How to Use a Digital Camera

Digital cameras are the prefered alternative to the 35mm film camera. Unlike the 35mm film camera, a digital camera allows the user to take hundreds or thousands of pictures at any given time without having to change film of any kind. It has a display area to view pictures taken and gives the user the option to delete undesirable pictures. Many digital cameras are quite versatile allowing the user to record sound, video and photographs. The digital camera maintains some of the basic features required of a camera. It uses a lens that is automatically or manually regulated by the shutter speed and aperture to determine how much light will be captured by the device. The device used to capture the image differs from the film camera in that it is electronic not chemical. There are a wide variety of digital cameras that offer varying degrees of functions. Compact cameras or point and shoot cameras are widely used because of their affordability and added convenience due to size. DSLR’s or digital single lens-reflex cameras are also a type of digital camera generally used by professional photographers because of their larger sensors and the added benefit of allowing the use of several compatible lenses. The DSLR has more settings than the traditional point and shoot camera and allows full manual use of the camera. However it is also possible to capture spectacular images with a regular point and shoot camera by adhering to the correct procedures.

Things you will need

  • A Digital Camera
  • A Memory Card with at least 512 MB of space
  • A Tripod (optional)
  • A Camera Case
  • A Rechargeable Battery/ Regular Disposable Batteries
  • USB Cable for Upload
  • Photo Editing Software

Instructions

  1. Set up the camera by installing the batteries and memory card. Once this is done test the camera by turning it on and testing the different dials and buttons. Each camera will have different functions, the least expensive cameras usually have very few settings.
  2. Adjust the settings to suit you. The default settings do not necessarily produce the best image quality. The first setting that should be changed is the image size. Choose the highest setting for image size if the photograph will be printed or used for artistic purposes. Most digital cameras allow some amount of manual manipulation, you can gauge the amount of flash to be used, the level of ISO, white balance and in some cases the shutter speed and aperture. If you are not particularly interested in using the manual settings always choose the appropriate mode for the picture you are taking. For example, if taking a night time shot use the night mode, for daytime shots use the daylight mode. A general rule is that the ISO setting should be placed on the lowest possible setting. The ISO setting in most point and shoot cameras produces a grainy image at higher settings.
  3. Once the camera has been adjusted to suit lighting conditions, image size and quality. You are now ready to begin actual shooting.
  4. To take the picture: hold the camera steady, aim at the subject while looking through the viewfinder or the display screen and depress the shutter release button. For better pictures fill the frame effectively with the subject if doing a portrait shot. For landscape shots frame the picture to capture the best features of the landscape. When taking small subjects like flowers or insects use the macro mode to capture the subject with full clarity. To improve the overall stability of the camera and reduce camera shake use a tripod. Tripods are perfect for landscape shots or night time shots.
  5. If you are using the manual setting then it is very important to take a few test shots to see that the settings are appropriate to lighting conditions. If the aperture and shuter speed can be manipulated then use them to create flawless images. If you are using a very slow shutter speed then the tripod becomes essential. Try to use the flash less frequently on manual settings, instead use the shutter speed and aperture to adjust light intensity. If flash is necessary use the fill flash to acquire more natural results.
  6. Try not to use the digital zoom which is never very effective on most point and shoot cameras. Instead go closer to the subject and take the picture.
  7. Once the photos have been taken upload them to the computer. Always check to see that the image quality is to your liking and use a photo editor to enhance the results.

Do’s and Dont’s

  • Always keep the camera away from wet conditions. If you are taking pictures near a water source, cover the camera in a plastic bag or a water proof casing.
  • To increase battery life do not preview the files excessively with the display screen.
  • Clean the camera’s lens fairly often and store the camera in the case when it is not in use.
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