A Primer on Digital Cameras… Everything you need to know
It wasn’t long ago that digital cameras were essentially for
the rich and the geeks; if you spent just a few bucks you
didn’t get anything worth having, and if you really wanted
something good.. well, you’d better be in the book about the
Rich and Famous.
Technology and costs have changed drastically in the last few
years, and it seems as if today that digital cameras nearly
outnumber all the classic film cameras, and to all but the
classic photography buffs, digital is the way to go.
Even traditional photography studios use digital, often in
combination, with film.
Why? What’s the attraction? Instant availability and the
ability to discard unwanted photos without cost penalty is
one main attraction. The second is the ability to share,
publish, store your pictures.
The purist will still argue that for professional grade
photography and the widest range of effects that film is the
only way to go. If he were shooting today, it is doubtful
that Ansel Adams would be using digital.
For the rest of us, digital seems to be the way to go.
Now assuming you have not yet made the plunge, the biggest
question is “Where Do I start?” or “What do I buy?” or
“How Do I Compare?”
Articles have been written on just these subjects and if we
were to expand on all, this article would be a text book
instead of just a primer. You can do a search on any of the
popular article sites to find many articles just on that
subject, (one site for example is ArticleCity.com, but not
to promote one over the other.. chances are you may be
seeing this on an article based site). You can also use
But sometimes it’s nice to have interactive expert advice.
We suggest you read and research for background, but then
for selection, visit you closest specialty photography or
camera store. One where that’s all they sell.. not a general
all purpose discount or department store that probably has
that department “manned” with part time help.. but go to the
specialty store. The person will know what to ask you and
how to guide you.
Your biggest question will end up being an ethical one:
After you have been taught and guided, do you buy from that
store, or take your knowledge and model to the internet or a
discount store and make your buy. If you do, keep in mind
that the full service store may offer just that.. service
after the sale; maybe an upgrade trade in policy, and other
intangibles that must be assigned value.
Before you venture out, choosing the right camera begins
with asking yourself “What do I want this for?” “What kinds
of pictures do I expect to be taking?” “How many at a
time?” (Addresses memory and storage issues). “What kind of
light will most of my pictures be in?” “Will I be carrying
this camera for long periods of time?”(Think of weight).
And lastly, and this is important.. What kind of batteries
does this camera use; how available are they, and what do
they cost? Most digital cameras are real battery hogs, so
it is important that batteries are readily available.. and
possibly rechargeable.. but if you are on a 3 week safari in
Africa and you don’t have chargers handy.. what are your
options? How many pictures? Memory cards available
easily? Or do you have to dump and download often? On a
long vacation you don’t want to shoot all day and fill up..
and then not have a computer handy to dump into?
Compared to film where it’s just “pop a new roll” digital
cameras purchased that don’t match the photographers needs
can be a detriment, not an asset.
Once you choose, then you need to know how to compare
pricing and benefits.. but that’s the subject for another
Choose wisely and you’ll love your new camera!
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