Photography Guide Part 2

Parts of a Digital Camera

Although the major parts of the digital camera is much the same as the typical film camera, there are differences that may confuse people especially those who are making the jump from the film to digital format.

It doesn’t also help that digital cameras, even the most basic ones, typically have more buttons than the usual point and click film cameras. We hope that with this article, we can help you in identifying the parts of your digital camera.


  1. The LCD screen


– this is probably the most obvious difference between a digital and a film camera. The LCD screen provides users with a preview of the shot they will be taking. Unlike film cameras which use only the viewfinder, the LCD gives people exactly what they see on the display. Aside from that, the LCD also provides information on the camera such as the amount of battery left and the like.


  1. A slot for the storage media


– while the film in a film camera is usually loaded on the back, the slot of the storage media differs from one type of digital camera to the other. The user manual can help you find where it is.


  1. A slot for transferring your data


– you can transfer that pictures you have taken by physically removing your card from the camera and putting it into the card reader of your computer. However, you can also connect your camera via USB or other ports on your computer if you do not have a card reader.


Storage Types for Digital Cameras

Unlike the 35mm film camera which differed only in the number of shots and manufacturers, different digital cameras use different storage media. This is usually the case for different camera manufacturers as some brands prefer to have a proprietary storage medium for their cameras.

Aside from the different types of storage media, they also differ in the amount of memory they can handle. Today’s cameras eat up more memory which is why bigger memory is the order of the day especially for professionals.

Here are some of the most popular storage media used by digital cameras today:


  1. Compact flash


– this is perhaps the most common storage device for digital cameras, especially high-end ones like digital SLRs.

Compact flash memory comes in two flavors: Type I and II. Most cameras accept Type I although the Type II varieties have a higher capacity.


  1. Memory Stick


– this is a proprietary storage media produced and developed by Sony not only for their digital cameras but also on their other products. Early Memory Sticks were able to store only up to 256MB although Sony has already come up with the Memory Stick Pro which has capacities up to 1GB.


  1. Secure Digital (SD) and MultiMedia Cards


– are yet other varieties of storage media. Aside from digital cameras, they can also be used on a host of devices such as mobile phones.

These varieties are the smallest among storage media especially when the micro SD memory was introduced to the public. The SD card and the MMC (MultiMedia Card) are basically the same except for the fact that SD cards have a write-protect switch to protect the data that is stored inside.


The Difference between a Digital and the Film Camera

Still clueless about digital cameras? For starters, they are basically the same device as the film camera which captures images and stores them in a medium. But aside from that, there are differences on how they approach the concept. We will discuss them in this article.


  1. Size


– digital cameras are unlike film cameras which have to take into account the large slot for the film into its overall design.

Since there are already slim storage media for digital cameras, they have become slimmer and smaller than the film cameras of old.


  1. Image storage


– film cameras store their captured images in, well, films. But unlike its older counterpart, digital cameras store images in media such as compact flash cards, memory sticks, secure digital cards and the likes.

The good thing about them is that you don’t risk destroying the images if you put them out in the sun unlike films which are photosensitive which means that there will be a chemical reaction when the film is exposed to light.

Also, digital storage media can store larger capacities of images unlike the typical 35mm roll of film which can hold only around 36 pictures.


  1. Time to see the image


– when using film in shooting pictures, one has to wait a long time before seeing the images since they still have to be processed. However, with digital cameras, one can see the captured image immediately after it has been taken. It helps photographers a lot in weeding out bad shots from good ones in no time at all.


The History of Digital Photography

Photography has gone a long way from the early attempts at capturing images using the camera obscura to today’s digital photography. However, photography’s development has never been as fast as the development seen today in the digital age.

Digital photography began with the concept of digitizing images for the use of astronauts when having missions on planets. A company called Texas Instruments also designed a filmless analog camera in 1972, but it was never produced.

However, the first digital camera was built by Steven Sasson of Kodak three years later. Unlike the compact cameras of today, Sasson’s creation was a bulky eight-pound camera which took 23 seconds to capture an image to a cassette and another 23 seconds to play it back on a television screen. The first image had a resolution of 0.01 megapixels but it was a start.

There were other attempts at building digital cameras but it was only in the late 1980s when the first true digital camera was created. The Fuji DS-1P was built in 1988 but it was never mass-marketed.

The 1990s saw the rise of commercially-available digital cameras. They were, however, pricey at first and had very low image resolutions. But later developments led to more consumer-friendly prices and better resolutions.

Today, digital photography has crossed-over to different gadgets aside from the digital camera. Most cellular phones and PDAs now have cameras built in to them. Some even have resolutions as big as 5 megapixels. But unlike professional digital cameras, phone cameras can only save pictures in a compressed JPG format.

Which Image Format Do I Choose?

If you are into digital photography, chances are that you have already come across the different file formats used by digital cameras. It doesn’t matter if you are an amateur or a professional because you will have to deal with them when taking pictures and transferring them to your computer and eventually editing them.But which image format is best for you? It all depends on the result that you want and how much control you want to have over editing your images. Below are the most common image formats used by digital cameras.


  1. JPEG


– this is probably the most popular image format used not only in digital photography but also in web design. It is a good thing because you can be sure that you can open your file using any computer and without the need of special software.There’s a downside, however, since JPEG is considered a ‘lossy’ format, which means that a lot of details are lost due to the format’s compression.


  1. TIFF


– the answer to JPEG’s lossy quality is the TIFF format. It means that more details are saved which translates to a better image quality. But it comes at a price since TIFF files are notoriously huge and could eat up storage media space in no time.


  1. RAW


– among the three, RAW could be considered as the file that shows images at its, well, rawest. RAW images are unprocessed which gives photographers more control in editing them later on.

© Etropa Publishing



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