Basic tips for getting the best photos from your digital camera:
There is a great degree of difference in the quality of digital photos produced from different makes and models of digital cameras. To go further, the degree of quality difference is even greater between lower and higher priced digital cameras. If you have not purchased your digital camera yet, I highly recommend you buy the best quality camera you can afford.
Even though this quality difference does exist, there are a few simple things you can do to produce the best quality photos from whatever digital camera you use. A few of the pointers in this article are just common sense tips, and some are more technical in nature. Using these simple tips when shooting photos will help you produce the best images possible from your particular digital camera.
To get down to the real basic and common sense advice for photo taking, you first and foremost have to hold you camera steady. I know this may sound silly, but you would be surprised how many photos we get that have mild to severe camera shake. This camera shake really becomes obvious when the photo is enlarged.
A good tip is the same tip given for shooting firearms. Slowly exhale while snapping the photo, and hold your arms at a 45 degree angle from the vertical or horizontal plane. This will help you have a steady hold on the camera. Better yet, if you have problems with a steady grip, the best thing to do is rest the camera against a tree or other firm steady structure when shooting. Best of all, use a tripod, especially in low light conditions.
Digital cameras are very light critical, more so than film cameras. The amount and direction of the ambient light is very important when using digital cameras. It is hard to get a well balanced photo when shooting into the direction of the source lighting.
This is where making specific white balance settings can make a real difference in color and tonal qualities with digital cameras. Even when shooting in an auto mode with any digital camera you should be able to set different white balance modes. Learn what the different setting modes mean for your particular digital camera and use them for different ambient lighting conditions. It will make a big difference in the quality of your digital photos.
Probably the most important thing you can do to take better digital photos is to always have your camera set on the highest quality, or resolution setting. No matter what the megapixel rating for your camera is, the higher the image resolution the larger the amount of image data that is collected. Image data translates into more and finer gradation of color, finer image detail and more dynamic image contrast. If you are worried about the amount of pictures you can take for your storage card, get a larger capacity card. This is by far the most important element for higher quality digital photos.
The average person is usually using a digital camera equipped with auto focus. The time it may take for a camera to perform this auto focus is sometimes longer than you may think. Also, the camera’s ability to auto focus accurately in lower light conditions may be an issue. I would recommend reading your camera’s operations manual to get a working knowledge of these two focusing aspects. After all, how good can a photograph be if it is not in focus. Photo enlargements really make this problem obvious.
Many digital cameras have the feature of capturing the image with different file formats. The file format used for taking digital photos can make a difference in the quality of the photo. Most point and shoot cameras use the JPG file format. The JPG format used in most of today’s digital cameras is better and just a few years ago. The JPG format is a compressed file format which reduces file size so more images can be captured in a smaller storage space. You will get good photos using this format, but may encounter slight issues like a chromatic hazing around finer image details contrasted by the sky or something lighter or brighter.
If you have a file format setting choice with your camera, I would recommend using either the RAW or .tif format. Either of these formats will capture more image data, and most RAW format cameras capture with a higher color gamut, or capture a wider range of color. Even if you convert a 12 or 16 bit color image to 8 bit for printing, the fact that it was captured with a higher color bit, means you still will have a wider range of color in the print. Once again, you will need more storage card capacity using these formats, but the increase in photo quality will be worth it.
I would also like to say a couple things about digital camera zooming. You see some makes and models boasting 8x and 10x zooming capabilities these days. Well I really question the quality produced with this type of zooming and believe this to be just a marketing ploy. You may be surprised at the cost of a high quality long distance lens. I would suggest keeping your zooming more in the 2x to 3x range with point and shoot cameras and never use the digital zoom. This will create a resampled photo with much lower quality.
These are just a few basic points you may want to keep in mind when shooting digital photographs. To really get the highest performance possible out of any digital camera I would highly recommend reading and learning the details of the camera outlined in the owners manual. There you will find all the ins and outs of your particular make and model which will give you the absolute knowledge for the finest quality photos. Happy Shooting!