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About Digital Photography...
 

Focus and Zoom

While most digicams have autofocus, some allow you to override this feature and pre-set distances. This is a good feature if you shoot a lot of action where the camera wouldn’t ordinarily have time to focus on moving subjects or objects. It’s also useful under certain low-light conditions when some cameras have difficulty locking-in focus and won’t shoot at all. However, many digicams now have IR (InfraRed) focusing that sees in the dark; a James Bond-like beam targets the subject and locks in the focus.

Zoom lenses for digital cameras now come in two flavors– optical and digital. Some cameras incorporate both. With an optical zoom, the resolution remains the same regardless of how close you zoom in. But most digital zooms use only the pixels in the center of the sensor array and ignore the rest. It’s as if you’d trimmed off the edges of the picture in an imaging program, discarding pixels and thus lowering the resolution. If zooming in close is your thing, there’s no sense buying a 1280 by 960 pixel camera with digital zoom only to end up with 640 by 480-pixel image. Of course, if you’re shooting only for the Web or for multimedia productions, it won’t usually matter.

The Power And The Gory 

Unless your digicam is one of the few that comes with rechargeable AA or Lithium-Ion batteries, you should plan to buy two sets of NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries and a charger or suffer the gory consequences of having your digicam go into cardiac arrest just when that Kodak Moment arrives. All digicams eat batteries like candy (the #1 user complaint), especially since they must power the flash and the LCD screen used to preview and play back shots.


NiMH batteries hold a near-constant voltage and last three to four times longer than most alkaline batteries. You’ll also need a good recharger, like the Quest Premium Gold Charger Kit which will recharge a set of four NiMHs in just a few hours and monitor the state of each individual battery. Once they’re rejuvenated, the batteries are held at peak levels with a controlled trickle charge so they’re always ready for use. The Quest kit includes 4-NiMH batteries and a 12V auto adapter, great for tooling down the highway yelling: "Charge!"

For even longer-lasting power there are battery packs that plug into the digicam’s external power input. If you need super, long-lasting energy, the UnityDigital ProPower pack is a rechargeable featherweight NiMH powerhouse that’s capable of putting out long-lasting energy. It’s become the de facto standard in the digicam world and some top manufacturers now even offer it as a privately labeled accessory.

 

 

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