The Best Digital Camera for Your Needs and Maximum Enjoyment
by: Dave Saunders
Digital Cameras have become a common site wherever you go. If you're getting ready to purchase your first digital camera, or maybe you're looking to replace one you already have, it is best to familiarize yourself with the knowledge of what makes one digital camera different from another and choose the one that is right for you. In this article we'll cover one of the most significant factors in picture quality. This is the “digital film.”
Just like with a film camera, the digital camera has a lens which brings light into focus on a bed of light sensitive material. In the digital camera, that light sensitive material is a circuit bed called a “CCD.” The CCD plays the same role as film in a film camera and the lens allows light to fall onto the CCD which is then converted into a digital image. The quality of the lens can make a significant difference in the clarity of that image. Very cheap digital cameras may even use a piece of plastic as the lens, which will usually have an uneven surface and light transmission. This will be noticeable in the picture but may not be an issue for a security camera or a web cam. Better quality digital cameras will have ground-glass lens and high-end digital cameras will even have interchangeable lenses as do high-end film cameras. The lens still plays the important role of bringing light clearly to the CCD surface for a distortion free picture.
A CCD also provides an interesting advantage to the digital camera. It is possible to automatically adjust light sensitivity to improve contrast, shoot in dim light, or even take black and white, sepia or infrared and ultraviolet light pictures with the touch of a button. Because any of these images are stored as the same data on the memory card, a digital camera can offer unsurpassed versatility without the need to change film types. Not all digital cameras have these features built in, but they are options you may see in some cameras. While the possibilities are cool, ask yourself if you that is a feature you need in a digital camera.
With digital cameras, CCD is a grid of light sensitive points which capture the image for conversion into a digital image. The number of points on the CCD is measured in terms of “mega pixels.” The mega pixel rating is a completely new bit of terminology and is unique to the digital camera. The mega pixel rating is a measure of the resolution of the camera, or its ability to store details of am image. For example, a digital camera with a maximum resolution of 1280 by 768 pixels (dots) comes out to a total of 983,040 pixels with which to describe the digital image. As each mega pixel represents one million pixels, we can see this isn't even one mega pixel. Some digital cameras have mega pixel ratings at 5.1 and even 7.1 mega pixels. What does this mean to you? The more pixels the more detail stored. If the image is going to be viewed on a screen or a TV, this isn't very meaningful because video displays have resolutions which are usually well below one mega pixel. However, when printing on a high quality photo printer, the difference between a 3 mega pixel digital camera and a 5 mega pixel digital camera can be very obvious.
Some people will try to evaluate a mega pixel rating by how large a print can be made from the digital camera's image. The truth is that any digital image can be printed to any size. The real issue is what it looks like. Most people print their film to 4x6 prints and many are now doing the same with their digital cameras. Ask to see printed samples of pictures which are like the type you would normally take and compare the same prints between different cameras. Many stores will try to dazzle you with colorful still life images of piles of multi-colored fruits and hot air balloons. Do you take pictures like that? Probably not, so perhaps they're not the best images to be scrutinizing. If you take pictures of friends standing around, use each camera to take pictures of people standing around. Then use a demonstration printer at the store to make prints and look at the results. Do you see little dots in the middle of solid colors? Does the image look like it was taken with a poor quality film camera? Don't seek out the digital camera that happens to take perfect pictures in a perfect setting, contrived by the marketing department of the digital camera's manufacturer. Look for the digital camera that takes pictures you like in the settings in which you most commonly find yourself.
Another issue to consider is that some digital cameras are designed for “point and click” use while other cameras are designed with lots of settings which must be manipulated for optimal results. In my personal experience, I have found that Kodak makes digital cameras which are ideally suited for simple “point and click” use and consistently take great looking pictures in a wide variety of settings. I have also personally found that digital cameras from Nikon work best when you set them to “manual” and do not rely on the automatic settings. This seems to be true of their film cameras as well. Does this make one digital camera better than another? Only if one fits your needs and skills, and the other does not.
There are many magazines available on digital cameras today. Most recognize these differences in digital camera quality, based on needs and intended use of the owner. Before buying your new digital camera, pick up a few of these magazines and familiarize yourself with the latest reviews. Remember that the pros and cons are still written “through the lens” of the reviewer. If you see a negative about a digital camera that you otherwise like, ask yourself if that negative is meaningful to your needs. Next ask yourself if that negative might be meaningful to your needs as you become more experienced. If the answer is yes, ask yourself if you would still be using that camera as a more experienced photographer in the future or would you perhaps sell it and buy an entirely new digital camera? It's unlikely that the digital camera you buy today is going to be the only one you'll ever have. Buy the digital camera that most reasonably meets your needs and how you normally plan to take pictures.
Memory cards and battery life are also consideration factors which will be covered in other articles. For now, I hope this information has taught you more about the workings of a digital camera and some of the factors to consider when choosing one. Take your time and learn a bit about digital cameras before your purchase. Sure, it's not like buying a car, but photography is a very personal experience and the right digital camera will truly make a difference in your enjoyment of capturing the moment with digital photography.
The Real Jesus:
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archaeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the "historical Jesus" -- a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archaeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regretably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
This presentation explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views.
Presented in ten parts -- perfect for individual, family and classroom study -- viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history -- "the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
|The Beast of Revelation: IDENTIFIED
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation? Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry's insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation -- and even more importantly -- amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue -- but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study -- for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John's famous letter "... to the seven churches which are in Asia." (Revelation 1:4)
(Available in DVD only)
INCLUDES A FREE
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misperceptions related to this volatile issue:
Download the free
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal
Bible study. Speakers include: George Grant, Howard Phillips,
R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, R.J. Rushdoony,
Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Watch over 60 streaming videos from God's Law and Society at:
|Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism
Over four hours of instruction!
Just what is “Calvinism?” Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
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