Thursday, November 30, 2006

Digital camera for digital printing

The world is going digital and people are crazy about the hi-tech gadgets available in the market. But significantly paving the way is one of the hottest consumer products of the 21st century - the digital camera. Most people want to capture and store their precious moment forever in a form of pictures. And photography plays an important role in this business.

Digital photography has evolved over the past few years into a highly affordable luxury that some could not be without and cannot afford to loose it. If you are new to the world of digital cameras, let Office Shop Direct be your guide to their large array of product specifications.

Price ranges are a very big consideration and are mainly based on high-end specifications such as resolution, compression and zoom options. Cutting corners on some of these details will save you in the long run, but you should be sure what you are missing out on before you make that decision.

Important Items to Keep in Mind about Digital Camera Technology:
Interpolation is a method in which a camera will fill in the color holes in the pixels of a picture by estimating color blends. While this can improve resolution, it will also reduce the sharpness and contrast of a picture. Never get a camera that is low in resolution but high in interpolation if you want sharp bright pictures.

Compression routines are the way the picture is stored digitally. Some companies maintain their own proprietary compression method, and this can make sharing images difficult. JPEG is the standard, but also as with most standards can have less clarity in a picture. Consider cameras that also offer the ability to print off images at no compression for best results.

SLR is short for single-lens reflex viewfinder. Many cameras have two views: that which the user sees to set up the shot, and that which the camera sees. If you have an SLR camera both what you see and what the camera shoots are lined up as one, and not slightly off on a different angle.

Having an amazing photo shot is easy; following the above mentioned important tips will surely give you an exceptional picture. Capture your best moment with best digital camera and quality printing application.

by Marlon D. Ludovice

Monday, November 27, 2006

How To Transfer Photos From Your Digital Camera

There are too many cameras and computers out there to write a specific tutorial for each, so here's a generic guide that should cover your typical situation.

1. All digital cameras come with photo editing software. Put the installation CD in the CD drive. Select install. When it's done installing select finish.

2. All cameras also come with a cable to connect your computer to your camera. Look at the manual to see how it's connected.

3. Once you plug the camera and the computer to each other, the camera's software usually pops up on the screen. It usually says something like transfer all, select and transfer, or cancel. Select one. If that doesn't work, go to the Start Menu on your desktop and select Programs. Then select your camera software and open it.

Your photos should transfer to the my pictures folder inside the my documents folder on your desktop for PC.

Falling short of that the alternative is that when you plug in your digital camera into the computer it will Auto Run. And it will pop up a prompt (if you're using Windows XP). It'll give you a few options. Choose "Open Folder To View Files".

Once the folder is open you can select the folder that the photos are in or the files themselves and drag them into a folder of your choice on your hard drive.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Personal Digital Darkroom

Why a digital darkroom?

First of all this is a misnomer. You actually don’t need a darkroom. All that you need to have is a space for a printer and if you’re still using film, a film scanner. You need not set aside a large chunk of your time in developing your pictures since color and tonal adjustments are simple and precise. Although there still are complexities in colors using digital printing unlike the black and white darkroom printing, the print output of this new process is fast approaching perfection and the quality is getting better.

The development of cheap digital cameras has made printing of pictures without the aid of PCs a possibility. Unlike the technique mentioned above which still use PCs to edit the images, printers like the Epson Stylus Photo 785EPX photo printer can produce good-quality digital photos without using computers. Printing is easy as you only need to insert the camera’s digital media card and presto you have your photo.

Why make your own prints?
  • Control:you get exactly what you want
  • Convenience:You don't have to take film to a shop, then return to pick it up, then make more trips for enlargements.
  • Cost: Making your own prints is cheaper
  • Quality: New printer models can make outstanding outputs
Of course the choice will ultimately be yours whether you opt to use PCs to edit your images or to print them directly. After all it will be your handiwork.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Seven Ways for saving your digital images for ever!

So, you have taken lots of pictures with your new digital camera, the memory card is full, and you are wondering how to store and archive your images.

