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Digital Camera Basics

Apr 22, 2008
Understanding megapixels is one of the first things to consider when thinking of buying a digital camera. Megapixels are important because they determine the size and usually the quality of the images. Having more megapixels allows you to make larger prints.

Most entry level digital cameras these days are at least 5 megapixels or higher. This is more than adequate for sending pictures via email and will print beautifully as large as 8 x10.

The next important thing when buying a camera is which type to get. An SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera is expensive, but if you are looking for a high-resolution camera with excellent picture quality, SLR cameras are the way to go. This would be the digital equivalent of a 35 mm film camera.

if you have experience with 35mm cameras, you will recognize many of the same features and more. A very popular feature of the digital SLR camera is the ability to change lenses.

If you are just starting out in photography you may want to consider a point and shoot camera. They are generally less money and much easier to use. Many of these types of cameras have preset programs which give you a variety of possibilities when shooting your photographs. This allows you to produce some wonderful images even if you don't have a lot of photographic experience.

After you get a camera, you must choose a good memory card for your camera. The most popular types of memory cards for digital cameras are Multi Media Card (MMC), Memory Stick (MS), Smartmedia (SM), Secure Digital (SD), xD-Picture Card (xD), and CompactFlash (CF). Certain cameras require certain memory card types, so make sure you ask an expert which memory card is right for the camera you have.

After you purchase your camera make sure you get the proper memory card for your camera since there are various formats. If you plan to keep the pictures stored on your camera's memory instead of downloading them to your computer you want to get it's a memory card with a larger storage capacity to allow you to this save more pictures.

It is important to know how to transfer pictures from your camera, since you only can send and edit pictures once they are on the computer. Now, your camera probably came with a USB cable. That is one option. Another option is to get a memory card reader. A USB cable is a wire that plugs into your camera at one end and your computer at the other end.

A memory card reader is nothing more than a piece of hardware that plugs into your computer into one of the USB ports and then you take the memory card out of your camera and insert it into the card reader. The benefit of a card reader is that it is usually faster to download the pictures and using the USB cable. Also by using the memory card reader, it allows you to save the batteries in your camera because you can have the camera powered down during the transfer.

Depending on the type of computer you have, a message will come up saying that you camera is connected. Or, in the case of a Mac computer, you just go into iPhoto, which comes standard on newer Mac computers. Use the help tab at the top of your screen to find out how to download your pictures.

After you have downloaded your pictures, you can delete the pictures on your memory card, freeing up lots of space so that you can take more pictures. It is also a very good idea to periodically make a copy of the pictures on your computer and burn them to either a CD or DVD as a backup copy in case your computer's hard drive fails. You probably have spent a lot of time and effort in creating some beautiful pictures and you wouldn't want to lose them.
About the Author
Barry Craft loves photography. Get his latest tips to help you improve your photographic skills .Get FREE copy of his latest report entitled, "Top 10 Tips for Great Photo Composition" by visiting Take Better Pictures.
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