The purpose of the Digital Camera Workshop is to enable senior people to get the best possible usage out of their digital camera.
These workshops are to help you understand the technology that is in your camera. They are not a photography course.
If you would like to do a Photographic workshop and are intend travelling to Alice Springs at any time the click here
For a Link to some videos on Digital Photography click here
If you want to see more about Digital SLR camera usage and how to use camera in Manual Mode click here
The methodology of the workshops is for each participant to bring along their own digital camera with an empty memory card and the cameras manual. You will be responsible for your own equipment. After receiving a brief description of the concepts of photography what will be presented will be up to each participant.
It should be appreciated because of idiosyncrasies of each different model of cameras and different features that cameras have that what applies to one person may not apply to others and that some, one on one, time may be required. Because of this the workshops will be limited to 4 participants.
To enable the workshop tutor to get ready for the workshop please email them your name and the make and model of the camera you will be bringing to the workshop so that they can possibly download the manual of you camera from the internet and read it beforehand.
Email address of Geoff Greig email@example.com
Steven Sasson, in 1972 whist working for Kodak. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Sasson. His invention eventually contributed to the demise of Kodak. Kodak have trouble is transitioning their business model of selling photographic film to digital as is disclosed in this interview with Steven Sasson. http://www.megapixel.co.il/english/archive/35884
A small video of an interview with Steven Sasson: http://www.davidfriedmanphoto.com/blog/inventors/ (Search for Steven Sasson on the page)
The best way to learn how to use your camera is to experiment. Fortunately modern digital cameras make experimentation very easy because you do not have to pay for the developing of your photos and you can see the results of the photos you take immediate.
The most difficult part of learning how to use a modern digital camera is simply coming to grips with the terminology and what each of the functions of your camera does. Hopefully these notes and this course will overcome these difficulties. Under the heading "What your cameras can do" is a list of the things that most common digital cameras can do. To the right of each item may may be a link that explains what the function does (how to do it). Below most of the explanations will be exercises that you can perform which will further help in your understanding of the function.
The exercises are an important part of learning how to use your camera. It may be well worth repeating them several times, especially if you do not understand what the function is meant to be doing
To get started you can read these sections
How to Use your Camera, Every Camera is Different, Installing and changing Batteries, Installing and removing the memory card, Switching on and off your camera, The difference between recording and playback modes, Why it's important to know which mode you are in,
Because photography is the recording of light and we see light through our eyes (vision) it is important to know how our eyes work
You may also like to read about visual perception
As shown in the links above your eyes work very similar to a camera. So how does a Camera work
Because of the very fast developments taking place in digital cameras what is stated in some of these links may no longer be true. For example the point and shoot consumer cameras in the past did lot allow direct control over exposure, manual mode, more now do and even if they don't technology now exist to allow you to add features to basic cameras. Also the mega pixel that used to be only available in the expensive professional digital cameras is now available in the consumer point and shoot cameras
An incomplete list. Just because something is in this list does not mean that your camera can do it, because different cameras have different features
Click on the green “How to do it” to the right of each item to see how to perform these functions:
The following functions can usually only be performed with more advanced cameras, a camera connected to a computer or with some basic Canon models via extra software loaded on the memory card. http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK
You may want to check in the manual of you camera to see if it has the following functions. If it has and you do not know how to use it them please ask.
The best way to find something in your cameras manual is look it up in the Index at the back of the manual that should be in alphabetical. Good camera manuals have an index.
If you can't find the function in the index that does not mean that your camera does not have it because different camera manufacturers sometimes have different names for functions.
If you camera does not have a function and you would like to know what that function does do a Google search or ask me.
A good explanation of how digital cameras record colour can be found here: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/digital-camera4.htm and here http://www.shortcourses.com/guide/guide1-3.html
Depending on the type of camera most store the information about colour via numbers from 0 through to 255 for red green and blue. By combining these combinations of red green and blue you get shades of colours. The best way to see how this works is use a computer program like Microsoft Paint to produce colours. Follow these steps: (
If you look at the files size of the images that your camera takes you will notice that if you have say a 5 Mega pixel camera that the images are not 5 megabyte. This is because most cameras compress the images before they store them on the cameras memory card. Usually they stored as a JPEG format. The process of compression is such that some of the information within the image is discarded.
