Digital Photography Tips for Beginners

By: Ryan Dube


Digital photography is fun, convenient, and you can see the rewards of your labors quickly. No film required, no sending film off to be developed, what could be easier? Before you run out and buy the most expensive digital camera with the most megapixels and the highest optical zoom you need to do some research.

Digital cameras can be expensive so the first thing you need to consider is how you will use your new digital camera. If your main use of digital photographs is to post pics of your buddies on FaceBook or MySpace, you will not require the same digital camera that you will need if you are taking pictures and getting paid for it, such as at a wedding. People generally fall into one of three categories of digital camera usage:

Snappers - You need a simple point and click camera that produces reasonable quality digital photographs. Perfect for people who don't want much fuss and rarely print their pictures.

Hobbyists - You may want to be a little creative occasionally. You may take a few close ups, night shots etc. and are attempting to learn Photoshop. You print some of your pictures and want good quality 8" x 10" prints.

Pro/Semi-pro - You want a camera that delivers top quality photographs, operates fast and is adaptable.

You want excellent print quality and sturdy construction.

How Many Megapixels Do You Need?

One way to decide how many megapixels you need is to decide what you may want to do with your pictures after you take them. This chart is a guide to the amount of megapixels you may need to get a good quality print of the various sizes:

Megapixels: (MP) - Quality prints up to this size:
Minimum of 2MP - 4" x 6"
Minimum of 3MP - 5" x 7"
Minimum of 6MP - 8" x 10"
Minimum of 8MP - 10" x 12"

Digital Zoom and Optical Zoom

Most digital cameras have both optical zoom and digital zoom. The optical zoom works just like a zoom lens on a film camera; the lens changes focal length and magnification as it is zoomed. The image quality stays high throughout the zoom range. A digital zoom simply crops the image to a smaller size, and then enlarges the cropped portion to fill the frame again. Digital zoom results in a significant loss of quality. You can do a similar if not better job using an image editing program such as Photoshop. You can find a free Photoshop download at Adobe.com.

How to Get a Good Digital Camera for Less

To save a little money, look for a camera that has been out about a year. Also style can cost you more; if picture quality is important to you, disregard the shiny model for the not so stylish one that takes great pictures. Stick with brands that are established camera manufacturers; digital cameras are made in basically the same way as film cameras, but in digital photography, light falls onto an image sensor and not onto film. The other parts of the camera are basically the same. Unless you really need special features for your digital photography, don't pay for them.

After you get your new digital camera home, start using it! Luckily, digital camera memory is cheap and can be reused thousands of times. So get out there and shoot some photos and you'll soon find your skills improving remarkably.

For more Photoshop Tips and Tricks, visit: www.PhotoshopDemos.com.

Photography
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Photography