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Why go digital?

There are many reasons why you should go digital. The main reasons are image quality and convenience. Digital cameras are very flexible and usually easy to use and they can capture excellent quality images. With care you can obtain excellent prints using your own colour printer. It is also easy to make web pages of your images to share with other people. Most importantly of all, you can view the quality of the image you have captured and check the accuracy of your framing and your exposure. More convenient, more immediate, better prints.

However, there are several issues that should be considered when you are choosing and using your camera.

Choosing a digital camera

Optical zoom: These days most quality digital cameras have an optical zoom and a flash built-in. Most are small, flexible, portable and convenient and easy to use. When looking at which camera model to shoose you will often find similar models but one will have an optical zoom and another will only have a digital zoom. However, using a good optical zoom gives you much more flexibility when capturing an image, so it is worth spending the extra money to buy a camera with an optical zoom that will be much more useful in a wider range of situations.

Shutter lag: For some cameras there is a lag time between pressing the button and the image being captured. This can be very annoying as the important moment can pass in the small amount of time between pressing the button and the camera taking the image. The more expensive cameras tend to have a minimal lag time. Get to know your camera well so you can use it effectively.

Image Quality: Once you have chosen a camera, there are several other factors that impact on the quality of the images you can obtain. The most important most important of these is related to the number of pixels that the camera can capture. The second factor is the amount of compression used when saving the image file in the camera and the third most important factor is the quality of the lens on the camera.

Camera shake There are other factors, such as the ability of the photographer to hold the camera still at slower shutter speeds, but the impact of this factor depends on the skill of the photographer and can be overcome by choosing a more appropriate shutter speed or to use a tripod.

Image stabilisation:. If you are going to hand hold your camera in low light situations, then look for one that has image stabilisation built in. The camera will have some mechanism built in to cancel small movements of the camera so that the images produces are sharpe. Some brands have image stabilisation built into the body of the camera, while others have stabilisation built into the lens. It seems to me that the best option is to have image stabilisation built into the body of the camera, and this will work even if you change the lens. However, if you buy a camera that uses lenses with the stabilisation built into them, then the lenses will be much more expensive than those without image stabilisation built in.

Print size: An image from a 3 Megapixel camera will print up very well as a high quality 4” x 6” photograph. If you really want to print a larger image, it may still be good quality at twice that size. If you make a print that is too large, the image will look pixelated and "blocky".



Paul Wright
Black & White & Digital Images
Magpie Photo
Copyright 2007