Some cameras have the ability to save images in RAW format. That is like just as the camera sensor saw it or similar to a film camera negative. The disadvantage of RAW file formats (their is no standard for them) is that they take up lots of space and can not be viewed as such. They have to be converted in to some other format. The advantage is that because you have all the information the camera saw you are able to process it (equivalent to developing and printing film) any way you want.
The methods used to convert the RAW data to a JPEG file is beyond the scope of this workshop. However to give you some incite as to how it works consider a situation where every pixel across one row of a image, 2000 pixels wide is the same colour, say red. then their would be 2000 combinations of 255,0,0. Rather than having to store 2000 255,0,0's you could simple store 2000-255,0,5 ie 11 characters rather than 14,000 characters. A significant saving in space. This is not how JPEG compression works but gives you an idea how it can save storage space.
Unfortunately every camera is different because they are produced by different manufacturers and even within the same manufactured they have different features so requiring different ways of activating or using those features. Beside this most digital cameras have common functionality, such as taking photos and displaying photos, but the way they achieve is may be different for each model. Below I will attempt to explain how to achieve various functions of digital cameras, but will have to refer you to your camera manual so that you know which button, switch, menu item or whatever is required to activate or use the particular feature on your camera. If your camera manual has a diagram showing the parts of your camera it would be easier to have that part of you manual open whilst reading the rest of this document.
Most digital cameras require batteries to provide power to perform the functions of taking and viewing pictures. Their are basically two types of batteries. The manufacturers rechargeable batteries and general purpose batteries, usually AA batteries. The general purpose ones can either be one time use, throw them away when they are flat, or rechargeable. One benefit of the general purpose ones is that they you can buy them practically anywhere and so their is not need to carry the battery charger with you say when you go on holidays.
The manual will explain which type of batteries you have and how to install and change them. Usually this is via a small latch at the bottom of the camera.
All digital cameras have some way of storing the photos you take in a digital format. This is usually achieved via a small rectangular device called a memory card, although some cameras have built in non removable memory, but these are becoming far less common. The benefit of having removable memory is that when you have filled one memory card you can replace it with another one. Unlike the old film cameras your photos can be copied from the removable memory card to any other form of digital storage, such as a computers hard drive, CD's, DVD's external hard drives memory sticks and the like, and then the memory card can be erased and then reused. Also unlike the old film the normal process of digital copying can be preformed an unlimited number of times with absolutely no denigration in the quality of the images. That is a digital copy of a copy of a copy and so on will be identical to the original. A film image copied as above less than ten times will not be viewable.
Even though their are different types of memory cards they all have some way of copying the images from them to other forms of magnetic media and even though the media technology has and will change in the future their will always be some a way of easily copying you photos to the newer formats.
A new type of camera memory card is now (2012) available allows Wi-Fi computer networking to to be achieved independent of the cameras functionality. These memory cards, know as Eye-Fi memory card via a wireless function transfer the photos, just after you have taken them, to a computer or a web site. Details of how it works are here: http://www.eye.fi/
Most modern digital cameras memory cards are installed and removed under the same slot that the batteries are under. Refer to your manual.
Because digital cameras run on electrical power supplied by batteries they have to be switched on and off to conserve the batteries. In the the manual will be described how to switch on and off your camera. Because these switches are usually also digital you may have to hold the appropriate button down for a period of time, perhaps 2 seconds, to switch the camera on or off. This is done so that inadvertently pressing the button will not switch the camera on and so use up your batteries or switch it off just when you want to take a picture. If your camera does not come on, you should check that you have charged batteries installed and they are position the correct way. Most cameras have a zoom lens that will open when the camera is turned on and will also usually have a small light to indicate it is on.
Most modern digital camera have some form of power saving feature to prolong the life of the batteries, so that the lens may retract and the screen will go blank after a pre set period of time without it being used. Some may even switch them self off if not used for a period of time. Look in the manual for these features.
Some cameras can be switched on in playback mode, usually by pressing the button that switches from recording to playback mode, so further conserving the battery life because the lens does not have to be opened. If your camera can do this you may be able to change back to recording mode by half pressing the shutter button. Again refer to you manual.
