Digicam vs DLSR

Nowadays, one can quite confidently say that the Digital SLR cameras have won the competition in the camera market with their ever rising popularity coupled with new levels of affordability. There seems to be a notion that the SLR type of camera is the ultimate device necessary for taking good pictures – whether you’re on a vacation, having a party at your home or wish to take some family snapshots.

The truth is actually that many people which own a DLSR don’t actually use it properly, nor do they know how to. They set the camera to its automatic mode and simply point and shoot – which is really not worth the price one would have paid for such a camera. People seem to have almost forgotten about Digicams, however, they have quite a few features that should make the average consumer reconsider their camera choices.

 

The first is size. A digital camera will be able to easily fit into a bag, some even into the pocket of your pants. Whereas you’d have to lug around a bag filled with lenses and such for a SLR, one cannot deny the practicality of having a digicam. Next would be the issue of quality – there is a misconception that in order to take good pictures, you must have a SLR camera. False – a professional photographer might need the ridiculous amount of megapixels for their work, but for your day to day pictures and videos at home or on vacation, you will never need to change a lens or fiddle through complicated settings in order to get what you want.

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Beyond Automatic Mode

One of the issues with digital cameras and their availability is actually that they are capable of far more than they are used for. Even older digital cameras are capable of great shots when set up in the right way for each situation, yet many owners are unaware of how to use them or what to use them for.

While the Automatic Mode is a powerful setting, it is not ideal for many situations. It is great for shooting pictures on the fly and in repetition, but often fails when lighting circumstances are not ideal.

Here is where one can really explore the limits of a digital camera. There are pre-set modes to choose from depending on the setting and location. Most cameras come with a mode for sports in particular, which will focus on quickly capturing a picture in an outdoor setting in order to avoid motion blurring or missing a crucial moment.

Another variety of modes is often aimed at time of day and setting. Indoor lighting is vastly different to outdoor lighting, and outdoor lighting changes depending on time of day. Indoors there is fluorescent and iridescent lighting, and so on. Some people find that pictures taken in certain lighting makes them look unflattering, and choosing the right mode on the camera can mitigate that effect by treating light differently.

Of course, many manufacturers make different modes for their digicams, but there should always be a manual one that you can modify to your heart’s content. Learning how to do so can really make a low-priced camera take amazing photos.

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Compact System Cameras

Somtimes, when torn between two options, one wishes that there was an alternative in the middle. In the case of digicams and SLR cameras, this is a common case – someone will love the compactness of a digicam, but miss the interchangeable lenses of the SLR. Or someone might love the zooming features on an SLR but hate the price point.

Compact camera taster

The Compact System type of camera attempts to take the best qualities of the large SLR cameras as well as the digicams and combine them into a perfect mix – and so far, it has done a fairly well job in doing this. In short, one could consider the Compact System Cameras as a lightweight version of a SLR camera, or an extreme heavyweight of a compact digicam. One of the main differences to the SLR cameras is that there is no internal mirror system, instead it is a more sophisticated version of the type of system found inside a digicam.

Of course, while the CSCs combines quite a few of the positive aspects of either world, it does come with a variety of drawbacks. Most manufactures wish to retain the SLR quality of interchangeable lenses. This means, however, that choice and availability suffer until the CSC market becomes large enough to warrant third parties to make new lenses. Another drawback is that while it is compact, it is still nowhere near as portable as a digicam – a CSC won’t fit into your pockets, mainly because of the presence of a lens – but for some, this is the perfect mix between SLR and digicam.

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The Power of a Tripod

We’ve all been there – it’s Christmas Day, presents are about to be opened and you want to take a family photo. However, since it’s just your family that’s there, this would mean one person has to not be included in the photo as they have to take it – which is really unfortunate.

A rather simple solution to this is to invest in a tripod. Almost every decent digital camera nowadays will have a timer feature. All that needs to be done is to set it up, set a 10 second timer while the camera is mounted onto a tripod, and leave it to take the picture while you situate yourself with the family. There are also fairly cheap remotes available for cameras that allow you to snap a picture on command, eliminating the necessity for a timer.

Tripods are rather affordable nowadays, and can be bought for fairly cheap at most stores that also stock cameras and related equipment. Of course, there are more uses for a tripod than just the occasional family photo during a celebration.

Tripods can allow you to get creative. Many tripods are foldable and resizable, meaning you don’t always have to set up the full thing – meaning you can play with new angles and different types of shots and spice up your home photos and videos. Another use for a tripod is to create time lapse videos. For these kinds of videos, the camera must stay still for the duration of the lapse, making a tripod a perfect tool for it.

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Canon ELPH 330

Canon is probably the most commonly recognized name in the camera and lens industry. Not only are they known for making very powerful and professional level dSLR cameras, they’re also known as the best in making entry-level, point-and-shoot type of cameras, and the ELPH 330 is among them.

The ELPH 330 is perfect for a variety of people and situations. There are very little frills and the like, with Canon on focusing on impeccable performance and perfecting the basics. This camera would be ideal for travel, especially if you’re not a photographer who sets out to capture the most perfect or picturesque landscape shots. In addition to that, the camera is very compact and can easily be operated with just one hand and will fit into any bag or even the pockets in your pants.

