some $$ cameras offer built in RW-CD DVD-new, some cameras offer CD- DVD drives. Your camera will only use one of these.


13 How many pictures? Depends on the mexapixels of the camera and the size of the storage. Memory 16MB32MB64MB128MB256MB512MB Camera 1MP32641282565121024 2MP163264128256512 3MP8163264128256 4MP612244896192 5MP48183672144 6MP048163264 Number of pictures (approx)

14 Power Most cameras use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries or regular rechargeable/disposable AAs Rechargeable AAs come in NiCd (nickel cadmium) or (newer) NiMH (nickel metal hydride) which are better Memory effect is where you charge battery before it’s fully depleted. Eventually, battery wears out. Best to let it run down totally before recharging. Also don’t store battery in camera. Newer NiMH batteries don’t have this problem as much nor do Lithium-ion. Rechargeable better & cheaper than disposable.

15 Downloading Pictures Download pictures to your computer. Camera will come with software. You will need cables or USB cable to hook camera to computer or TV. Or, pull memory device out and insert into your computer (disks) or a “holder” (sticks, etc.) Loading dock style (Kodak) hooks dock to computer, camera to dock, and then sends pictures and recharges.


17 Printing Pictures Download to your computer and print. Quality depends on your printer. Some printers are just for picture printing, don’t need the computer at all. Use photo paper (not cheap). Go to photo kiosk at store, most have very good directions, put your storage device into kiosk. Or, some stores will take your device and develop. Make a backup CD or DVD of your pictures since you’ll probably erase pictures from storage device. You can also view a “photo slide show” from the CD or DVD.


19 Editing Pictures You can crop pictures Remove red-eye Blow them up Use the software that came with your camera Other image editing software programs (Photoshop, etc.) will let you add hats, remove background light poles, etc. Most store kiosks let you edit “on the fly”


21 Types of Digital Cameras

22 Professional Camera Digital SLR cameras Cameras designed for professionals and advanced amateurs. Cameras have most of the features (such as exposure controls) and accessories (such as lenses) that work with 35mm. versions also work with the digital versions. Allows you to make short video clips Can be VERY expensive and BIG

23 Ultracompact Digital Camera Sometimes called “prosumer”. Cameras with 5 to 6 million pixels or so. Generally, the higher resolution is combined with more advanced features such as through-the-lens (TTL) focusing and creative controls. Becoming more popular. Many now will make short video clips but will eat lots of memory

24 Point & Shoot Digital Camera At the low end are the fully automatic point and shoot cameras with resolutions of 3 to 4 MP or so and prices below $500. Great prints up to 8 x 10 or so. These cameras are fully automatic and usually don't provide you with a lot of creative control—that's why they are called "point and shoot.“ Higher price models usually have more features. Many now even make video clips.

25 Other Digital Cameras Digital Video Cameras-you can take stills and short movie clips. Specialty cameras found in cellphones and PDAs and even wrist watches! Disposable digital cameras now available.

26 How to Buy a Digital Camera

27 Steps to choosing a camera Size matters: How do you plan to use it? Resolution: The higher the resolution, the greater the detail of the image. Even though 2 or 3 MP camera takes great pictures that be blown up, if you often need to crop and still want to print full size, you’ll need a larger MP (5 or 6) camera. Control: Do you know what you’re doing? Do you want control over process? Or, does point and shoot work for you?

28 Options & Features: What do you want? What do you need? Time lapse, movie clips are some options. What else do you need: You’ll need extra memory and batteries. Are they alkaline, rechargeable NiMH, etc.? Camera bags are nice too. Printing: Are you going to the kiosk or printing your own?

29 Evaluation Sources

30 Check Out Evaluation Web Sites General consumer epinion sites Digital photography sites explain terms, tell how to take good pictures, offer reviews of various brands and models, and even offer comparison charts. Shopping sites can give you a “ball park” estimate of what you should expect to pay.

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