One of the biggest differences between film and most digital cameras is the ability to view the photos as soon as you have taken been them. To be able to do this digital cameras have to be able to operate and switch between two different modes. Recording and playback. Recording mode is where you are able to take photos and is usually easily identified, in that what the camera is pointing at is being displayed on the cameras screen. Playback mode is where you can view the images you have taken and is identified by the image show on the display is usually not what the camera is pointing at but is showing a image that has been previously taken.
Your manual will explain how to change between the two modes. Usually it will via be a slider a button or a dial change of position or status.
A slight complication to the above is preview time. This is where after taking a photo in recording mode the camera with immediately change to playback mode for a pre determined amount of time, usually 2 seconds, to allow you to see the image you have just taken, and will then automatically change back to recording mode. You may be able to change the duration of the preview time or eliminate it completely. If so this will be described in the manual
Some cameras have a hold preview function whereby you can continue viewing the last photo you took by, for example with Canon cameras, holding down the shutter button. Only when you release the button will you return to recording mode.
Their are many functions that are accessed via menus (list of things you can do) on the screen of your camera. However their are two broad categories of menus, the record menu that can only be accesses when you are in the record mode and play back menu that you can only access when you are in the play back mode.
The record menu allows you to change settings for the taking of photos whereas the play back menu allows you to change settings for the viewing changing and deleting (removing of) photos.
Most modern digital cameras have an fully automatic mode called automatic or simple mode or something to this effect. On some cameras you change it to the automatic mode by turning a dial and others by selecting it from a menu on the cameras screen when in recording mode. See your manual for how to change to the automatic mode.
The important thing to understand about digital cameras is that before you take a photo the camera has to sense the lighting and viewing (focus) conditions so that it can set itself up to take the photo. See concepts of photography. This is usually done when the shutter button is first or fully pressed. If you are used to just pressing the shutter button on your camera and have noticed their is a delay before the photo is taken. This is because the camera has to sense the conditions and make it internal adjustments before it takes the photo. To overcome this delay problem most cameras have what is called a half press function of the shutter button. That is you can press it half way down which forces the camera to sense the lighting, adjust the focus make the calculations to determine the optimum settings and them make those setting ready for you to take a photo.
When the camera has made its settings it may indicate this to you by making some sound, displaying something on the screen, showing some coloured lights or a combination of all of these ways. It may also indicate that the conditions are not suitable for taking a photo or that the camera should be on a tripod. This should be be described, but is not usually explained, or explained why, in the manual.
So to take a photo without any setting:
Note in the above steps that it says to gently squeeze the shutter button the rest of the way down. This is because it will reduce, but not eliminate, the possibility of getting blurred photos because of camera movement especially in low light conditions. Because modern cameras are so small the pressing of the shutter button can easy cause the whole camera to move within the period of time that the camera is absorbing the light and result in a blurred photo. There is less likelihood of this happening if you gently squeeze the shutter button rather than quickly pressing it.
Most digital cameras have a screen that allows you to see and so compose what you are taking and also have a viewfinder. You can use either to compose your photo. However unless you are using what is called a SLR digital camera what you see via the viewfinder may not be exactly what you are taking. This is simply because the viewfinder is not in the same position on the camera as the cameras lens and cameras take what they see in the lens, not the viewfinder. The screen on most digital cameras shows you information that you often can not see in the viewfinder. For these reasons therefore it is better to use the screen to compose you photos. This is now so common, that some digital camera do not have viewfinders
The best way to take a photo is not to hold the camera at all but to have it on a fixed surface or mounted on some device like a tripod. However this is not practical most of the time so that you have to hold it in you hands. If doing so and you are standing it is better to stand with one leg in front of the other. You are less likely to sway , and get blurred photos, this way than having both feet together
Most Digital cameras have a fully automatic mode where you point the camera at what you want to take and the camera makes all the decisions as to what setting have to be made. See concepts of photography. This will give you good results most of the time but restricts your ability to take creative photos. Additionally many cameras may not allow you to alter the setting when in a fully automatic mode. To determine if this is the case you need to refer to the cameras manual. Some manuals for each of the functions that can be set, indicate which mode you have to be in before using that function, others don't and it can often be trial and error to see it which mode you can perform what functions.
