will own a digital camera, Derrick Story delivers Digital Photography Pocket Guide, In this third edition of the bestselling pocket guide, Story expands on the . This guide covers a lot of digital photography tips and techniques, but there's even more you can . I have a small pocket camera that has many unique features. Digital Photography Pocket Guide, Third Edition (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly)) [ Derrick Story] on subiecte.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Even film.
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Digital Photography Dennis P. Curtin PREFACE Photography has become pervasive in our society. Each of us sees hundred. Day Day Up > Digital Photography Pocket Guide, 3rd Edition By Derrick Story. Digital Photography. POCKET GUIDE. Derrick Story. Beijing • Cambridge • Farnham • Köln • Paris • Sebastopol • Taipei • Tokyo.
Flash The flash provides additional light for pictures taken indoors or at night, and for outdoor portraits. Although moving the semiautomatic still sweat bullets heh heh Your camera may have buttons instead, but they work the same way. Once you get closer and com pose your image, take a few shots, then get closer again. There is no magic formula you can always apply to translate digital focal lengths to traditional 35mm numbers, though, because the relationship is determined by the size of the camera's sensor.
Another free ebook from this UK magazine which discusses the merits of shooting black and white photos in a predominantly colour age. Why anyone would want to give this mammoth page ebook away for free is beyond me, but definitely one to dig into when you want to explore some of the ins and outs of digital photography.
A bit of a broad ranging free photography ebook this one, but still, some useful advice especially for the beginner photographer or those just using cheaper cameras and mobile phones. Going Candid by Thomas Leuthard. Collecting Souls by Thomas Leuthard. Who could resist a photography ebook with such a beautiful title?!
Street Photography for the Purist — by Chris Weeks. A collection of raw and gritty black and white photos, including commentary on technique by this street photographer. Understanding Light — by Nigel Hicks.
Similar to exposure blending is the technique of HDR photography. The Guide to Sports Photography — by Adorama. Despite being somewhat dated, this ebook from Adorama still manages to pack in some useful tips on an exciting career in sports photography.
Learn how to capture athletes in motion and other tips on specific sports. The complicated topic of off camera flash photography made easier to understand. Essential reading in this free photography ebook. Lightroom Hot Tips — by Shotkit. How could I have written a list on the best free photo books without including the Lightroom Hot Tips?! Learn a handful of useful tips and tricks to make your Lightroom experience more efficient and enjoyable.
Photography for Beginners — by Joseph Scolden. Not everyone who visits Shotkit is an experienced photographer.
For those of you who are picking up a dSLR camera for the first time, this free photography book could be of use to you. The interaction of aperture how much light is coming into your camera , shutter speed how long the light is coming into your camera , and ISO how sensitive your camera is to light results in exposure. Get in the habit of checking the histogram after every shot, and look for balanced lighting. Try to minimize the amount of light at the very top and bottom of the histogram.
There are many composition practices: Your best bet is to familiarize yourself with some of the basics How to Compose a Photograph: Here are five of the most important.
Try taking photos with the rule of thirds for a couple days. Next week, focus on leading lines, and so on.
Just snapping photos when you see something worth recording will help. But intentional practice goes a long way toward developing your skills. These five exercises are just suggestions; there are lots of other beginning photography exercises 7 Skill-Building Photography Exercises That Really Work 7 Skill-Building Photography Exercises That Really Work There are lots of exercises that can help "develop your photographic eye".
Here are the most effective ones that we've found. Read More out there. Read More you can embark upon. These Facebook groups will help you. You'll find constructive feedback, tutorials, and tips on everything from framing to editing. Read More that will help, too. But when you want to focus on becoming a better photographer, exercises like these are tough to beat. Photographing in black and white is a great way to develop your eye for light. Try taking only black-and-white photos for a week.
Or even just a day. And for an extra challenge, vary your settings. Photographing black-and-white landscapes is very different from architecture or portraits. For a week, take pictures only of blue things. Or red things. Or black, or white. But this exercise will help train your eye to find interesting objects to photograph. Natural things, man-made things, clothing, people, animals.
