If you are considering buying a camera from:
All content copyright 2002-2005 Michael Papet.
There is too much misinformation about the resolution of digital cameras. So here's the skinny. In plain English. Megapixels stopped being meaningful in most cameras a couple of years ago. 3-5 megapixels is plenty for snapshots. Megapixels is a very innacurate way to describe camera performance. Most of them don't resolve so much detail and color.Here's why: The area sensor on a digital camera is normally divided into three colors red, green and blue. So at any time, only 1/3 of the active sensors are reading either red green or blue. The rest is guessed. What makes it work is your brain doesn't .
Lens manufacturing for digital cameras is nowhere near the level of precision necessary to direct light onto the sensors they make now So, the reasonable
I'm not the only one saying this. See Wired News Opinion Yes it is from 1999, but little has changed since then.
What I'm trying to say is don't get caught up in resolution and marketing speak. Find a camera that's the right size for your needs, make sure you have
Digital cameras live and die by the quality and circumference of their lens and quality of their CCD. Basically, the bigger the lens the better. The CCD's used in digital cameras are rarely identified, so it's hard to know how good (or bad) it is. Like scanners, digital cameras are helped along by the camera's internal systems. The more you pay for your camera the better the imaging hardware quality.
Beyond a large circumference lens and 3-5 megapixel sensor, the things I like to see in a digital camera are as follows:
Low or no compression image storage: In general, I'm not a big fan of image compression. I like to buy cameras that have a tiff file setting. Yes that means I have to invest in a high capacity memory card, but memory is cheap relative to keeping pictures of my family intact without ugly compression artifacts. If you can't afford a brand-new model, buy a brand new camera that has been on the market for a year or more. There are retailers that still carry product despite the manufacturers rush to issue new product.
Manual White Point: If there is anything that will drive the average user crazy it is a color cast. That mostly comes from a white point (or white balance) that is not setting itself correctly. Setting it yourself addresses that issue.
TTL Viewfinder There are some TTL viewfinder issues for discerning users. There are more and more electronic viewfinders which may be the low-cost answer to accuratly aiming a digital camera.
The best place I have found for digital camera reviews is DigitalCamera-HQ.com They aggregate reviews from all kinds of sites on the Internet as well as provide price comparisons. So, it seems like a good place to start.
So you invest your hard-earned cash into a nice digital camera with all the bells and whistles only to find the cameras photos have a strange color cast, or the metering is wrong. Scanners and Photoshop are very good at fixing photos with these problems. But that's not why you bought the digital camera.
There are two things to keep in mind regarding digital cameras.
Check the photos on the screen carefully before moving on. It may not be what you want. In most digital cameras, there isn't enough pixels or color range to fix bad problems.
Digital cameras aren't very smart. They can make bad photo setting decisions. So outside of using the manual settings, take a couple more from slightly different angles. Digital camera technology is still very primitive.
To keep the advice short assume the following.
1. The camera works like new.
2. The optics are still just like new.
A digital camera is by and large a solid-state device. It's like a television, there isn't anything that can get worn by regular use except the body.
I love buying refurb. I have had nothing but great experiences doing so. In fact I just got a great refurbed FujiFilm MX2900 camera for US$200 from Overstock.com.
See the digital darkroom section here for more information.
One way to get the pictures off the camera is to take the memory card into your photo developer.
I think most of the memory card readers are a great solution. In newer PC's they work just like a disk drive. Go to your file explorer and you should see your card reader. Simply cut and paste from there.
Installing the software is also a viable option. These days the installation is very automatic so the only thing left to do is follow the instructions and plug the USB cable in.
Go for it!
First the good news:CMOS sensors are a very hot technology that represent a great leap forward in terms of imaging technology. There are a number of advancements inside each sensor. The most obvious one to users will be smaller camera bodies. The least obvious are the ability to read particular pixels in the array. CCD do not have this capability. The best description of the potential is trying to shoot a candlelit birthday party. Low light in the frame except for the candles pumping out bright light. A CMOS camera will have the ability to gather more information from the dark areas and less information from the ultra-bright areas.
Now the bad news: First and foremost, the technology and manufacturing is new compared to CCD's. That means higher costs, greater potential to develop bad product. Because digital cameras are modular in nature, many components inside the camera will need to change. The components don't enter the market at the same time either. Wait and see.