Not all camera manufacturers use the term Automatic Mode. Other terms are simple mode, Intelligent Mode, Intelligent Auto mode or some other term. Again you will have to read you manual to see how it is described. The Non fully automatic modes are all other modes other than the fully automatic modes.
If you camera has a dial you can set it in the fully automatic mode by turning the dial to that mode as it is described in the cameras manual. If you do not have a dial you usually have to set the camera in fully automatic mode by selecting what ever its called from the menu See Using the Menus on you camera
Because digital cameras allow you to change various setting in relation to taking photos and aspects of digital photography they have to have some way of achieving this. This is typically done via menus (list of things you can do) that are displayed on the cameras screen. You usually have to press the Menu key on the camera to display the menu on the camera screen. Once any menu is displayed on the screen their is usually a a set of navigation keys on the camera that allow you to move through the menus or activate a function within a menu. Typically these navigation keys are a cluster of 5 keys, 4 in a circle and one in the middle. Often, the middle key is the Set key and the 4 surrounding keys are the up, down, left and right navigation keys. The top key is up, the bottom down, the one to the left, left and the one to the right, right.
Usually when within a menu pressing the down key will move down to the next menu line below the current line while pressing the up key will move up to the next menu line above the current line. Pressing the right key will either activate the function or bring up a sub menu, pressing the left key may change to a higher level menu. To activate a function of a menu press the Set key and to exit a menu press the menu key.
Some cameras also have a function set button that provides the ability to set functions in addition to the menu button. In this case a function menu will appear and you navigate through it using the same navigation keys described above
If you are unsure what you have or have not set on menus some cameras have a reset to defaults or reset all menu option which will put all the menu functions back to how they where when you first bought the camera
The above is only generalised, so you should check you manual to be sure.
These exercises are to practise how to use the menus in your camera, it is not necessary for you to understand what they do at this time
Before covering how to do this you need to understand that using flash will not give you an image that looks natural simply because you are introducing artificial light and that it is possible to take a photo where their is very little light, without a flash. However their are times when you will want to use a flash and in some cases, even when their is a sufficient light, to still use a flash.
Your manual will show you how to switch on or off the various flash modes. Some camera have a button to do this in which case it has may have a icon that looks like a lightning bold next to a button.
Some cameras have a pop up flash. If yours does, you have to have the flash up to use it and down to not use the flash. Additionally with some cameras you can only make it so that flash does not go off when the camera is not in automatic mode. See Fully Automatic and non Fully Automatic modes
If your camera is in automatic mode (see Fully Automatic and non Fully Automatic modes) the camera will automatically, based on the amount of light in the scene being taken, either operate or not operate the flash.
If your camera is not in automatic mode you can determine if you want to flash to go off or not. The usual modes you can select in relation to using the flash are: Automatic, Flash Off, Forced Flash and Red Eye reduction. Automatic is where the camera automatically senses if their is sufficient light and if their is not, it fires the flash. Flash off never fires the flash regardless of how little light that exists. Forced flash always fires the flash regardless of how much light their is. Red Eye reduction fires the flash twice, once before the picture is taken and then when the picture is taken.
If you do not want to have to make a decision as to when to use the flash or not then automatic is the flash mode to use.
It is worth noting that most camera flashes only have a range of a few metres. It is therefore not worthwhile trying to take a photo using a flash in dark situations if your subject is more than a few metres away. You will be just shortening your battery life and not getting the results you want. You may get a better result by turning the flash off.
With the flash off mode you can still take photos even if their is only very little light. However this requires what is called a long exposure so that, during that relative long duration of time, if you move the camera only the slightest or the subject moves you will end up with a blurred image. To overcome this you should use some method to keep the camera dead still and only take photos of non moving objects. Some cameras will indicate that you need to keep the camera still by displaying a symbol of a camera with brackets around it (indicating shaking) on the screen. The best way to keep the camera still is to use a tripod a mono-pod or have the camera on a still surface. However even then if you are in very poor lighting conditions, so making the exposure time quite long, the pressing or releasing of the shutter button or the beating of your hart can be enough to move the camera and so end up with a blurred image. In this case it is best to use a automatic timer of say 2 seconds. See Self Timer . That way the camera get a change to steady before the shutter automatically goes off.
