Shoot smart

This guide will help you take better photos by providing you with tips on how you can choose the right digital camera, how to shoot better photos and how to use photo editing software to touch up your photos

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Shoot smart
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By  Gareth Van Zyl Published  December 1, 2009

Choose the right gear

Before setting off to buy your camera, whether it is a point and shoot or digital SLR, there are a number of things to take into consideration. Jason Rego, of Canon Middle East, provides the following tips when considering purchasing a new camera.

1. Resolution:  This is measured in mega-pixels and obviously determines the size and sharpness of the image.  The higher the resolution of your camera (such as around 12.1 mega pixels or so), the more precise and crisp your pictures will be.

2. LCD Screen:  A standard size is 1.6 inches. Some LCD screens swivel and later models may also offer improved display in bright sunlight. You can use the LCD screen to compose your pictures, scroll through the camera's menu and to display pictures that you have already taken.

3. Zoom:  The important thing to know about the zoom is that there are two types, optical and digital. Optical zoom is controlled by a zoom lens in the same way that a traditional camera does, whereas digital zoom is controlled by software within the camera. Optical zoom gives a sharper final image; so, when buying a digital camera look for a brand that has a history of lens manufacturing to ensure the best quality of image when using the zoom feature.

4. Intelligent Technologies:  Taking good pictures with a digital camera has never been easier thanks to the latest cutting edge features such as a Smart Auto mode with Scene Detection Technology that some cameras have. With the help of these features the days of blurry pictures and red eyes are long gone. A setting such as Smart Auto mode is a must have feature for beginners as it chooses all shooting settings automatically and helps even novices take quality images and eliminates the possibility of poor setting selection.

5. Record movie clips: You are not only limited to taking still images with the latest cameras, but also able to record HD movie clips. Anyone can shoot movie clips in stunning HD format and then get direct playback on any HDTV with an optional HDMI cable.

6. Wide Angle: A wide-angle 24mm lens captures more in the frame, making it ideal for scenery or group family shots.

7. Freedom to print pictures anytime, anyplace, anywhere: Another great advantage of a digital camera is the fact that you can print your pictures in the comfort of your own home. Some camera manufactures now also offer photo printers which can be connected directly to your camera.

These are some of the features to look out for when purchasing a digital camera. Once you have bought that new digital camera of yours, whether digital SLR or point and shoot, it's time to get out there and start snapping away.

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