May 2009
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Tips about camera options (zoom, RAW, picture size)

Tip 206 (Image size on the camera): In earlier days, cameras used to be 4-7 MP, and these used to be good enough for everybody. However, even many higher-end point and shoot cameras are now coming with above 10 MP options. There is a temptation to shoot at the highest MP possible, but keep in mind that these images occupy space on the memory card, and then on the computer hard disk if you decide to store them. Make a grid about the types of image sizes you want to set – so natural beauty could be the highest possible size, photos of friends and families at a slighter lower size. If you are also fond of shooting a lot, then get in the habit of making sure that you are optimizing your image sizes.

Tip 207 (Using RAW or TIFF modes): You may have bought a camera that produces output in RAW or TIFF or DNG mode, but be sure whether you really need to do the kind of manipulation that you need for these modes. They occupy a lot of space, and this has an impact everywhere – imagine that you are trying to display your images to family, then keep in mind that RAW or TIFF will take slightly longer to render on the computer.

Tip 208 (Using RAW + JPG): If you are more of a casual photographer, but are impressed by RAW, then select the option of RAW + JPG. This tells the camera to produce a JPG along with the RAW, so that when you transfer to the computer, you have JPG’s to show to friends / family quickly, or even for your own review.

Tip 209 (Using Digital Zoom): Many cameras give the option of Optical Zoom, followed by digital Zoom. Digital Zoom may look great, since you would think about gettting 20 times the magnification, but the fact is that digital zoom is like taking the image on your computer and then zooming in (optical zoom in contrast actually manipulates the lend and results in no quality loss). Expect that there will be loss in quality if you use Digital Zoom.

Tip 210 (Camera buying and Zoom): If you are attracted to a camera by the prospect of the zoom it has, consider only optical zoom as the true factor (disregard digital zoom as a factor). Also consider that when you use a higher optical zoom, camera shake gets magnified, so using something like > 10X optical zoom will produce a lot of blurriness unless you use a tripod of shoot with a higher shutter speed.

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