1 Buy another memory card

The method of storing your images with least effort is to buy a new memory card and keep your images on the first card. Taking into account that memory cards are currently expensive, this seems a costly way of archiving the images. In the longer term, however, there may be some argument for this method as memory card prices fall, which they progressively have. However
as time goes by the digital size of images (measured in megapixels) will increases partly offsetting this factor.

2 Transfer your images on to your computer

Most if not all digital cameras come with a cable for connecting the camera to a personal computer. The manufacturer has probably provided software with that cable so that you can install the software on to your computer, connect the cable and transfer images from your camera onto your PC. Don’t forget, if all else fails – read the instruction booklet! Once safely on your computer hard drive, you can erase the memory of the camera and start taking new photos all over again. However do check that the images have been successfully downloaded to your computer before you erase them!

3 Burn your images onto a CDRom

Many home computers are now equipped with a CDRom writer. This is probably the preferred way of archiving your images for years to come. One word of warning though. Do not buy cheap recordable CDs – CDRs. Cheap discs are less reliable and we have found some to be problematic. We have also found that rewritable disks – those that can be written once and then overwritten – do not work well in certain CD Drives. Best to use good quality write once CDRs and carefully label them, storing them in cases for protection. In due course CDs will be replaced by DVDs providing greater memory capacity as image files increase in size.

4 Store your images on a public web site

If you are connected to the internet you will be able to find sites on the world wide web which will store your images for posterity. Furthermore, they may let others view your images, or restrict access to them by a password. Some sites charge for this service. What the long term prognosis is for any of these sites is – well – who knows. But they might be useful in the short term.

5 Print your images at home for viewing

You might want to put your images in an album to keep for yourself and to show family and friends. Photo printers are available for home use – either from the manufacturer of your camera or from another. The convenience of being able to print your own images at home immediately will be offset by the cost of consumables, which can be high, and the slow print speed of many home printers. Further there has been discussion regarding the longevity of the prints made at home compared with conventional prints made on photographic paper.

6 Use a professional laboratory to make photographic prints

A more practical way of printing your images is to take your camera memory card or a CDRom to you local film processor for prints. You will be able to collect your printed images either the same or the next day and they will be photographic prints with a very long life expectancy. The laboratory will be able to crop your images or enlarge the full image or a section of it to further enhance your photo.

7 Put your pictures on to a photo gift

For a lasting memento, why not put your pictures into a frame or even get your photo lab to put them on something like a mug or mouse mat. Such objects will have a long life and attract interest and attention.

by Chris Thomas

Thursday, November 23, 2006

It's All In The Settings

Inkjet printers do a great job on text printing but many people do not know that you don't need a photo printer to make great photo printouts.

If you try using regular photocopy paper using the printers general settings you will be very disappointed with the results.

Most inkjet printers on the market today have a mode for printing on photo glossy paper. If you use good quality photo glossy paper (the heavier the stock the better the print) you can get a picture perfect print.

A good quality digital camera helps too. The higher the resolution on your camera the better the print.

Get some good quality glossy paper and try this out. Make a print on regular paper using general settings. Then make one with your printer set to glossy paper using high quality mode and compare. The first will look like a watercolored newspaper picture. The second will look like you just got it back from the Kodak shop!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Advantages Of Digital SLR Cameras

Digital photography means a method of photography in which an image is digitally encoded and stored for later reproduction and printing them on digital devices.

A digital SLR camera provides the following benefits over point-and-shoot compact digital camera:
  • Superior image quality with same lenses
  • Accurate, large and bright viewfinder
  • Faster operating speed
  • Interchangeable lenses
Digital SLR cameras (single lens reflex) use removable/interchangeable lenses and can be manually controlled. An electronic chip called a sensor takes the place of film to record the image. The sensors are made up of tiny pixels that change light and color into electronic computer code by means of analog/digital processing and conversion. The digital SLR cameras containing larger sensors produces a better image than pocket camera with the same resolution. Also larger sensors are less sensitive to stray electrical signals. This means a smaller sized sensor produces more noise. This can be visible as small variations in color and tone of image.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Difference Between SLR And Digital Lenses For Cameras

SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex.Slr based camera is an ideal camera for professionals and amateur photographers. Slr based camera is well known for capturing superior quality images with advanced features like mega pixels, zoom, memory cards, batteries, comfort and more.

