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Digital Cameras What to look for in a Digital Camera Bryn Jones April 2001 Size of CCD A digital camera is exactly the same as a film camera except the film is replaced by a grid of charge coupled diodes. CCDs The CCD determines how many individual pixels can be recorded.

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digital cameras
Digital Cameras

What to look

for in a

Digital Camera

Bryn Jones April 2001

size of ccd
Size of CCD
  • A digital camera is exactly the same as a film camera except the film is replaced by a grid of charge coupled diodes. CCDs
  • The CCD determines how many individual pixels can be recorded.
  • This limits the ultimate quality of the photograph at any given size of reproduction.
  • Only very expensive digital cameras come close to the quality of film.
  • Especially if you want to enlarge the result.
how big is big
How Big is Big
  • Basic digital cameras start at around 250,000 pixels.
  • They are suitable only for small photos on screen.
  • 1,000,000 pixels (Megapixel) is regarded as the minimum for quality print output at reasonable sizes.
  • Cameras have recently become available with 5 Megapixels at a consumer price (Minolta Feb 2001.)
  • 3.5 Megapixels is regarded as equal to a good film camera.
lens quality
Lens Quality
  • Compare the lens focal length with a film based camera. This is not easy because the CCD is about a quarter as big as film so focal lengths are one quarter but some companies use 35mm equivalents.
  • Compare the optical quality of the lenses.
  • Is a zoom facility available?
  • If there is a zoom facility, is it digital, optical or a combination of both?
  • Digital zoom is a waste of time.
storage system
Storage System
  • Floppy Disk
  • Internal fixed Flash RAM
  • Removable Flash RAM cards
  • Memory Stick
  • Mini writeable CD
photo transfer system
Photo Transfer System
  • Floppy disk
  • Cable from camera
  • Flash card reader
  • Flash card in a floppy case
  • Memory Stick reader
  • Infra Red
  • Wireless is likely to become available soon!
software required
Software required
  • Preferably none required - camera produces JPEG format
  • Some cameras need special software
  • Is it Mac/Windows compatible?
  • Does it work through a Plug in to Photoshop or with stand alone software?
on camera playback
On Camera Playback
  • Can you review photos on the camera?
  • Can you delete on the camera?
  • How big is the viewing area?
power supply options
Power Supply Options
  • Does it use rechargeable batteries?
  • Are they included?
  • Is the charger included?
  • Can the batteries charge in the camera?
  • What is the battery life?
  • Consider battery life with and without flash and LCD
  • Is there a mains power option?
options
Options
  • Various options are available such as
    • Video recording
    • Sound recording
    • Multiple images one after another.
    • Multiple images on one photo.
    • Macro lens.
  • It depends what is useful to you.
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