When we photograph things, we very often stick to one angle. Taking multiple photos of the same object makes you think creatively about how to approach it. There are lots of things you can focus on in this exercise. Of course, you can change the angle and direction of your photo. But you can also introduce new objects into the photo, emphasize a different part of the object, even use it for an abstract photo.
Abstract photography might not be your thing, but this is another exercise that will help you see things in a new way. And that, of course, will help you see things in a new way. Which is what will lead to better photography. Ask ten strangers on the street to take their portrait. But it also helps you realize just how many opportunities you have to get great photos. You might expect most people to say no. And developing your skills will take you much farther than buying accessories.
When you get in the groove, you might take hundreds of pictures, and that can fill up your card quickly. Especially if you have a DSLR. Fortunately, SD cards are cheap and available pretty much everywhere. Grab a couple extras. Every photographer has experienced the frustration of seeing a great shot only to find out that their battery is dead.
But if you have a spare battery, you can ensure that you always have a fully charged one ready to go. How are you going to carry those cards and batteries? In a camera bag! This might not be necessary with a point-and-shoot camera, but DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are easiest to carry in a dedicated bag.
Your shutter speed will be so slow that even a tiny shake from your hands will show up in the photo. The ability to use slower shutter speeds can let you create some really cool effects, and holding your camera by hand for those shots is nearly impossible. One of the biggest advantages of digital over film photography is how easily you can edit your photos after you take them.
Your camera likely comes with some software from the manufacturer of your camera. And while this software can be decently good at organizing and editing your photos, there are better options out there. Read More , including both downloadable and cloud-based options.
The best options are probably Photoshop Elements and Lightroom , but both of these are expensive for beginners. Here are some of the best Creative Cloud alternatives. Read More that you can use, though.
Your photo collection will be much easier to manage that way. Photoshop Elements and Lightroom are good for this as well, but again, there are lots of free and more affordable options.
So focus on that. GIMP is a powerful and free program for photo editing — just be aware that it has a pretty nasty learning curve.
And remember that you can use built-in apps to great effect. We'll show you where to find and how to use Photo's lesser-known features. On a related note, make sure that your photos are backed up. This is a lot of information. But what it all comes down to is this: There are lots of accessories and pieces of software you can invest in, but in the end, it comes down to practice.
Take a lot of pictures, look back on them and critique them, and learn lessons from what you discover. And have patience; like any other skill, it takes a long time to develop your photographic eye.
Enjoy the process! Here are the best WordPress themes for a photography portfolio. Read More! Explore more about: Digital Camera , Longform Guide , Photography. Your email address will not be published. A very nice introduction to digital photography. The fledgling photographer will find that there are a huge number of sites that offer advise and instruction as well as trying to sell you stuff.
After nearly 50 years of shooting 35mm I have moved into the digital age. What I find is that there is NO substitute to learning the basics of photography. Figure shows the top side of a compact camera, where items such as the shutter button, zoom, and power button are typically found.
Figure is your signpost to the discussion about the components inside of the camera. The front of a compact camera 1. Flash The flash provides additional light for pictures taken indoors or at night, and for outdoor portraits. Look for flash controls that are quickly accessible and not buried deep within a menu system. Focus assist light The focus assist light helps your camera focus in dim lighting by projecting a white beam, or a subtle pattern, onto the subject. This light may also shine when you're using the red eye reduction flash mode and serve as the warning light when the self-timer is activated.
Microphone port A tiny opening on the front of the camera is used to record audio annotations and to add sound to movie clips. Some cameras that have a movie mode also have built-in microphones, but not all do. Optical viewfinder lens The optical viewfinder lens enables you to compose the picture by looking through the viewfinder lens instead of viewing the LCD monitor on the back of the camera.
Using the optical viewfinder saves battery power, but it isn't quite as accurate for framing precise compositions or close-ups. Picture-taking lens The picture-taking lens projects the image you're shooting onto the electronic sensor where the picture is recorded.
This lens also captures the image you see on the LCD monitor on the back of the camera. Back panel of a compact camera 1. Confirmation light The confirmation light shines when the camera is focused and ready to fire, or when the flash is ready.
Blinking indicator lights usually suggest that you need to make an adjustment before taking the picture. Display control button You can turn off the display to conserve battery power. This button often has a third option that provides for the display of camera data on the screen while composing the picture.