In this flash mode the flash always fires regardless of how much light is available. Its most commonly used for what is called a fill or fill in flash. That is compensating for parts of the scene that would otherwise be in shadow. Typically this happens where the subject you are trying to capture has strong light behind it so producing a silhouette effect. The camera may sense their is sufficient light and would not otherwise fire the flash so that no, or very little detail of the subject is shown. However by using forced flash the flash lights up the subject so filling the shadow area with light and giving detail to the subject and eliminating the silhouette effect. See Digital Camera Workshop Forced Flash
When you take a flash photo of people or animals you may end up with the pupils of their eyes being red rather than black. This is the camera capturing the blood vessels at the back of the eye, ie in side the head. Red eye reduction attempts to reducing this happening by firing the flash twice. The first time to force the subjects pupils to reduce in size and the photo is not taken and the second time to take the photo. Notice the function is called red eye reduction, not elimination, so it does not always work. Sometime it may be better to not use a flash at all. Additionally some cameras have a red eye removal function or you can use computer software to remove the red eyes.
This is called exposure compensation. Look it up in your manual to see how to get into this function. It may be via a menu function or by pressing a specific key. If it is via a key the icon associated with it usually is a box with a diagonal line dividing it in two with a + symbol in one half and a - symbol in the other half.
Usually when within the function you will be shown a bar on the screen with minis setting to the left and positive on the right. Pressing the left and right arrow keys will change the setting. A minus setting will result in the photo being darker and a positive setting will make it brighter, often the adjustment will be shown on the screen, ie the entire image will become darker or lighter. To exit the function, leaving the setting as you changed it to you press the same button that got you in to it or follow the screen display that says exit. ie press the appropriate exit key.
Be aware that some cameras will retain the exposure compensation setting even if you switch the camera off, so make sure that you set it back to zero after you have taken the photos where you want this compensation. Most cameras in capture mode show a + symbol over a - symbol with the set setting on the screen so that you can see if you have set the exposure compensation. if it has not been set it will be show a 0 (zero). If you do not have it sat to zero all photos take from will be darker or lighter.
Basically you use exposure compensation when you can not get the result you want without using it. That is you take a photo look at how it looks on the screen and if its not what you want make it lighter or darker. An example could be where you want to show the beams of sun light coming from behind a cloud. Without exposure compensation you are unlikely to see this, but by making making the image darker you will show the beans of light. See Digital Camera Workshop Exposure Compensation
Doing this is called zooming and requires that your camera has a zoom lens or be able to do digital zoom. Zooming is usually achieved by either a zoom lever or a zoom slider. Check you manual as how to activate it. Often the icon on the zoom lever or slider will show a single tree or magnify glass for zooming in (makes the subject appear closer) and a group of trees or box with hatch pattern on it for zooming out (make the subject appear further away.
The benefit of being able to zoom is taking close up photos without having to physically move closer to the subject and is epically useful where you are not able to get close to the subject.
What is the difference between digital and optical zoom?
Digital zoom is a computer way of zooming and is achieved via the computer program within the camera and so is far less expensive for camera manufacturers to implement. This is why most digital cameras have a digital zoom either only or combined with an optical zoom. The disadvantage of a digital zoom it that the more you zoom the more the image becomes pixellated. That is it becomes blocks of colour, rather a smooth transition of colour, so that the image does not look natural.
Optical zoom is achieved via the mechanical movement of the camera lens. Two or more lenses move towards or away from one another. Hence this costs more to produce and is reflected in the price of the camera. Higher zoom cameras cost more than lesser ones. Optical zoom does not does not suffer from the same problems as described above for digital zoom. That is you can zoom to the maximum optical zoom and the image will still be clear.
