Friday, December 10, 2010

Suggested number of megapixels for high quality prints

Below are the suggested numbers of megapixels to use for common print sizes.
If you crop your images increase the minimum suggested megapixels.
Today it is difficult to find a digital camera with less than 5 megapixels;
Some cameras will automatically reduce the size of the image when you switch between certain modes such as a high ISO

 Print Size     Megapixel Camera           Pixel Size

4 x 6″              2 megapixels                     1600 x 1200
5 x 7″              3 megapixels                     2048 x 1536
8 x1 0″            5 megapixels                     2560 x 1920
11 x 14″          6 megapixels                     2816 x 2112
16 x 20″ +      8+ megapixels                   3264 x 2468

Print quality depends on a number of factors, such as the visual quality of the original image, Printer type, ink, and the paper used.
If you plan on doing your own printing, use a photo printer and high quality photo paper for the best results.
©Peter Murphy 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Compact Digital Cameras

Basic Cameras

Ease of use is your number one priority. Automatic everything is what's called for, so manual control over exposure and focus isn't a priority.
Batteries go flat over time, so being able to replace them easily or recharge them quickly is important. A good flash is essential.
Stick with the lower cost cameras. A camera with 2 to 3 megapixels will be sufficient for reasonable quality, standard-sized prints or images.

Keen Snapper

If you like to keep a camera handy and like sharing your images/photos, you might like to go up a level a 3 to 6 megapixel camera would be a good choice
Features to look for include:

• Auto image quality
• Ease of use
• Versatility
• Battery life
• Good flash
• Accurate monitor/viewfinder
• Minimum shutter delay


If you use a camera for trips and major events and need it to cope with difficult photographic situations, look for the following in your camera.

• Ideally 8 + megapixels
• Auto image quality
• Versatility, manual as well as auto settings
• Battery, a rechargeable battery would be an ideal option
• Good flash
• Accurate monitor/viewfinder
• Minimum shutter delay
Also worth considering when traveling would be a compact waterproof camera

Saturday, November 6, 2010

General Camera Body Maintenance.

When cleaning your camera body, use a clean, dry cloth. Never use harsh or abrasive cleaning products on the camera or any of its parts as this will cause damage which may never be repairable.

Cleaning Your Camera

Use a Blow Brush they are inexpensive and a great little accessory. When cleaning your camera keeping the lens clean is essential. The most important thing you can do to preserve the condition of the lens is to not touch it with your fingers! When cleaning the lens, the viewfinder or LCD, point your camera downward. To remove dust and unseen grit, squeeze the end of the brush. Bursts of air come through the soft bristles. Next, lightly wipe the lens, etc. with a soft, dry cloth or lens cleaning paper. When needed, wipe the lens with a few drops of lens cleaning fluid. For a better clean it's a good idea to put the fluid on the lens cleaning paper and not directly onto the lens

Camera Battery Care

Camera Battery Care
For all Digital and Film cameras
Do not expose your camera batteries to temperatures above 110 degrees F
(43 degrees C). Example, leaving batteries in your car in the hot summer sun can result in permanent damage. Your best solution is to store them in a place that is cool and dry.
Never overcharge the batteries.
Recharge your batteries before or after long-term storage, as batteries discharge over time, and if not recharged they could leak and corrode the camera.
It is also advisable to not mix old and new batteries or batteries of different types

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Before you shoot

Place the point of interest of your scene off-centre
The picture will be more interesting if the horizon or your point of interest is not in the centre of the picture. Put the horizon a third of the way down from the top (or up from the bottom) of the frame, or the subject a third of the way in from the left or right. Experiment until you find a composition that appeals to you.

Include people for scale
A cliff may not look all that big; especially in a photo—until you put a person next to or in front of it. Including a person adds a sense of awe by showing the sheer size of your subject

Use lines to lead the eye
Lines, such as a road, a river, or a fence, direct attention into your picture. Select a spot or an angle where major lines in the scene lead your eye toward the main centre of interest.

Avoid distractions
Is there a rubbish bin in the foreground? Power lines  overhead?  A tree or pole growing out of your subjects head? Check everything in the viewfinder and reposition yourself to eliminate any distraction

Include an interesting object in the foreground
A branch, a rock, a fence, include an object in the foreground to add depth to your picture.

Include a strong point of interest
Your eye needs a place to rest in the picture, so include something of interest—a clump of colourful flowers, a cloud in the sky, a mountain, a tree, a boat.

Remember if you  enjoy water activities consider purchasing a WaterProof Camera

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Camera Shake

My favourite of all the basic photography tips is: - Be aware of 'Camera Shake'. This is the biggest cause of blurred photographs.

While you may think you are 'as steady as a rock' and certainly not be aware of any movement, the slower the shutter speed, the greater the chances that your precious shots will be ruined by camera shake.

Here are some steps you can take to prevent this happening.

1. Plant both feet firmly on the ground. Create a natural and comfortable stance in which your elbows are tucked firmly against your body while the camera is pressed snugly against your face.
2. Just before you take the picture, take and hold your breath (this will help to relax you) depress the shutter button halfway, you will feel a slight resistance then completely depress the shutter button to take your shot. Even the action of depressing the shutter button too quickly, because of the excitement of capturing the 'shot of the century' can cause a blurred image.
3. Consider using a Tripod. If you are a coffee drinker (seriously now) or experience any kind of hand shake, then do yourself, and everyone else, a favour and use a Tripod. Your shots will come out much clearer and more focused and will look much more professional too. When using a Tripod, think about using a cable release as well. This means you don't even have to touch the camera in order to depress the shutter.
4. If you don't have a Tripod, use the next best thing available and brace yourself against a solid object, such as a wall, or a tree, or even the shoulder of a friend.
Tripods, like cameras, come in all sizes and weights, from the smallest tabletop tripods to your large professional models, and everything in between. If you are serious about photography, then it is important for you to find at least a couple of tripods to suit your needs. While it may sometimes seem a little inconvenient to be carting a Tripod around with all of the other camera equipment, you will soon see that the quality of your shots will be vastly improved by the use of one.
A Monopod could also be a very useful addition to your kit.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Why Waterproof?

It’s always great to be able to look back of those wonderful family holidays and special days out and what better way to do that than with great snapshots? Of course the trouble is, especially here in Australia, a lot of our outdoor activities are centred around the water – the beach, the pool, fishing,  boating or water skiing.

Now cameras and water don’t mix, as I found out when I overturned my kayak and drowned my Panasonic Lumix while photographing the wild birds along the banks of a creek.

 Nowadays when I go kayaking, I make sure the camera I take with me is one from the great range of Waterproof, Dustproof and Shockproof products available. These cameras are still capable of taking high quality shots, but they are built to withstand a bit of rough treatment, including submersion to a depth of between 1.5 meters and 10 meters, depending on the make and model. 

With the Dustproof and Shockproof protection, these cameras are also great for all outdoor adventures. 4x4 driving, camping and hiking. Many of the range are even classified as Freezeproof, so they can withstand much lower temperatures such as might be experienced on a trip to the snow in winter time.

In our busy, hectic world, family outings and holidays need to be kept as stress free as possible. The last thing you need is to be worried about one of the kids accidentally dropping the camera in the water or the sand. These cameras are tough, yet compact and stylish and small enough to be tossed into the beach bag with the rest of the paraphernalia.