You can typically cycle through these different settings by pushing the button repeatedly. LCD monitor The LCD monitor allows for precise framing of the subject, because the image is captured directly through the picture-taking lens.
You should always use the LCD monitor in macro mode for close-ups. The LCD monitor is also used for reviewing pictures you've already captured. Most LCD monitors, however, aren't effective in direct sunlight—the image is hard to see.
If you shoot lots of outdoor pictures, make sure your camera has an optical viewfinder as well. Camera manufacturers are also starting to provide models with 2" measured diagonally or bigger LCD viewfinders.
If you spend more time viewing your images on the camera than on a computer, you should give the size of your camera's LCD monitor important consideration. This is an important design feature to consider when choosing a digicam, because buttons and dials allow you to make quick camera adjustments—using them is much faster than scrolling through menus on the LCD monitor.
Menu button The menu button activates the onscreen menu that enables you to set the various functions of the camera. Most likely, you'll use the multifunctional jog dial to navigate through those menus. Mode dial The mode dial allows you to switch among various picture-taking and picture-reviewing modes. Multifunctional jog dial The multifunctional jog dial allows you to navigate through onscreen menus by pressing the four directional buttons. Sometimes, jog dial buttons have two sets of functions: Look for little icons next to the jog dial buttons.
These icons usually represent the functions associated with those buttons in picturetaking mode. Here are a few of the most common ones: Burst This setting enables you to take a sequence of shots by holding down the shutter button. Close-up Sometimes called macro mode, this setting allows you to focus your camera on subjects that are only inches away.
Flash modes All digital cameras provide you with flash options, such as flash on, flash off, and red eye reduction. This button allows you to cycle through those options and choose the best one for the situation at hand. Metering modes Some cameras provide more than one metering mode, such as evaluative and spot see the discussion of exposure metering options in the "Advanced Amateur Cameras" section.
You can choose which mode you use via this control. Self-timer Use this function to delay the shutter firing for a few seconds after you've pressed the shutter release button. Most cameras insist that you confirm all selections before enabling them. This button is particularly important when erasing pictures, as it makes it impossible to delete a picture by inadvertently pressing the erase button.
Trash button Pressing the trash button removes the current picture displayed on the LCD monitor. This button doesn't usually remove all pictures on a memory card; for that, you have to select the "erase all" function via the onscreen menu. Top side of a compact camera 1. Computer connection The computer connection is used for transferring pictures from camera to computer. Shutter button The shutter button trips the shutter, but it also provides focus and exposure lock. For the best pictures, press lightly on the shutter button and hold it in the halfway position to lock the focus and exposure.
Once the confirmation light comes on, you're ready to take the picture. Then add more pressure until the shutter trips.
The trick is to not let up on the shutter button once the focus is locked, but to keep the pressure on in the halfway position until the exposure is made.
Almost all digital cameras use this type of two-step shutter button. A handy tip to ensure that the camera focuses on the area you want is to point the camera directly at what's most important, hold the shutter button down halfway, recompose the picture, and then depress the shutter button the rest of the way to make the exposure.
Tripod socket The tripod socket allows you to attach the camera to a tripod or flash bracket. Metal sockets are more durable and therefore superior to plastic ones. Video out connection The video out connection allows you to connect the camera directly to a television or other monitor to display pictures on a larger screen.
Using video out is an easy way to show your pictures to a large group of people. Your camera may have buttons instead, but they work the same way. When in picture-review mode, this lever also allows you to magnify your image on the LCD monitor for closer inspection.
Battery The battery provides the power for camera functions.
This is one feature that every digital camera must have. Common battery types are alkaline for emergencies only , lithiumion, and nickel-metal hydride. The latter two are rechargeable. Inside view of a digital camera See the "Advanced Amateur Cameras" section for a more in-depth discussion of battery types. Direct Print Direct Print is a standard developed in that enables a common printing protocol between camera and printer, eliminating the need for a computer to produce prints.
Many consumer cameras use an evolution of this technology called PictBridge discussed later in this chapter. Image sensor The image sensor converts light energy passing through the camera lens into a digital signal. Sensor capacity is measured in megapixels.
Look for a compact with at least a 3megapixel sensor. Memory card Memory cards store the picture data captured by your camera.