Some cameras can combine optical and digital zoom so resulting in the a higher combined zoom. However usually via a menu the digital part of it can be switched on or off. Also when on, the optical zoom is performed first and when at maximum optical zoom then the digital zoom is implemented. This can be observed when zooming, in that the lens will move until it's at fill zoom, accompanied by a mechanical noise, and then the digital zoom will take over where the lens does not move so it will be silent. Some cameras also show a bar on the screen with a mark part way across it indicating where the optical zoom finishes and the digital zoom starts. The digital zoom part of a combined optical zoom and digital zoom suffers from the same problem, blockey images, as does digital zoom only, but only at the point where the digital zoom commences. See Digital Camera Workshop Optical Vs Digital Zoom
In addition to a having fully automatic mode most digital cameras have specific pre-set modes such as portrait, landscape, night, snow, kids, etc. In these modes generalised setting are replaced with the specific settings for those conditions. For example in the night mode the camera will take a longer time to take the photo so as to capture more light, than it would otherwise do.
Some cameras allow you to select these pre set modes by turning a dial whilst other by selecting it from a menu. Consult your manual to see how to do it for your camera and to see the meaning of each mode. It is important to make sure you are in the correct mode before you take each photo as it will have a dramatic effect on the photos you take. eg. Taking a photo with a night or fireworks setting in bright sunlight will result in overexposed, washed out, images. If you camera has a dial make sure it is on the correct dial setting before taking photos as it can be very easy for the dial to move to different position when the camera is put in to or removed from a camera bag.
Some camera show an icon for each pre-set mode on the screen when it is on so it is worth while noting what icons mean. This can be achieved by going through each of the pre-set modes.
Because the computer inside your digital camera processes the image before it stores it on the memory card it is able to produce special effects on the photos such as making them black and white, vivid, neutral, Sepia and the like. Some can even individually change the combinations of the base colours that make up images. You should be aware that these effects are applied as the photo is taken so can not be reversed. Also with the appropriate computer program these same effects can be achieved in your computer where you can keep the unaffected image as well as the effected one.
Usually you set these effect via a menu or function set button. Your manual should explain how to set them and what each effect does. Some cameras may call this My colours
It is important that you know how to switch off these effects and if they are on or off as they may be applied to all the photos you subsequently take even after switching the camera off and on again You most likely would not want say, have ALL your photos to be black and white.
Some camera show an icon for the effect on the screen when it is set so it is worth while noting what icon means what on your camera by going through each of the setting
Most modern digital cameras in addition to taking still photos can take videos. The is achieved by turning the dial to the Movie mode, changing a switch to movie mode or selecting it from a menu function. Again refer to your manual. To start recording a movie usually you press and release the shutter button. Usually their will be some indication on the screen that you are recording and how long you have been recording and how much recording time you have left. To stop recording press and release the shutter button.
You may be able to set the quality of the video in terms of the size of the video that get recorded eg. 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 and normal play or long play. This is usually done via a function set or menu button when you are in movie/video mode. Some of the newer cameras can record video in high definition (better quality than normal TV quality)
Some cameras have restrictions as to what you can do whilst videoing, like, not recording sound, not automatically adjusting the brightness when moving from light to dark areas and vice versa, not being able to zoom or only digital zoom and limiting the time of the video. Your manual may indicate these restrictions
You can play back a movie by switching to playback mode. There will usually be some indicator on the screen to distinguish between still images and movies and then you press additional keys to play back the video. Again see your manual.
This function can be called continuous shooting or burst mode. Often it is achieved by pressing the function button or by selecting the item from a menu, however sometimes their may be a dedicated button for it who's icon appears as number of cascaded rectangles. Check in your manual for how to switch it on and off. With it switched on if you hold down the shutter button the camera will continue to take photos until you release the shutter button.
When using continuous shooting you will find that it will initially take photos relatively quickly and then later slow down. This is because it will first fill the relatively fast cameras memory but then have to start writing (copying) that memory to the memory card. Having a faster memory card may speed up this process. Also using continuous shooting whilst using the flash will dramatically slow it down because the flash had to be recharged between each photo.
Continious shooting is often used in action situations in an attempt to get a specific photo at a specific point, for example in a horse race, when the winner crosses the finish line. By taking continious shots you are more likely to get the photo exactly as the horse crosses the finish line.
Other than holding your camera at arms length this is done with the camera self timer which is usually activated via a menu function or by pressing a specific button thats icon is a circle broken at the 11 o'clock position with a line coming from the centre of the circle and a dot at the 12 o'clock position. Check you manual at to how to set it.