Benefits of SLR (Single Lens Reflex) Based Camera

SLR based camera has two primary benefits as compared to other digital lenses cameras:

1 Interchangeable lenses - Slr based camera contains an interchangeable lens function which allows you to use a wide variety of other digital lenses for taking wide-angle, telephoto, or close-up shots.

2 Multiple features and high performance - Slr based camera provides multiple features and high performance like Auto focus which allows you to focus manually. For this you simply select Auto Focus(AF) points which are in the middle and set them accordingly. The other features of this camera is AE (Auto exposure). To make appearance of white objects white, AE feature is used. With the help of Auto exposure, exposure value of camera is adjusted automatically. The other features of Slr based camera are:
  • Excellent image quality even in situations with low light availability
  • Frame images more quickly
  • Maximum control
  • Superior quality
Digital lenses are widely used in digital cameras like Nikon, Fuji, Epson and Canon. In canadas cameras, the light is focused through digital lenses onto an image sensor called a CCD (charge coupled device) to capture images.

by Martin Wirtschafter

Monday, November 20, 2006

Digital versus Film

As anyone might expect, the birth of digital photography, moreover, all the hype about it brought forth controversy. Does its birth mean the end for film? Are digital cameras better as they are “technologically more advanced”? Is digital photography simply film photography gone hi-tech? As I found out, digital is not better than film – and film, is not better than digital. Instead, it’s like comparing apples with oranges – they’re two entirely different fruits with different properties, having their own advantages and disadvantages.

One perfect article to read is the one by Darwin Wiggett, an advertising stock photographer who had his share of working with both film and digital cameras.

As he have learned, and I’m sure a lot of people will agree, digital images are smoother and has a lot less noise, while film images are usually grainy. However, colors seem sharper with film, while digital photos tend to be flat and pale. You might say, “That’s what Photoshop is for! To enhance color and fix everything there is to be fixed!” Well, this brings Wiggett, as well as other professional photographers to another observation. Digital has made people a lot lazier.

When you use film, you always seem to aim for that perfect shot. With digital, you get instant feedback from the LCD screen. This may have an advantage as it also gives you instant opportunity to improve your next shot by adjusting your technique, Of course, you don’t have that luxury with film and that’s exactly what drives you to be focused – so you would get the best shot. With digital, people tend to be “trigger happy,” you’re always thinking, “That’s good enough… I can always fix it with image editor.”

However, what they fail to realize is that they spend way too much time, checking on their LCD, dealing with their batteries, which gets drained oh-so fast, downloading or transferring files and of course, manipulating the images.

In the end, it all boils down to personal preference. And just like in anything, people shouldn’t allow commercialism and marketing make them judgmental or discriminating – especially the newbies. As I always say, you need to pick the right tools for the kind of project you’re working on, depending on your vision of that project. If you have the time as well as the resources, it is recommended that you try both on various projects so that you can make a sound judgment of what works best for you. Therefore, people shouldn’t be thinking Digital vs. Film. Instead, it should be Digital and Film.

With that, let me end this article with Mr. Wiggett’s words, which I find very wise: “A great shot is a great shot no matter how, when, or where it is captured.”

By Jelaine Macaraeg

Sunday, November 19, 2006

How to Buy the Right Digital Camera

When buying a digital camera there are many things you should consider. First you should understand how a digital camera works. What you are using your digital camera for will help you decide what features to consider and how much you should spend. I am here to educate you and help you decide.

Let’s start with understanding how a digital camera works. A digital camera uses semiconductor chips instead of conventional film. It’s usually a Charged Coupled Device (CCD). When your shutter opens, light strikes the CCD, temporary electronic changes to the CCD and converted into computer language and recorded on either internal or removable memory. After which the images can be viewed on a small screen located on the back of the camera. Later, then of course downloaded to a computer. Did that make sense? It probably didn’t if this is your first time buying a digital camera. Let’s move on.

