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   LEARN ABOUT digital photography from first principles to advanced techniques.

Before you buy: Make sure you buy the camera which is best for you.  go there . . .
What to look for and what it does:features and functions of the digital camera.
                 more . . .
Quick-start guide: start taking pictures right away.
                 more . . .
Versatility: the choices - from pixels to paper.
                 more . . .
Storage media and sharing your photos.  more . . .
Essentials of photography
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What to look for when buying: 2

Features and functions of a digital camera.

Viewfinder :
Most digital cameras have a small screen that you use to preview and playback your photos. Many photographers like to use these for framing the picture before taking it, holding the camera at arm’s length to see the prospective photograph. While their is nothing inherently wrong with this, it should be noted that:
a. the viewfinder offers a more stable grip, and less chance of camera shake,
b. the screen is often difficult to see in even moderate sunlight,
buy cameras, camcorder, lenses, books, memory and accessoriesc. the screen will drain the batteries much more quickly.

Bracketing :
In uncertain lighting conditions it is customary to take a series of photographs of the same scene with exposure at under, and over the given value. Some digital cameras can be set to do this automatically, and will even bracket on other settings as well.

Sequence shooting :
Mechanical motor drives and winders are another thing of the past with digital. Cameras will take sequences at a variety of speeds, even up to full movie speed.

White balance :
Although this is normally kept as 'auto', or 'daylight' (and flash goes a long way towards compensating for artificial light), other useful or custom settings may be available.

Batteries :
There are two main choices here, you can buy a camera with a lithium-ion rechargeable battery or the common AA batteries. Each have their own benefits, with lithium-ion being more powerful and generally faster to recharge. AA rechargeables are easily available and are cheaper.

Memory cards :
There are all sorts of sizes and types of memory card. The main point you should consider is the current size limit of some memory cards. Memory Stick and SmartMedia appear to be unavailable over 128Mb so you may need spares.

CompactFlash, SD, xD and MMC cards are all available in sizes larger than 128Mb. Microdrives come in 340Mb, 500Mb and 1 or 2 Gb.

Accessories :
Although not essential, it is worth buying some accessories to help you get the most out of your camera, and to protect it. A case is the most important addition, try to get one that is reasonably padded and water resistant.
If you're taking photography up as a serious hobby, you may want to consider buying a tripod to support the camera - for instance to shoot in low light without flash - and perhaps some attachment lenses or filters to increase your photography options.

P1: features, resolution, lens,

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