Most cameras have a 10 second timer with some also having a 2 second timer and others again a adjustable time and adjustable number of photos that can be taken.
For taking a photo of your self set the timer at 10 seconds, place the camera on a flat surface or have it mounted on a tripod, compose what you want to take making sure their is enough space to fit yourself in the scene and press the shutter button. Their will be some indication that the timer is operating by a light flashing, a sound or both. You now have to move into the scene within the 10 seconds. Some cameras indicate the 10 seconds is almost up by the light and or beeping going faster, so that is the time to smile. Make sure you switch off the self timer function off when you no longer need is other wise you will have to wait the 10 seconds after you press the shutter button.
So what is the 2 second timer for, you ask? Its to quick to get to in front of the camera. When you take a photo in very dark conditions without a flash the pressing and even more so the releasing of the shutter button may cause the camera to move even if it is on a very stable tripod or surface so resulting in a blurred photo. However if the photo is not taken for 2 seconds after you release the shutter button this movement no longer happens because the 2 seconds is long enough for any vibrations to have dissipated, so a non blurred photo.
Without a special function called macro your camera can not take photos of small items because when you move close to these small items they will become blurred. The macro function when switched on allows you to get very close to the item you wish to take photos off without then getting blurred. The method of switching on and off the macro function will usually be either by a menu function or by pressing a button. The icon for the macro function is usually a flower.
Before discussing the subject you should be aware that in may not be necessary to have the date and time in the photo itself. This is because with digital photography every photo has the date and time embedded in the information contained with the photo. To see the date and time that the photo was taken you need a photo Program on your computer that shows this information. An example of such a programme would be Irfanview.
As The camera will take the date and time from its internal settings and put it within the photo file, it is important that the date and time the set correctly. This is usually done as one of the cameras settings from a menu you function. See Using Menus. Because of the above some cameras do not allow you to in-bed the date and time within the image but do allow the date and time to be printed on the photo
However there may be times when you may want to have the date and time the photo was taken embedded within the graphic of the image. Check your manual to see how this is done.
With some cameras this can only be done on certain image sizes. E.g. Canon cameras only allowed dates and times to be embedded in the photo on postcard size images.
All digital cameras have a certain megapixel size. That is the number of pixels, explained later, in millions, that make up each photo. A pixel is a single dot in a photo. The sum of the number of pixels across by the number of pixels down divided by a million is the megapixel size. Generally the larger the megapixel of the camera the better the images will be. However increasing the number of megapixel beyond three will not be noticeable unless you printed pictures that are beyond the small normal 5 x 4 size. Unless you intend to print photos larger than 5 x 4 There is no benefit in having a higher megapixel camera.
Although cameras will have a maximum megapixel sizes most can reduce that maximum so that you can store more photos on a given size memory card.
Usually images are compressed before they are stored on the memory card and most cameras allow you to change the extent to which the images are compressed. Compression simply means the size of the file on the memory card is less than the megapixel size of the image. As an example a three megapixel image may only take up one megabyte on a memory card. Some cameras allow you to not compress the image at all. This is known as RAW mode or sometimes called a digital negative.
Your cameras Manual will explain how to set the size and quality of the photos you take. Often you will find it on a function button.
After you have taken photos if you wish to make images smaller for emailing then here are two videos I created that show how to do this:
Making Multiple Photos smaller to email them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npZMGQs6-fU
Making a group of Images Smaller using Irfanview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5EMn75YT-Q
Most modern cameras automatically focus, however in some cases this may not work. Examples are: taking a photo through a window, where something in the foreground is predominant but you wish to focus on the background and when photographing small objects.
Some modern digital cameras have the ability to manually focus. This is usually achieved by either pressing a button that has MF on it or via a menu function. Once the Manual focus function is activated you view the item you are going to photograph and adjust the focus by pressing certain keys or by turning a certain dial. Check your manual for instructions on how to do it.
Most modern digital cameras have the ability to adjust their sensors sensitivity to light. This is called ISO adjustment. ISO stands for international standard organisation.
