Thursday, January 30, 2014

Change Brought About by Digital Photography

Two-megapixel cameras were offered for less than $100.00 in late 2002, with some one-megapixel cameras offered for under $60.00.  Discount stores began offering development and processing of digital prints for their customers, offering actual chemical prints in an hour. This was in comparison with inkjet prints they could get from their computers.

These prints were about the same price as film prints, even though the different aspect ratio in digitals showed people that 4x6 digital print cropped some of the image.  Some stores now offer prints with the exact same ratios as digital cameras record. The single-use digital camera was introduced in 2003 at a cost of only $11.00. This camera followed the same simple process as the disposable film cameras.

The purchaser would return the camera to the store; receive prints and a CD-ROM of their pictures.  The store then refurbishes the camera and it is sold again. This was the major difference between the one-use digital camera and the disposable film camera.

There are now several of these one-use digitals on the market, most of which are identical in function and specifications to the original one-use put out in 2003.  However, a few now have superior specifications and are more technologically advanced.  These one-use digitals are for the most part less than $20.00 in the stores; this of course does not include the cost of processing the film.

The high demand for digital cameras has increased the number of customer complaints as manufacturers cut corners to maintain competitive prices, with some digital cameras having only a 90-day warranty necessary due to the short service life.

Due to the sharp drop in the price of 35mm cameras, many manufacturers have stopped producing them completely, with one major company dropping out of the camera business altogether.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Can Film Cameras be Converted to Digital?

One of the first questions asked by professional photographers at the development of digital cameras was, "can we convert our film cameras to digital?" The resounding answer was "yes and no."

Most of the 35mm cameras can not be converted to digital; the cost would be too high, especially since lenses must evolve as well as the cameras. The only means of allowing this would be to remove the back of the camera and replace it with a specially built digital back.

While many of the early professional digital cameras were developed from 35mm film cameras, conversion meant that rather than a digital back, the body was actually added onto a large, bulky digital unit. This was often larger than the part that was actually the camera! These were not, however, after market conversions; they were actually built this way in a factory.

One development was the EFS-1. This was inserted into the camera in place of the film, giving the camera storage for 24 images and 1.3-megapixel resolution. These units were developed from about 1998 until 2001, when the company began developing a true digital back.

Included in the category of professional modular digital camera systems are some of the highest-end equipment costing up to $40,000.00. These cameras can be assembled from components and are seldom found in the hands of the normal consumer.

Developed for medium- to large-format film, they capture greater detail and therefore the prints can be enlarged more that your standard 35mm film. These cameras are normally found in studios and are used for commercial production; they are very large and seldom used for action or nature type photography.

The terms "digital back" or "film back" came from the ability to change the backs of these professional cameras to either digital or film use.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Buying a Digital Camera

The price of digital cameras has been lowered dramatically as the popularity increases. You can now purchase a digital camera for anywhere from $30 to $400. As always, remember that you get what you pay for, and don't expect to get top quality photos from a cheap camera; you may end up disappointed!

There are many types of digital cameras on the market, and it will help if you know what they are when you start to shop. Some of the newest models are Digital SLR, Electronic View Finders, and Range Finders.

Digital SLRs are very much like film-loaded cameras. A series of mirrors and prisms control the optical path to produce a digital image on the LCD screen. You actually see what you are photographing when you look through the lens.

Electronic View Finders and Range Finders work much like a video camera, and optical view finder controls the picture instead of a lens. You don't look through a lens to take a picture; instead, you are looking at a digital image.

Many of these cameras have the technology to allow video footage; therefore, it is enabled by the manufacturer. You can shoot up to three minutes of video footage depending on the quality of the digital camera you are using.

Your new camera should have at least 2 megapixels resolution; anything up to 8 MP will provide great shots. 1.9-2.5 MP seems to be standard on today's market, but you can get more than 8 MP in some cameras on the professional market. Any less than 2 megapixels with frequently create poor-quality pictures that are fuzzy and blurred.

Ask to see samples of the pictures taken by that specific camera before you buy, and check the focus and zoom. The quality of the lens will make a big difference in your photos, so be sure it has a good lens. Another important item on your digital camera is a flash; without this, you will not be able to take pictures inside.

Understand all of the features and controls before you purchase your new digital camera. It can be confusing to remember how it works when you get the camera home if you don't understand how each feature works.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Waterproof Cameras-Make Your Camera Wateproof

When looking to buy waterproof cameras it is important to know everything you can to ensure you get the best product. As you can expect, not every camera can go under water for obvious reasons. However they make covers you can put over your camera that will make it waterproof, allowing you to snap amazing underwater photos. But if you are looking for more serious underwater work, then a cover may not cut it. For that you want to buy proper underwater cameras.

When you go to buy an underwater camera there are several things you should look into. Underwater cameras are not that cheap so you want to make sure you get one that you will be able to use for a long time to come and to help you with that is a list of things you should keep an eye out for.

1. Sealing. The most important aspect of any underwater camera is how well it is sealed so water does not get in. A good rule of thumb is the higher quality the camera, the better sealing and less likely for it to fail. You need to pay special attention around areas such as USB ports or the lenses if they can be removed.

2. Picture resolution. Most waterproof cameras share the same resolution as normal cameras, that being around 5 megapixels. Odds are you will probably want to stick with this as going lower really does not save you much money and getting a higher resolution generally is not worth it unless you are doing this professionally.

3. Appearance and size. This may seem simply aesthetic but when it comes to underwater cameras, how it looks and what size it is can actually be quite important. You need to make sure you get a camera that can easily be carried while swimming or diving. As well you could look into getting a camera with a bright color so you can spot it more easily underwater.

