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Even the simplest, most compact digital camera is capable of taking magazine-quality shots, once the user has a working knowledge of its features. In Digital Photography Principles: The Camera, Derrick Story shows how to master and take advantage of everything from basic resolution settings to the latest imaging technologies. He teaches even beginning digital photographers how to apply techniques that will have friends asking, "How was that shot taken?"
Well before I get into talking about buttons and menus and particular types of hardware, I would like to cover a little bit about my view of photography in terms of how I use these different types of cameras. Compact cameras I just think are very important. Digital SLRs, which definitely have their place in the photography world, and then mobile devices. Now all of these are important tools and we are going to cover them all. I want to show you some examples of photos that I have taken with each type just to give you an idea of how I use these different cameras. This first one, for example is a cloud shot through an airplane window. We have all seen this shot but because I had a compact camera in my pocket, I was able to pull it out and put it up against the glass and get the shot.
If I didn't have a compact or if it weren't a compact shooter, I probably would have missed the shot. Compacts are also great because their accessories are usually cheaper. So for example, I can get underwater housing for my compact camera for far less than a Digital SLR. And for just a few hundred bucks put on my flippers and go snorkeling and come away with some terrific underwater shots. If I had to depend on a Digital SLR only, I probably wouldn't make that investment but because it's affordable and easy to do compact again helps get the shot.
There are times however when I need what a Digital SLR can do. And one of those times is for wide angle shots. Compacts are notorious for not having very wide lenses. Digital SLR you can basically get as wide a lens as you can afford. I needed a 17 mm lens to get this shot. I could not have gotten it with the compact and so that's why I had to pull up the Digital SLR and come away with this shot that I really like a lot. The other end of the focal lens spectrum is important too for Digital SLR. And that's where you have the reach.
You need the reach to get the shot. I needed every bit of the 300 mm lens that I had on my Digital SLR to take a picture of these sheep in Iceland. Again I don't think I would have come away with as compelling a shot with a compact, plus the Digital SLR responds faster. I had to grab the shot right when it was ready, just a second or two later the shot was gone. With a compact I probably would have missed it. And then the other thing I really like about Digital SLRs is they have less image noise at the higher ISOs.
I had to raise the ISO a little bit for this shot in order to get it. With a compact camera you would have a seen a lot more noise in the sky than it shows up with a Digital SLR. And so that cleanness is another advantage and the reason why they are very important. Now mobile devices I think are very important and a lot of times people overlook some of their true value which is their data capture. One of the first things I do when I get out of the car is take a picture of where I parked. So that way when I come back hours later, or sometimes days later if you park at the airport, and I don't have to worry about wandering around aimlessly in a parking garage.
And they're also good for just you know capturing information. Phone numbers, websites, what time things open and close, mobile devices are terrific for these. Why takes notes when you can take a picture? Mobile devices have their place along with compacts and the SLR cameras. Before I actually get into pushing buttons and working menus and so forth I have a few little foundations pieces, a few photography basics I want to cover. We are going to do that next and then we will just keep on rolling.
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