Today there are endless cameras to choose from. You obviously have a price range in mind. If you are mainly using it to exchange snapshots over the internet or for creating quick and simple advertising, don’t expect to spend more than $500.00. If you want some control over creation and images, expect to spend between $600 and $2000, especially if you want to make prints on a printer capable of “photo quality” reproductions. If only the ‘best will do’ for you than don’t expect to spend anything less than $5000.

You also have to consider what features you would like. The heart of the camera is the CCD. The larger it is, the more pixels it contains. As expected, the more pixels, the more it costs. If you just want to email your mom 500 miles away a snap shot of a 3 x 4 of your first born, a CCD with about 640 x 480 pixels will do. If it’s a 5 x 7, than do not settle for less than 1280 x 1024 pixels. An 8 x 10 demands about 2000 x 1500 pixels. Also important things to consider are memory, types of flashes, and ease of download.

Depending on what you plan to use your digital camera for will depend on how much you will spend. Keep the previous and following advice in mind before you leave to purchase your first camera and maybe it will be your last.

A. Start out with the least expensive camera that will do the job today.
B. Make sure that the camera you are purchasing is compatible.
C. Ask if the camera you are purchasing can accept an external power supply. Digital cameras eat power faster than your car. You don’t want to spend endless amounts of time sitting in line buying batteries for your camera.
D. See if the software that comes with your camera has a photo-editing program.
E. Lastly, ask your friends, neighbors, relatives how satisfied they are with their cameras.

If you’re one of those people who have never owned a digital camera in their life revise this list before hopping into your car and heading off to purchase one.

• Find out what you’ll be using it for. Walking into a camera store can be quite overwhelming. Hundreds of cameras ranging from the size of a credit card to as wide as a computer manual. It may be cute to carry around a sleek little red digicam, but you will have to consider what you’re actually going to use it for.

Do you need a compact one to store in your handbag? Are you planning to take professional photos for work? Does the number of features matter to you? Do you want a camera with manual functions? You don’t want to bring home a camera that doesn’t satisfy your needs, or purchase one with so many features that you won’t be able to use.

• Be familiar with camera specs. All those fancy words on the box might make it look like your wallet sized camera will turn you into a professional shutterbug. Mega Pixel is the maximum resolution per photo--the higher the MP, the bigger the prints you can get without it looking blurry. If you’re only planning to exchange photos on the internet, then a 2MP camera is fine. Optical Zoom and Digital Zoom are two different things—most pros snub Digital Zoom, since this is actually a software function that crops the image, which makes it lose its quality.

• Budget. We’re not going to lie: digital cameras don’t exactly come cheap. When budgeting on which camera to take home, consider the features, its size, its Mega Pixel count, and the brand.

Most photographers swear by one brand over the other. If you’re particularly loyal to just one brand, then you can shun the others and bask in just one aisle. But if you’re a little bit more open-minded, then you’ve got a bigger playground to frolic in.

You’ll also need to see what kind of memory card (which is sort of like the “film” of the camera) the camera needs, and what kind of batteries fuel it. Most digital cameras use AA batteries, so investing in a bunch of rechargeable ones is key.

• Try it out. Most people make the mistake of reading the box, swiping their credit card, and coming home to find out that they’re not comfortable with their latest purchase. While in the store, try taking a bunch of photos. Make sure it fits well in your hand, and it’s easy to use. The most user-friendly cameras out there are Canon, Casio, and Kodak—but you might want to try out others. Take your time in familiarizing yourself with the possible units you’ll be taking pictures with.

By Kathleen Wade

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Digital Cameras FAQs

What are SLR digital cameras?

SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex which is a camera in which the user sees exactly what the camera sees through a series of prisms and mirrors. Interchange of lenses is possible that is a great feature for photographers. These offer high resolution but do have significantly high cost.