4. Features. The type of features available for cameras are always important, however the type of features on an underwater camera can change from normal ones. A good example is the flash, since being underwater is naturally darker, you need a more powerful flash to compensate. Other features that are important for underwater cameras would be auto focus and shutter speed.

5. Maintenance. Waterproof cameras require a lot more maintenance than traditional cameras as the waterproofing can be quite sensitive. Stuff like sand can really ruin your camera if you do not properly clean it after every dive. So you will want to look into cleaning kits and maybe see if some cameras are easier to clean than others.

6. Max depth. When it comes to underwater cameras there is a max depth at which you can use them. If you take them too far down the water pressure will break the sensitive components inside and maybe breach the water seal. So make sure you know your camera well and know how far down it is rated to go so you do not accidently break it.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bridge Cameras Face an Unknown Future

Some manufacturers have stopped making high-profile bridge cameras, concentrating on the cheaper dSLRs. Some dSLRs are made of plastic rather than the magnesium alloy required for the higher-quality dSLRs.

In competition with the dSLRs, the bridge cameras are in jeopardy. This is because of the comparable pricing and sizes of the two groups.

The better-known bridge cameras created in 2004 are now discontinued and have no replacements. All of these were made with a 2/3" sensor, which were quite a bit larger than other more common bridge cameras made today. The manufacture of bridge cameras will depend on their successfulness when competing with dSLRs and the creation and viability of the future design known as EVIL (Electronic Viewfinders).

dSLRs are traditionally considered more professional than the bridge cameras, as bridge cameras have been labeled as prosumer or at best semiprofessional cameras.  However, introduction of low-priced dSLRs in 2003 has made the line between the two less distinct when it comes to the decision of professional and nonprofessional cameras.

The word "prosumer" is a combination of the words "professional" and "consumer," implying an involvement in the production of the product they consume. It also indicates a professional-consumer.

Ultrazoom, or long, lenses are a feature of the average bridge camera, which consists mainly of a "do it all" lens; prosumer cameras are occasionally confused with SLR digital cameras because the bodies are very similar.

The mirror and reflex system of dSLRs is missing in the prosumer cameras, and have been produced, to date, with one nonchangeable lens; they can however, be accessorized with wide angle or telephoto converters.  These converters are attached to the front of the lens.

Slower than a true digital SLR, they are able to create a good quality image and provide adequate overall performance. They are also lighter and more compact than DSLRs.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Bridge Cameras

High-end, live-preview digital cameras are referred to as either bridge or prosumer digital cameras.  While DSLR cameras operate on the same mechanical principles as the autofocus 35mm film single-lens reflex camera, the key difference is that a CCD or a CMOS image sensor takes the place of the film. This allows for creation of images in-camera without the need to chemically develop an image on actual film.

The major advantage over other digitals is the defining characteristic of an SLR: the light goes directly from the main lens, instead of reflecting from an off-axis viewfinder.

The advantage of seeing an exact copy of the image has been duplicated in the LCD displays of many of the digital compact cameras. However, the SLR retains the best quality of image due to its being in real time and more detailed.

LCD displays tend to have a time lag, causing the view to be clear, but not exactly what you are looking at. If something in the shot is moving, this movement will actually be viewed a second or two later. While bridge cameras are comparable in weight and size to the smaller dSLR they lack the mirror and reflex systems which are characteristics of dSLRs.

Referred to as "bridge" cameras because they hold a place between the digital consumer compacts and the dSLR's, prosumer identifies their high-end more advanced technology.

The lines between the two are not clear-cut -- the LPD category includes both the bridges and compact cameras. Mainly they both have live-preview on an electronic screen, which is their principle means of previewing an image before taking the photograph. There are also several nonessential characteristics applying to many of the bridge cameras, but not all of them.

For instance, there is the single fixed noninterchangeable lens and a CCD sensor, which is much smaller in the bridge cameras than in the dSLRs. A few of the new bridge cameras have defied these nonessential qualities and now have larger sensors of different types that are equal in size to those found in some of the dSLR cameras.

Bridge cameras still do not have interchangeable lenses; however, this may change in the not too distant future.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Batteries for Digital Cameras

The power need for digital cameras is very high. As they get smaller in size, the challenge has been to come up with a battery that would meet those requirements and still be small enough to fit into the smaller digital cameras.

No one would be happy with a camera that didn't have enough power to run it for a reasonable amount of time. There are two divisions of batteries for digital cameras, and these divisions are very broad:

* Off-the-shelf batteries While a few cameras have AAA batteries, AA (or CR2 batteries) are the more common in use. These are lithium-based and are intended for only single use; they are also commonly seen in camcorders. The alkaline battery, which is nonrechargeable, provides only enough power for a very short time in most digital cameras. Most photographers have moved to the AA nickel metal hydride batteries along with a charger; these provide the necessary power and can be easily recharged. Mid-range and low-end cameras may use off the shelf batteries, but only a few cameras (DSLR) accept them.

* Proprietary battery formats These are the second type of battery. Specifically built to the manufacturer's specifications, they can be either OEM or aftermarket replacement parts.  Most of the proprietary batteries are lithium ion. The battery life begins to degrade after a certain number of charges, usually about 500 cycles; yet they are very powerful for their size. Because of this, both high-end professional cameras and consumer models at the low end have lithium ion batteries.

Digital photographers, both professionals and amateurs, will find many types of batteries available; all will be within the two categories mentioned above. It is possible to find as many opinions about the type of battery to use as there are photographers using them. Only the consumer can actually make the decision about which they choose.