Choosing the features you want on your digital camera is an important part of deciding which digital camera to buy.
While no means complete the following features or options are among the most common.
Which Features Do You Want?
To help you decide which features are most important to you, I have included a brief description of the feature and tips on what it is designed to do.
A zoom lens is a nice feature to have on any digital camera. Optical zoom actually changes the focal length of the lens from a wide angle view to a telephoto view. It is like having several lenses in one.
Digital zoom should not even be considered when you are deciding on how much zoom you want. Digital zoom merely enlarges a portion of the image which can cause a loss of image quality.
Auto modes provide you with a point and shoot convenience that is optimized for specific types of scenes, such as portraits, landscapes, night scenes, panoramas and even short video clips. Macro mode for close ups of small objects is also a very popular feature to consider.
In addition to the fully automatic scene modes, there are also some semi-automatic modes you may find useful. The most common of these are shutter priority and aperture priority. These two modes give you more control over the auto exposure function of your digital camera.
With aperture priority you select the aperture (f/stop) and the auto exposure control will adjust the the shutter speed to give you the correct exposure. Because the f/stop chosen affects depth of field, being able to select the aperture allows you more control over the field of sharpness in your scene.
If you want to reduce the depth of field, you can select a larger aperture opening and the auto exposure will select a faster shutter speed to compensate. If more depth of field is needed, you can choose a smaller f/stop and the shutter speed time will be increased to provide the proper exposure.
Shutter priority lets you control the time of the exposure and the auto exposure then adjusts the f/stop settings to provide the proper exposure. If you are shooting a moving subject you can select a faster shutter speed to freeze the action for a sharp image.
At times you may want to show the motion of a moving subject, such as a water falls or panning on a moving car while blurring the background. By choosing a slower shutter speed you can convey a feeling or movement or speed in a still photo. Shutter priority can give you this kind of creative control.
Full Manual Control
For those who want to be in full control of the exposure settings on their camera, having a manual option is the ideal choice. Manual mode will allow you to choose both the f/stop and shutter speed. On some advanced cameras manual focus may also be an option.
Manual control over the exposure settings is an option that is usually only important to more advanced photographers. Certain studio applications or special lighting effects may require exposure settings that would not be possible with the auto mode controls alone.
These advanced options are not the only ones offered, but they are the most common ones. You’ll have the point and shoot simplicity of a fully automatic camera with the added benefit of being able to advance your photography to new and interesting levels.
Here’s to better photography …