Nearly every digital camera contains some type of removable memory. When the camera takes a picture and creates the data for that image, it "writes" that information on the memory card. This enables you to retrieve or transfer your electronic pictures long after they've been recorded. Table can help you determine the best memory capacity for your camera, based on its megapixels. Table PictBridge PictBridge enables direct printing from your digital camera to a printer. You simply view an image on your camera's LCD viewfinder and select "print," and the camera sends the required data to the printer via the USB cable.
This eliminates the need for a computer and photo-editing software to produce prints. Both the camera and printer must support PictBridge for this to work. The RAM buffer enables advanced functionality, such as burst and movie modes.
The camera can move picture data to the RAM buffer much faster than it can write data to the memory card. So when you use burst mode, for example, the camera captures a sequence of shots in the RAM buffer, then transfers the data to the memory card after you've released the shutter button. RAM buffers can be as large as 32 MB. The larger the buffer, the longer your shot sequences can be. USB Mass Storage USB Mass Storage device connectivity enables the camera to connect to a computer without using any special drivers, much in the same way that you mount an external hard drive by plugging it in.
You can then "drag and drop" your pictures from the camera to the computer, or use an image application to download them. Digital cameras that are USB Mass Storage devices can be connected to computers running the following operating systems without installing any special software: Advanced Amateur Cameras Today's advanced amateur digital cameras are reminiscent of film rangefinder classics such as the Leica M6.
Whether classic or modern, these cameras appeal to serious photographers who want to pack as much quality and control as possible into a camera that hangs lightly around the neck. Advanced amateur cameras feature high-quality zoom lenses, 6-megapixel or higher image sensors, and an array of controls that will help you meet just about any photographic challenge.
These tools are for photographers who like the art and science of photography, so in this section I'll spend a little more time talking about various aspects of these cameras, to help you understand their capabilities.
Battery types If your camera came with alkaline AA batteries, use them for testing, then replace them as soon as possible with rechargeable nickel-metal hydride NiMH batteries, which last much longer than alkalines and will save you lots of money over time. It's always good, however, to keep a fresh set of alkalines handy in case your NiMHs run out of juice while you're away from the charger.
Another good practice is to have two sets of the rechargeables, so one's always ready to use—they're a little expensive at first, but much cheaper than buying new alkalines over and over.
Lithium-ions are very popular with major camera makers such as Sony, Nikon, and Canon. Most of these cameras come with their own proprietary battery and its matching charger. Lithium-ions typically have great capacity and hold their charge for a long time, but you might want to buy an extra battery—you can't use readily available alkalines as a backup.
Another thing to keep an eye out for with lithiums is how you charge the battery. I recommend using a separate charger the more compact the better , instead of having to recharge the battery by plugging a power adapter into the camera. Obviously, you can't pop in a spare battery and go out and take pictures if you need to plug your camera into a wall socket to recharge.
Diopter adjustment The diopter adjustment allows for manual adjustment of the optical viewfinder to best suit your vision. When I was younger, I could care less about this feature. These days I'm very thankful for it, because it's hard to look through optical viewfinders with glasses on. Exposure metering options All digital cameras have some type of exposure meter, but many models have more than one pattern for measuring light.
The three most common patterns are: Center-weighted The meter measures light levels in the entire picture area, with extra emphasis placed on subjects in the center of the frame. Evaluative The image area is divided into sections usually six or more , and light is measured in each section. The camera then "evaluates" each section and matches the overall pattern to data stored in its computer system. The resulting camera settings are determined by how the pat tern and data match up.
Spot To determine the exposure, light is measured in only the center area of the viewing area, usually indicated by brackets. Everything else is ignored. Spot metering is helpful in contrast lighting situations that might fool other metering patterns.
Advanced cameras may include all three of these metering patterns, while more basic models may rely on only the evaluative pattern. Many of the features that distinguish an advanced amateur camera are found on the top of the camera, shown in Figure The top of a typical advanced amateur camera 1.
Hotshoe The hotshoe provides a connection for an external flash and other camera accessories. The metal contacts allow the camera to communicate with the flash to provide advanced features such as dedicated exposure control. Often, you can purchase "dedicated flash cords" that enable you to retain communication between camera and flash, but move the two apart for more lighting options. One end of the cord connects to the hotshoe, and the other connects to the base of the flash.
