Meet Digital Photography

When you use a film camera, your pictures are "memorized" by billions of silver halide crystals suspended on celluloid. Digital cameras, on the other hand, generally store your pictures pictures on a memory card.

It's a special kind of memory: flash memory. Unlike the RAM in your PC, the contents of flash memory survive even when the machine is turned off. You can erase and reuse a digital camera's memory card over and over againa key to the great economy of digital photography.

At this millisecond of technology time, most digital cameras are slightly slower than film cameras in almost every regard. Generally speaking, they're slower to turn on, slower to autofocus, and slower to recover from one shot before they're ready to take another.

Once you've captured a picture, however, digital cameras provide almost nothing but advantages over film. For example:

Instant Feedback

You can view a miniature version of the photo on the camera's built-in screen. If there's something about the picture that bothers yousay, the telephone pole growing out of your best friend's headyou can simply delete it and try again. Once the shooting session is over, you leave knowing that nothing but good photos are on your camera. By contrast, in film photography, you have no real idea how your pictures turned out until you open that sealed drugstore envelope and flip through the prints. More often than not, there are one or two pictures that you really like, and the rest are wasted money.

Instant feedback becomes a real benefit when you're under pressure to deliver excellent photographs. Imagine the hapless photographer who, having offered to shoot candid pictures during a friend's wedding reception, later opens the envelope of prints and discovers that the flash had malfunctioned all evening, resulting in three rolls of shadowy figures in a darkened hotel ballroom. A digital camera would have alerted the photographer to the problem immediately.

In short, digital photographers sleep much better at night. They never worry about how the day's pictures will turn out; they already know!

Cheap Pix

Digital cameras also save you a great deal of money. Needless to say, you don't spend anything on developing. Printing out pictures on a photo printer at home costs money, but few people print every single shot they take. (Nor should they. After all, where are most of your film prints now? In a shoebox somewhere?)

Printing out 4 x 6 prints at home, using an inkjet photo printer, costs about the same as what you'd pay at the drugstore. But when you want enlargements, printing your own is vastly less expensive. Even on the glossy 75-cents-per-sheet inkjet photo paper, an 8 x 10 costs about a dollar or so (ink cartridges are expensive), compared with about $4 ordered online. A poster-sized print from a wide-format photo printer (13 x 19) will cost you about $3.00 at home, compared with $15 from an online photo lab.

Take More Risks

Because you have nothing to lose by taking a shotand everything to gaindigital photography lets your creative juices flow. If you don't like that shot of randomly piled shoes on the front porch, then, what the heck, erase it.

With the expense of developing taken out of the equation, you're free to shoot everything that catches your eye and decide later what to keep. That's how a digital camera can make you a better photographerby freeing up your creativity. Your risk-taking will lead to more exciting images than you ever dreamed you'd take.

Easy Fixes

Straight from the camera, digital snapshots often need a little bit of help. A photo may be too dark or too light. The colors may be too bluish or too yellowish. The focus may be a little blurry, the camera may have been tilted slightly, or the composition may be somewhat off.

Fortunately, one of the amazing things about digital photography is that you can fine-tune images in ways that, in the world of traditional photography, would require a fully equipped darkroom, several bottles of smelly chemicals, and an XActo knife.

More Fun

Add it all up, and digital photography is more fun than traditional shooting. No more disappointing prints and wasted money. Instead, you enjoy the advantages of instant feedback, flexibility, and creativity.

Suddenly photography isn't just about producing a stack of 4 x 6 pieces of paper; digital photos are now infinitely more flexible. At the end of the day, you get to sit down with your PC and create instant slideshows, professional Web pages, email attachments, greeting cards, custom calendars, hardcover coffee-table photo books, and more. Shoot the most adorable shot ever taken of your daughter, and minutes later it's on its way to your adoring fans.

Photography doesn't get any better than this.

Digital Camera and Digital Photography

Digital Camera and Digital Photography

Compared to film cameras, digital cameras are easy to use, fun and extremely versatile. Every day there’s more features being designed. Whether you have the cheapest model or a high end model, digital cameras can do an endless number of things. Let’s look at how to get the most out of your digital camera.

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