Digital Photography Basics
If you are buying a digital camera, it is important to know the digital photography basics. Read below to learn the information necessary to decide which camera and accessories are correct for you.
Digital images are composed of millions of tiny squares called pixels - short for picture element. Each pixel is made up of 3 colors - red, blue and yellow - with each having a value of 0-255. These colors and numbers combine to create over 16 million different colors. Pixel count is the number of squares that are contained in any image; the higher the number, the better the quality. Cameras today are defined in quality by having 1 megapixel (1 million pixels) to 14 megapixel (14 million pixels). Your ideal pixel count depends on the size of photos you want to produce. 3 megapixel cameras are fine for standard 4x6 photos, while 10 megapixel devices are ideal for larger 8x10 pictures.
Lighting is very important in photography, and the type of light is adjustable on digital cameras. Some cameras come with manual settings to allow the user to set the white balance by themselves, while most have specific settings for sunlight, shade, tungsten (indoor), electronic flash and fluorescent lighting.
While film cameras have an ISO rating, digital cameras have a sensitivity rating that controls the noisiness or graininess of photos. Most digital cameras have the equivalent of 100-200 ISO, with many having 400.
Many cameras come with both digital and optical zoom. Digital zoom simply crops the photo down, similar to an image editing program; this method of zoom causes a loss of quality. Optical actually zooms in and retains quality the way film cameras do.
Photographs capture the important moments in your life. Understanding how digital cameras work and their specific functions are the most important things to know before making this important purchase.