Digital Cameras Are They Useful For Travel Photography

By Andrew Hudson

As if there weren't enough cameras to choose from already, now there's a whole new type - digital cameras. Actually it's not so much the camera that's different, just the recording method. Whereas the "traditional" camera captures the image on a chemical film, a digital camera saves it as an electronic file. But is this "whiz-bang" technology actually useful for you? Let's take a look.

The primary benefit of a digital camera is that it's much easier to display your photographs on a computer. So if this is what you want, a digital camera may be for you. For example, it's easy to use your pictures in a newsletter with a word processor, or send your pictures by e-mail, or post them on a website. While traveling, you can find Internet Cafes and e-mail your pictures to friends and family.

Another benefit is that the pictures are "instant". Many digital cameras include an LCD display to show the picture you've just taken. It's like having a Polaroid" camera - you'll be a big hit at group gatherings. You can delete pictures you don't like, and there's no processing cost.

However, the image quality from a digital camera, while adequate, is not as good as "film" cameras. The colors are often weaker and not as true, and the contrast can be poor. So if image quality is important, such as for submitting your pictures in competitions or making enlargements, then stick with a film camera.

Cost, of course, is an issue. Digital cameras are still more expensive than their traditional brethren.

Another drawback is storage of your images. You'll need space on your hard drive or a removable cartridge to keep the files. If you're on the road, you'll either need transportable storage media or a regular connection to the Internet so you can download your images. Traditional photographs are still eaiser to store and display in an album.

As someone who likes to take long trips and come home with high-quality images, I'm going to stick with my film camera. But if you want to e-mail standard images while on the road, a digital camera might be for you.

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Copyright © 1998 Andrew Hudson for PhotoSecrets Publishing. All rights reserved. If you want to use this article in any way, please e-mail us for permission. This article was originally written for Postcards Magazine, a publication for Carlson Leisure Group by Cowles Creative Publishing.

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