Image stabilizer Often referred to as "anti-shake technology," the image stabilizer helps you capture sharp pictures in low light. When activated, the camera actually compensates for the minute movements you make during exposure. Camera shake creates a picture that looks "soft" and not quite in focus. By counteracting those minute movements, image stabilizers help you record sharper images.
Infrared sensor The infrared sensor is primarily used to communicate with the remote control release for cameras that have that capability. An advantage you often find with advanced amateur models is an LCD monitor that swivels away from the back of the camera. This enables you to hold the camera at a variety of angles and still compose the picture—perfect for taking "over the head" shots at a parade!
Some older cameras use SmartMedia SM cards, which are still available but are not as easy to find as they used to be. That technology is being replaced by xD-Picture Cards and SD cards, which are smaller and have more capacity. The type of memory card your digicam accepts isn't as important as its capacity and performance. Most cameras ship with starter memory cards that hold only 16 or 32 MB. These are fine during the learning phase, but once you're ready to take your camera on vacation or photograph your daughter's birthday party, you'll need more memory.
Some cameras don't even provide a memory card in the box. Make sure you have a compatible one on hand, or you'll be sorely disappointed. Another thing to consider when shopping for memory cards is the speed at which they read and write. If you have a high-performance camera, you should consider having at least one high-speed memory card.
Standard cards should perform just fine for basic models.
Remote release The remote release allows firing of the camera from distances of up to 15 feet. Some remote releases also allow you to operate the zoom lens. For best results, point the sensor on the remote release at the infrared sensor on the front of the camera. Zoom lenses Camera makers tend to list two sets of numbers on the barrel of the lens, or on the body near it. The first set is usually followed by "mm" which stands for "millimeters" and looks something like this: Most consumer digital cameras have a zooming range of 3 x, such as a 7—21mm lens.
If you're familiar with 35mm photography, you can translate those digital camera focal lengths into terms that are easier to understand. For example, a 7—21mm zoom lens in the digital world is the rough equivalent of a 35—mm lens on your traditional SLR.
There is no magic formula you can always apply to translate digital focal lengths to traditional 35mm numbers, though, because the relationship is determined by the size of the camera's sensor. Camera manufacturers will usually tell you what the 35mm equivalent is. Sometimes, as with digital bodies that accept 35mm lenses, they will tell you the size of the sensor and its relationship to your existing lenses. The Canon 20D, for example, has a sensor that's smaller than 35mm film.
The result is a focal length factor of 1. The exceptions are high-end models such as the Canon EOS 1Ds, which have a "full size" sensor meaning that the lens focal lengths remain the same as in 35mm photography. The second series of numbers usually looks something like this: Aperture determines the amount of light that can pass through the lens to the camera sensor. Wide apertures, such as 1. Narrower apertures, such as 5. When thinking about the best compact or advanced amateur camera for you, keep in mind that you'll have to live with the aperture and zooming range of the lens for the life of the camera.
Unlike DSLRs, where you can change the lens, compact cameras have the lens permanently mounted to the body. Some cameras do provide accessory lenses that mount on the end of the existing glass. These work relatively well, but they are cumbersome and not many options are available.
For advanced amateur models, I recommend a zooming range of at least 5 x; more is better. Also pay attention to the wide end of the range. Get a lens that gives you the 35mm equivalent of 28mm on the wide end. Digital cameras are notorious for not providing you with as much wide-angle coverage as film cameras.
Advanced amateur cameras provide amazing capabilities in a portable package, and often for less than comparable DSLR kits. If you can live with a lens fixed to the camera body, and are willing to sacrifice a bit of high-speed performance, cameras in this class should satisfy the needs of the most critical of photographers.
Professional Cameras Digital SLRs, like the one shown in Figure , provide tremendous flexibility for photographers who need to tackle a wide variety of photo assignments. The key feature is the removable lens. Digital SLR with interchangeable picture-taking lens Sports and nature photographers may lean toward powerful zooms that bring the action in close. Special event shooters will want a high-quality wide-angle lens for working in tight quarters.
