10 tips for better photographs

Film Vs Digital

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The Camera

It`s probably an odd thing to say, but the camera you use to take photographs with is not the most important thing. Obviously a good camera can make a good shot better, but the best camera in the world will never make a bad shot, good.

Everyone has heard of the great Film Vs Digital debate (See Film Vs Digital for more), and it’s a sad fact to me personally that film appears to be near dead and buried. I started with Black and White film, many years ago, spending too many happy hours in a darkroom developing and printing.

Now its all changed, however, and the simplicity and affordability of the digital camera has us embarking on a new era.

So depending on your preference to camera type the fundamentals remain the same. Good lighting, composition and an eye for a photograph are still the important things to have.

There are two main types of cameras on the market – compact cameras and SLR`s.

Compact cameraCompact cameras are the all in one, pocket sized models that most people have. The quality and features available on these has vastly improved in recent years, with some even rivalling the quality of their larger digital SLR cousins.

They have auto focus, usually a small optical zoom and very little control over settings such as Shutter Speed and Aperture. On the plus side is their size, simplicity of use (just turn on, point and shoot) and as I said, picture quality for digital cameras of this type can rival the bigger and more expensive SLR.

SLR CameraThe SLR on the other hand has much more user control over settings such as Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO rating, and Focus. Plus the lenses are interchangeable and of better quality. On the downside, they can be quite complicated (even though they all have a full auto mode as well), and the price of some at the higher end of the market will bring tears to your wallet.

There are many lenses available for SLR cameras, so many in fact, that they are discussed in their own article (See What Lens?). Briefly though and particularly if only starting out, that the 18-55mm lens (or something similar) that came with the camera is fine to be getting on with. As time goes on, you will probably want more and different types of lenses, but as I say, that discussion is for a different day.

Starting out with a compact camera is fine, but as your appetite and skills grow, you will yearn for an SLR camera. The control over your photographs that it offers is enormous.


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What Lens?