Digital Cameras Tutorial

Do you have a digital camera?  Do you want one?  Do you know how to use one?  Today's technology tip will hopefully give you some basic information about digital cameras.

Below is a diagram of an olderSony Mavica digital camera.   The oldest ones used a floppy disk, newer ones take a memory stick, or flash memory.  Even though this style camera has been discontinued they are a still good example of the kind of digital camera you might find in a school.  Bulky and sturdy with the capability of saving pictures to cheap floppy disks made them a good choice for educators.  The basic controls are labeled below:
This type of camera could take a 3.2 mega pixel picture which was enough for most applications.  Newer cameras seem to have around 15 or more mega pixel capability.  So what's a MEGA PIXEL you might ask?
Here's the simplest definition we could find for you:
"A mega pixel is simply one million pixels. What's a pixel? The technical definition takes several pages, so let's suffice to say a pixel is the single, square "picture element" among a grid of many others which captures and then represents that particular point of light the camera saw when you clicked the 'shutter' button."  Read more here:  http://www.user-groups.net/showker/megapixel.html  (by:  Fred Showker, Editor/Publisher UG Net News)

What you need to know, the more mega pixels you have the larger the image that you can take will be.  The larger the image the more details it will contain.  So in mega pixel terms, bigger is generally better.  But how many mega pixels do you need?  4 or 5 should work for just about any application you could come up with.
Are you shopping for a digital camera for yourself?  Here are some resources that could help you shop:

DPReview.com - Probably one of the most comprehensive digital camera resources on the internet. Full of reviewssample images, and articles about digital photography. They even have a camera timeline where you can see exactly when new products were introduced.

Reviews.CNET.com/digital-cameras - CNET.com has ben a leader in technology reviews for a long time now and you can usually find pretty good information about digital cameras on their website. They categorize the various cameras and have their favorites in each category.

PCmag.com/reviews/digital-cameras - another well known resource for technology reviews is PCmag.com and they are another resource to check out when you're shopping for a new camera.

PRACTICE ACTIVITY:  If you have access to a digital camera try using it today.  Don't forget to try using the display.  Try displaying the pictures and see if you can figure out how to delete them.

TO KEEP ON LEARNING:  Here are some things you could search for to find out more about digital cameras:
Compare digital cameras
Digital camera tutorial
How to buy a digital camera