Portrait photographers need moderate telephotos with wide apertures so they can soften the background. Regardless of how you want to use your DSLR, there's a perfect lens for you. In this section I'll focus on a few of the key features that distinguish these types of professional cameras from compact and advanced amateur models. Electronic flashes Most compact camera shooters, and even many advanced amateurs, live and die by the flashes that are built into their cameras.
As you get more serious about your photography, you should consider using at least one external flash unit. The most basic application is mounting a single flash in the hotshoe of your DSLR or advanced amateur camera. This alone will improve your shots, because you'll have moved the light source the flash farther away from the picture-taking lens. By doing so, you'll reduce the effect of red eye and move unsightly shadows lower behind the subject.
You also have the option of using a dedicated flash cord to extend the distance between flash and camera lens. Wedding photographers often use a bracket to position the flash exactly where they want it.
The effects of red eye are completely eliminated when using this type of rig. Wireless flash control is a great alternative, especially when you want to use two or more flash units to light a composition. Typically, you mount a wireless controller in the hotshoe of the camera, then position your flashes on light stands.
When you trip the camera shutter, the wireless controller sends out a signal telling the flash units when to fire and for how long. This amazing system enables you to create sophisticated lighting setups without cumbersome wiring. Many DSLRs include a pop-up flash on the camera body. This function may come in handy in a pinch, but external flash units are an option worth considering if you're serious about this type of photography.
Image sensors Instead of film, digital cameras record light with solid-state devices called image sensors. I'm going to spend a little time explaining some of the differences commonly found in these components.
If this type of discussion gives you a techno-headache, you can read through my image sensor rules of thumb in the next paragraph and skip the rest of the discussion. Bigger image sensors in physical dimensions generally produce better image quality. That's one of the reasons why digital SLRs outperform compacts—they have more real estate to record pixel information.
Speaking of pixels, the more megapixels your image sensor supports, the higher the resolution of the photo will be, and therefore the bigger the print it can produce.
So, as a rule, 3-megapixel cameras are great for snapshots, but you really need a 5-megapixel or greater sensor for enlargements. That said, keep in mind that the image sensor is only part of the quality equation. The camera's optics and electronics play major roles too. If you want to know more about why these rules apply, here's a short course in image sensor technology.
The most common sensors are charge-coupled devices CCDs. Image sensors also vary in their dimensions. The term APS comes from the alternate 24mm film format Advanced Photo System that was introduced in the s but never really gained traction. The label survives because many of today's digital SLRs have image sensors approximately the same size as an APS film frame roughly 15mm x 23mm.
Because the proportions of these APS sensors are smaller than those of 35mm film 24mm x 36mm , cameras containing them have increased image magnification when traditional 35mm lenses are mounted on the body. Typically, this increase is around 1. Some digital SLRs employ a four-thirds image sensor. The major proponent of this system is Olympus. The term four-thirds refers to the proportions of the image sensor, producing images that are 4: Current four-thirds sensors by Olympus are approximately 13mm x 17mm—smaller than APS-sized sensors, but larger than those found in most point-and-shoots.
At the other extreme are the pro-level full-frame SLRs with 24mm x 36mm sensors the same dimensions as 35mm film. Instead of physical size, however, most people refer to image sensors by how many pixels picture elements they support.
The term megapixel means just that: So instead of saying, "I just bought a camera with a sensor that supports 5,, pixels," you can say, "I just bought a 5megapixel camera.
Pro cameras have sensors as large as 14 megapixels. Generally speaking, you want at least 3 megapixels for snap-shooting and vacation pictures. The more megapixels your camera has, the bigger the prints you can make. Three-megapixel cameras, for example, can produce quality prints at up to 8" x 10";. Advanced amateurs and pros need more pixel-power than vacation shooters. Having a 6-, 8-, or megapixel image provides you with more options when you process the image on the computer and print it out.
You can, for example, push the pixels closer together increasing the "pixels per inch" setting to create very smooth tones in the photograph, rivaling the images produced by high-quality film cameras.
More pixels also enable you to crop the original photo, maybe choosing just the center portion of the picture, and still have enough image information to make a high-quality enlargement.