Normally you would have the ISO set on auto meaning that the camera automatically adjusts the ISO setting. However in situations of low light conditions where you are not using a flash or are unable or not allowed to use a flash increasing the ISO setting to a higher value may give you a better picture.
The ISO settings are usually set by pressing a button or via a menu function, check your manual as to how it is done with your camera
Modern digital cameras automatically sense the type of light that the photograph is being taken in. That is If it is overcast, sunny, indoors with fluorescent lights or incandescent lights. This is called automatic white balance.
However sometimes the automatic white balance function of your camera may not work as you desire and consequently the colours may not be represented correctly in the image you took. To overcome this problem you can set the white balance manualy. The setting of the white balance is usually a menu setting. Checked in the manual of your camera to see how to set it.
To see the photos that you have taken you have to be in playback mode. See switching from recording to playback mode. When in playback mode, depending on your cameras settings, your will see either the last photo you took or the last photo you looked at.
To go back to the last photo you took you usually press the left arrow button, to go to the next photo you took you usually pressed the right arrow button. Some cameras have quick ways to jump to the first photo or last photo or a specific photo. Check your cameras manual to see if it has those functions
Even though you can review the photo you have taken on the camera screen, because of this shear small size of the screen it can be difficult to see the detail of any photo. Fortunately most digital cameras have the ability to Magnify (zoom) the image.
This is usually achieved by the zoom lever, the same one used to zoom when taking photos. Check your Manual for how to magnify the taken photos
When you have a number of images stored on you memory card it can be hard to find a particular image by moving through them one at a time. However some digital cameras allow to show more than one photo at a time on the screen so that the time taken to find one photo is reduced. The camera may allow you to show 4, 16 or what ever number of photos on the screen at the one time.
This function is usually achieved by moving the zoom leaver, that is normally used to zoom in recording mode, in the un-zoomed direction when in the playback mode. However it may be done some other way on some cameras. Consult your camera's manual
Make sure you have a number of images stored on your memory card before doing these exercises
Some digital cameras allow you to record a sound, like you talking, against an image you have taken. This can be very handy to remind you what, where, or why you took the photo. The sound is usually a separate file that has a base file name the same as the image taken but with a files extension of .WAV. eg For a image file name of Img000123.JPG the voice memo file would be Img000123.WAV
The usually method of recording a sound for an imaged is to select this function from a menu when in playback mode
This function is useful if you want to make sure that photos can not be deleted from your cameras memory card. It is also can be used if you want to delete all the photos except for a for a few because the protected photo will not be deleted if you use the function to delete all the photos from your camera. This would be faster then having to delete individual photos except for a few.
The usual way of protecting photos is via a menu function when in playback mode. A protected photo can later be unprotected
To do these exercises you need to have a number of images that you dont mind if they are deleted
Sometimes you may take a photo sideways so that when you view it on the cameras screen it appears sideways compared to other images. You can usually have the camera rotate the image so that it appears the correct way up. Whilst in the playback mode you can usually rotate an image via a menu function. Your manual will have specific instructions on how to activate this function.
Some cameras have built in movement detection and automatically know if a picture has been taken sideways and so record this information with the image and automatically rotate the appropriate images when in playback mode or with the appropriate software on a computer screen
Their are two situations when you can erase one image. When in preview time, where you can see and so delete the lase image taken and when it playback mode. In both cases the procedure is the same. However preview time usually only lasts a few seconds before returning to recording mode so requires you to change to playback mode to delete an image just taken.
The normal method of deleting the currently displayed image is to press the delete button which is usually represented by a rubbish bin icon. You normally have to confirm that you wish to delete the shown image. Your manual will have instructions on how to perform this function
To do these exercises you will need a number of images that do not matter if they are deleted
After you have copied all your photos to some other media you can erase them all from your memory card so that you can have the space available to take more photos. This is achieved by using the Erase All Images function that is often accessed via the menu when in the playback mode. After confirming the function all the non protected images will be deleted. See your manual for how to use this function.
It is also possible to erase images using you computer and this may be more convenient if you have the camera or its memory card connected to a computer to copy the photos to other media.
Only do this exercise if you don't want to leave any of the images on you memory card
Most people are able to do this without to much difficulty.
All Photo Blurred Part of Photo blurred
This document is not complete and is an ongoing project