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The photographic features of the camera are nothing to scoff at either. Despite its low price point and size, it is well capable of shooting videos in full HD 1080p quality. It is rare that people still buy standalone handicams anymore, making this a great alternative for both video and photo when on a trip with the family. Even when at home it can be used as a substitute for a video camera, ready to shoot in a matter of seconds.

A nice feature here is the inbuilt wifi connectivity, allowing for the seamless transfer of pictures from camera to computer in a matter of moments without even having to remove the storage SD card.

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The Issue of Megapixels

Megapixel. It is a term consumers immediately associate with cameras, rightfully so. However, one of the trends that has developed in recent times is that a camera’s measure of megapixels is indicative of its quality of performance. This is far from the truth however, and a misconception that can lead people to buy the wrong cameras and potentially regret their decisions down the road.

When experts speak of digital SLR cameras, one might notice that megapixels are almost never mentioned. Given that megapixel standards range in the double figures for even phones nowadays, this is really not all that surprising – even mobile phones have lenses in the 13 to 20 megapixel range – which is actually more than quite a few digicams have on them.

The term megapixel merely means “1000 pixels.” In relation to digicams, it indicates the maximum resolution a picture can be taken at. If a camera has 8 megapixels, that means the highest resolution of the image will be 8 megapixels. The likelihood of anyone ever actually printing or viewing an image of that size is unlikely, and those that do would probably use professional grade equipment instead.

What really makes a camera good is its post-processing software. Once the lens captures the picture, is up to the camera’s software to process it. If the manufacturer’s software is not up to par, neither will the pictures. In conclusion, what really matters is not the amount of megapixels, but what the camera is capable of outside of resolution.

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File Formats: Which to pick?

If you own a fairly modern camera, whether it’s a dSLR, SLR, Compact System or straight up compact digicam, you will have most likely gone through an initial set up wherein you had to choose what file format you prefer to save your shots in. Of course, most people will likely recognize some of the given options – after all, formats such as .jpeg and .png can be found on the internet and on most computers every day.

However, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to saving your new pictures in certain formats.

The rawest format, is obviously enough, called “RAW.” This means that there is no compression done to the image and it’s going to be as true to reality as possible – well, as close as possible given the camera’s limitations. The drawback here is that the images and files are going to be enormously large. Depending on the resolution you’re shooting for, you can find yourself eating up the gigabytes on your storage card very quickly. But there is the upside of being able to extremely accurate image touch-ups in programs such as Photoshop due to the high resolution and level of bit depth.

Raw vs JPEG: how many shots can you take?

The other most common way of saving them is in .jpeg. These means the pictures you just took will be immediately compressed and converted, allowing users to print the images immediately, whereas in RAW they’d have to process them first on a computer. This also allows users to shoot more pictures in a lower amount of time as they’re smaller and require less computational power to put out.

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Waterproof Digicams

One advantage digicams have always had over large and expensive digital SLRs is their level of compactness and convenience as they’re far more portable and very easy to operate, even with only one hand available.

Adventurers love the outdoors and more often than not will find themselves wanting to take pictures of the places they see and discover. Of course, for the real outdoor lovers a bulky SLR is not a viable option as too much valuable equipment can be too easily damaged or lost. As mentioned, the issue of size has been a real factor to consider, and in this case has allowed engineers to innovate ways to making tough digital cameras that can take a beating – and even the occasional trip under water.

Nikon Coolpix AW120

Many of the well-known manufactures have put out at least one or two models of waterproof cameras. Among them are, of course, Nikon and Sony. Sony especially has been making big advances in the waterproofing department, with some of the recent phones even being certified for underwater survival, with the Xperia X2 surviving underwater for 6 weeks.

Of course, there are both upsides and downsides to cameras that are water proof. The obvious upside is that they are water proof and pretty much child-friendly. They can be taken to beaches and lakes without a worry and will survive any water or drink spillage. Some are even good enough to be used under water, assuming the use is not prolonged and too deep. The downsides would be that they have to sacrifice other qualities – less convenience as plugs and ports need to be covered and the cameras become bulkier to withstand more pressure.

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Video Problems

 

Digital cameras are great for taking photos. It’s amazing how one person without any background knowledge on photography can come up with beautiful photos with the use of a tiny camera. It is perfect for taking still shots but what it lacks in awesomeness is recording videos.

Videos take up a great amount of space and most digital cameras have limited amount. Transferring videos to a computer can be slow and creating a DVD ca also be a problem. Recording videos on a digital camera is a secondary feature, an added bonus per say. A digicam also has no microphone that will allow for the video that will prevent picking up unnecessary noises in the background.

When it comes to recording videos, it is still better to use a standard camcorder. It is easier to edit videos and make a DVD with one. Though digicams are cheap, it still will not give the best results for video recording

Shooting Fast Action

actionshotsMost digital cameras have a setting that sets the shutter to a faster speed to capture active events such as sports and many others. This is similar to the ability of analog camera’s to get sharp and crisp images without the blur, adjusting the shutter speed and aperture size as desired. The digital system makes this all easy for the ranging system determines the distance through an infra-red beam, adjusts the optimum lens position, to attain maximum efficiency, a split second as you push the button. The major limitation is when you are using too much zoom which the IR ranging system may not be able to handle and the details turn out blurred and grainy. [Read more...]