A hefty-megapixel image sensor, however, doesn't ensure amazing photo quality. Other aspects of the camera's optics and electronics play important roles too. For example, a 6megapixel sensor in a compact camera will be in the neighborhood of 7mm x 9mm in physical size, but a 6-megapixel sensor in a digital SLR will be 15mm x 23mm or larger. That means that each of the photosites photosensitive diodes that collect one pixel's worth of light on the DSLR's sensor is physically bigger.
These bigger photosites collect more light and result in better image quality and reduced digital noise. In the end, the best way to think about image sensors is the same way you think about the engine in your car: And don't forget, the driver has something to do with it too.
Regardless of your specialty, all photographers need one or two "bread and butter" optics for everyday use. The most essential lens is the moderate wide-angle to telephoto zoom. They both range from substantial wide angle to moderate telephoto with 5x magnification. Both incorporate image stabilization technologies to reduce the effect of camera shake in lowlight conditions. And with either, you can go out for a day of shooting with just that lens and be ready for most situations you'll encounter.
When shopping for a lens for your DSLR, keep in mind that you might have to factor image magnification into the equation see the earlier discussion of zoom lenses under "Advanced Amateur Cameras" for more information. The Canon 20D, for example, has a 1. Finally, always keep portability in mind when lens shopping. You can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a wide-aperture lens with an impressive zooming range, but if it's too heavy to cart around, or won't fit in your camera bag, you've defeated your primary purpose: This adapter enabled photographers to "send" their images via WiFi technology has been around for some time and is typically used to enable Internet connectivity in coffee shops, airports, and businesses that have "hotspot" capability.
Soon, sending pictures from your camera might be as easy as sending email from your computer. Kodak has already announced a consumer camera with this technology built in, and more are sure to follow. Hybrid Devices There are three exciting areas where digital imaging is converging with other functionality: Cameraphones The most notable of the hybrid devices is the cameraphone, like the one shown in Figure Manufacturers of these devices have already figured out how to add megapixel resolution, digital zoom lenses, and even electronic flashes to the devices that you've been using to make phone calls.
Mobile phones have yet to evolve to the point where they can replace your compact camera, but they are becoming a more tempting alternative for the "camera you always have with you. Typically, you don't simply connect the phone to your PC via a USB cable and let your computer take it from there although some models do enable this. Here is an overview of the transfer options most often available with cameraphones: Removable memory card Devices such as the PalmOne Treo enable you to write your pictures to a Secure Digital memory card, remove the card from the device, and then transfer the pictures via a card reader connected to your computer.
The picture-taking lens on a cameraphone Bluetooth wireless Some cameraphones have built-in Bluetooth wireless connectivity that allows you to "send" your pictures to another Bluetooth-enabled device. This could be your computer, another cameraphone, a PDA, or even a Bluetooth printer. Again, both devices have to have an IR transceiver to move the pictures. Email Many cameraphones enable you to send and receive email.
You can attach a picture to an email and send it to your computer. Typically you'd send these messages to another MMS-enabled phone or to an online service such as Textamerica, where others can log on to see your work. True, there is a certain "geek factor" that comes with managing cameraphone images. But there's no denying the portability of these devices, and handling the pictures they produce will only get easier with widespread adoption.
DV Camcorders That Capture Stills The second area of convergence features digital camcorders that can capture megapixel still pictures. Many consumer models offer 2-megapixel or higher image sensors. The images are stored on a memory card see Figure , not on the DV tape cassette.
The memory card slot on a digital camcorder that has megapixel still picture capability You can transfer the pictures to your PC via a supplied USB cable, similar to the one that comes with your digital camera.
You can also remove the memory card and insert it into a card reader connected to your PC.
One of the coolest features of these hybrid camcorders is their ability to print your pictures via a direct connection to your home printer. Of course, both the camcorder and the printer will need to have either PictBridge or Direct Print technology for this function to work. If you want to capture your vacation snapshots and travel movies with the same device, this tandem is something to consider.
If you're serious about shooting photos with your camcorder, look for a model that includes an electronic flash, accepts an external flash unit in its accessory shoe, and has a menu of useful still-photography functions, such as exposure compensation, white balance, panorama, and flash control options.
