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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 l.jpg
Digital Cameras

What to look

for in a

Digital Camera

Bryn Jones April 2001


Size of ccd l.jpg
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.


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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.


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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.


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Storage System

  • Floppy Disk

  • Internal fixed Flash RAM

  • Removable Flash RAM cards

  • Memory Stick

  • Mini writeable CD


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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!


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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?


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On Camera Playback

  • Can you review photos on the camera?

  • Can you delete on the camera?

  • How big is the viewing area?


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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?


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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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