What is lens aperture?

Lens aperture is the ratio of the focal length of the lens to the diameter of the light rays passing through the aperture in the iris diaphragm. F-number settings are adjustable. Lens aperture is also called f-number.

Is any convenience using Digital SLR Camera than any other camera?

Yes, there are lots of advantages of using Digital SLR Camera, as follows:
  • Easy to carry around at all times
  • Higher degree of automation
  • WYSIWYG capability ('What You See Is What You Get')
  • Wide selection of lenses available
Is there any difference between optical and digital zoom?

There is a zoom lens in optical zoom as it would be in a traditional camera. If you want a picture that is three times closer than the basic image, try out camera with an optical zoom of 3X.

Digital zoom is a digital technology that takes a real optical image, and then "zooms" it. Blowing up each pixel does this and also interpolation is used for the same. Digital zoom mostly results in an instant decrease in an image's clarity and sharpness.

Is interchanging of lens possible in between the roll?

Yes, you can easily switch between lenses in the middle of a roll without exposing the film. The use of interchangeable lenses is made possible by positioning the shutter directly in front of the film, rather than including it with the lens.

Is it advisable to do filtering when it comes to motion stuff?

It is best NOT to use a filter if it is not absolutely necessary for example to polarize for shooting flat work. This is because of the reflectiveness of the imaging sensor.

How has the Parallax Error been eliminated in Digital SLR Cameras?

Parallax is the phenomenon by which the shorter the distance between the subject and the camera, the greater the angular error in the actual and the perceived image. In most SLR cameras, settings can be controlled manually, which allows an individual to get a good shot in fast action with an unusual focal plane. But some digital SLR cameras do have automatic focus.

What all features are there in a Digital SLR Camera?

Various features that you will find in digital SLR Camera are as follows:
  • Lens Interchangeability
  • Reflex mirror
  • Auto focus
  • High resolution
  • Availability of Lens and Sensors
  • Exposure Compensation
How are digital cameras better than film cameras?

Digital Cameras definitely have upper hand than film cameras with following added advantages:
  • No need to visit a lab for printing or development. Ability to print pictures from your computer.
  • Preview your pictures instantly.
  • No expensive film to buy and develop.
  • Higher resolution on some cameras, which allows for higher quality images.
Are there any drawbacks of high-resolution images?

Higher resolution images will take longer to upload to a server. This is because higher resolution images take up more space in the memory.

How to conserve battery power on a digital camera?

Following methods are useful in conserving the battery for your digital camera:
  • When you are not using the camera, turn it off.
  • Prefer using regular viewfinder.
How to load pictures on your computer?

In order to load pictures on to your computer, use card reader and memory card. If you feel like, load the memory card into the card reader. Then digital media starts appearing as another drive on the computer. Click open the drive and the pictures can be viewed by simply double clicking the file.

What are leading digital cameras available in the market?

You have a choice to purchase any from various names mentioned below that will help you to cherish memorable moments forever.
  • Canon Digital Camera
  • Fuji Digital Cameras
  • Minolta Digital Cameras
  • Nikon Digital Camera
  • Olympus Digital Cameras

Are there any differences between the expensive and the inexpensive digital cameras available in the market?

You do not need to purchase an expensive digital camera, if you are new to digital photography. But even if you do have, expensive camera does not always give guarantee of a good shot. The thing important is to know the basics of photography.

What features are essential in a Digital Camera?

A viewfinder is a must when most of the pictures are to be taken outdoors. This is because sunlight can make the LCD screen look washed out. Also check out the optical zoom if you plan to shoot faraway objects.

Is there any method to overcome shutter delay?

Shutter delay is the time between when the shutter release is pressed and when the image is actually captured. Shutter delay is really irritating when it is time to take action shots or even portraits. Overcoming shutter delay is possible by setting our camera to continuous mode.

How easy is the digital camera to use?

Check out the layout of the digital camera's buttons and how convenient they are to access. An individual always want the controls to match the size of his hands.

by Martin Wirtschafter