Many of the techniques explained in this guide work perfectly well with megapixelequipped DV camcorders. MPEG-4 provides high-quality video and audio in a very compressed format. Many of these hybrid still cameras can record 30—60 minutes of top-quality video to a 1-GB memory card. Cameras with this capability often borrow many of our favorite features from DV camcorders, the most notable being a rotating LCD monitor like the one shown in Figure This allows you to capture video from just about any angle, high or low.
Another feature that's more often included is stereo audio recording via two microphones positioned on the body of the camera. A hybrid digital still camera with stereo microphones circled that captures MPEG-4 video Of course, you don't have the overall control for movie capture with these digicams that you'd enjoy with DV camcorders.
They seldom have inputs for external microphones or accessory shoes for video lights. But if you like to make the occasional movie and don't want to carry two devices, this new breed of digital still camera is worth a look.
You can learn more about how to capture interesting movies in the Chapter 2 section titled "Movie Mode," and in Chapter 3 I'll explain how to edit those videos on your computer so you can transform them from random snippets to compelling presentations. Putting It All Together Now that you're familiar with the features of your digital camera, how do you use them to take great pictures? In the next chapter, What Does It Do? Great pictures are only a chapter away.
Chapter 2. Taking Control of Buttons, Dials, and Menus Now that you're familiar with your camera's basic components, you can concentrate on how to unlock its picture-taking magic. For example, you probably understand that a simple flash menu button allows you to cycle through a series of versatile lighting controls. But what do they mean, and which one should you choose?
In this chapter, you'll learn how to use those deceptively simple buttons and dials to tap into the incredible picture-taking capacity hidden within your digital camera.
New terms are listed in italic. If you're not sure where to find any of these settings on your particular camera, double-check the owner's manual, or refer to Chapter 1 of this guide. NOTE As always, it's best to have your camera in hand as you work with the text and study the photo examples. The more you shoot, the more natural these techniques will become.
Aperture Value Av Mode Many intermediate and advanced cameras allow you to choose the aperture setting, and the camera sets the proper corresponding shutter speed. This setting is sometimes denoted as Av, which stands for aperture value. Some cameras just go with a simple "A" for aperture priority.
You can typically access this setting via the mode dial or as a menu option. Choose the aperture priority mode when you want to control depth of field. In other words, how much of your picture, from front to back, do you want in focus? Shallow depth of field is often used for portraits—your subject is in focus, but everything else is a little soft.
Choose an aperture value of 2. The lower the value, the shallower the depth of field will be, and less of the image will be in focus see Table for specific depth of field settings. Depth of field settings f-stop Diameter of aperture Depth of field Background looks f-2 Very large diameter Very shallow Very soft f Choose an aperture value of 8, 11, or 16 for deeper depth of field.
Or, you can use aperture priority and select f-2, f Place the subject at least 10 feet away from the background, more if possible. This will soften the background detail, putting more emphasis on your subject. Set your zoom lens to the telephoto position this enhances the soft background effect even more. Focus on the model's eyes. Press the shutter halfway to lock" the focus. While still holding the shutter in the halfway position, recompose so the composition is just the way you want it.
Then take the picture. If the lighting on the model's face isn't to your liking, force the flash on see the "Flash Modes" entry later in this chapter , and shoot again. This setup should provide a nicely focused model against a softened background see the example in Figure Figure Soft background portrait captured with Canon 10D and 85mm, f Autoexposure See "Programmed Autoexposure. If your digital camera records video, chances are good that you'll see this file designation on your memory card.
Other common video formats used on digital cameras include. Many new cameras use MPEG-4 compression for their movies. The icon, shown in Figure , looks like layers of rectangles. Typically this mode is a menu option, but some cameras display it as a button option that you can access at any time. Either way, it allows you to shoot a series of pictures while holding the shutter button in the down position. The number of pictures you can record in one burst is determined by the capacity of your camera's RAM buffer discussed in Chapter 1.
Most people use this continuous shooting feature for recording sports events, and it is a great choice for capturing a base ball player's swing or a quarterback's touchdown pass.
But burst mode can also help you compensate for shutter lag—that diabolical delay from the moment you press the shutter to when the picture is actually recorded. Some digital cameras have shutter lags as long as one second, which is a lifetime in action photography.
By doing so, you greatly increase your chances of capturing the decisive moment.