Digital Cameras For Kids and Other Beginners
Simple Digital Camera Information Even Kids Will Understand
Digital photography can seem a lot more complicated than it really is! We've put together a page of basic information that will help you get your holiday photos on to paper.
Digital cameras store images on a memory or media cards or sticks and have a screen (LCD - see below) that lets you view the pictures you have taken. So if you don't like a picture, you can delete it. Be careful though, as once you have deleted an image you can't retrieve it - ever!
Before you buy a digital camera, think about the kind of pictures you want to take. If you just want to take 'happy snaps' just about any digital camera will do that. But if say you wanted to take pictures of wildlife or birds (in particular) you will need special digital camera equipment and it would be best to seek advice in a camera shop from qualified staff.
Digital cameras can come with an array of special features, that you might find confusing to start with, but to be honest just about anyone can master usind a digital camera within a few minutes and some practice.
Digital cameras allow you to take pictures you can see on your computer and even send by email.
When you start looking for your first digital camera, you will come across jargon particular to this kind of photography!
Megapixels - A megapixel is 1 million pixels
A pixel is a small dot that when added to other small dots makes up a picture, much like pictures in a newspaper, each pixel is one building block of the overall picture. The word pixel is based on a contraction of pix (for "pictures") and el (for "element"); A megapixel is 1 million pixels, and is a term used not only for the number of pixels in an image, but also to express the number of image sensor elements of digital cameras or the number of display elements of digital displays. For example, a camera with an array of 2048×1536 sensor elements within is commonly said to have "3.1 megapixels" (2048 × 1536 = 3,145,728 pixels). The more megapixels your camera has the crisper the image will be.
Zoom - It is widely accepted that Optical Zoom is better than Digital Zoom so if you want to bring things closer pay attention now!
Optical Zoom - Bringing distant objects closer
An optical zoom lens is a mechanical assembly of lens elements with the ability to vary its focal length and so the angle of view. Through this mechanical lengthening of the lens you will be able to 'zoom in' and see distant images closer, much like you can with binoculars, microscopes, telescopes, telescopic sights, and other optical instruments.
Common optical zoom options are 3x, 4x, 5x in lower price ranges, to 10x, 18x and 20x in higher price ranges.
Digital Zoom - Appears to bring distant objects even closer still
A digital zoom brings part of the selected image to appear closer by enlarging the subject to fill the viewing screen or frame allowing you to 'crop' the image at a size you choose. This may affect the clarity of the image.
LCD - Liquid Crystal Display (Screen)
The LCD is the screen on your camera that will allow you to view imahes you have taken, and in some cases you will be able to see the image you are about to capture, as you will save it. The size of LCD depends on the model of camera.
Some digital cameras have the optional facility to record short moving picture clips, just like a camcorder. Some digital cameras even allow you to record sound with the clips too!
A feature that assists you to take better pictures by preventing some blurring if you move the camera (slightly) during the photo taking process.
Face recognition or face detection
A feature setting available on some cameras that allows the focusing of the image to be centred on a subjects face, minimising any shadow or glare in this area of the picture.
Some digital cxameras have preset modes for different situations, like, snow scenes, beach scenes, action sports, portaits, panoramic, and macro etc
Digital Camera Memory or Media Cards and Sticks
Digital memory or media cards and sticks are used in digital cameras. Unlike film, they can be used over and over again.
Digital Camera Memory or Media Cards and Sticks come in various types and sizes and it is important to match your memory to your camera.
You can buy generic, low cost versions of some digital storage media cards, i.e. Boots, Jessops etc.
Secure digital (SD cards)
The current types of memory are SD or Secure Digital card, a format that is used in some other pieces of digital equipment. There are micro and mini SD formats of this type of card which can be used in an adapter.
Compact flash (CF cards)
A large type of card used in older Nikon and Canon digital cameras. Still used in some more recent SLR cameras.
xD-picture card (xD cards)
Small memory cards. Almost exclusive to Fuji and Olympus digital cameras.
Sony's own format for their digital products, from digital cameras, digital camcorders, playstations and some of their mobile phones.
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