Photography is an artistic expression that has accompanied man since the dawn of technology, giving him the possibility of forever portraying those special moments lived and never forgetting them.
From those primitive equipment used in France at the beginning of the 19th century, to the sophisticated digital electronic systems of today, photography equipment has come a long way to become an inseparable ally of any outing, excursion or special moment of our life. life.
Since 1990, a slow but inevitable technological substitution has been developing in the field of photography, since rolls of film and the long and tedious development process are being replaced by a much more practical and clean technology: the digital camera.
This new photography system is characterized by its convenient mode of use, the low operating budget required, excellent image quality, its small size and of course the practicality it offers when viewing, sharing and manipulating the photographs taken.
If what you are thinking is to abandon your old 35 mm. In order to enjoy all the benefits that the use of digital cameras will bring you , throughout this article we are going to tell you the secrets of this new technology, exposing everything you need to know about this exciting topic.
How does my digital camera work?
Digital cameras have a series of elements that give them the ability to take pictures, in the same way that their film predecessors did:
- A lens through which to pass the light that will form the image to be photographed. This lens can be of the fixed or interchangeable type.
- The viewer through which the object to be portrayed can be framed. In the most modern equipment this function is provided by means of an LCD screen.
- The flash that will allow the digital camera to illuminate the area in low light conditions.
- One trigger to capture the image.
- An element that is sensitive to light to allow the capture of images.
- An element that serves to store them.
The most important difference between these two technologies is the way the computers obtain the images.
In a film camera, to reproduce the image that we have captured, the light that enters through the lens causes a chemical reaction on a film that is composed of several superimposed layers impregnated with light-sensitive chemicals.
In the case of modern digital cameras, the principle is the same, except that the light that lets through the lens does not sensitize any kind of film, but rather an electronic element called a sensor. The phenomenon produced is no longer chemical, but electronic.
When we activate the trigger, the lens lets in the light reflected by the object, this light sensitizes the image capture sensor, which decomposes these beams into red, green and blue colors.
Subsequently, these signals are converted into analog electrical charges by the sensor, which will be transferred to the electronics of the device.
The electronics incorporated in the camera will be responsible for transforming this analog data into a digital format for later storage in the camera’s memory.
As we can see, the procedure for capturing images of digital cameras is in theory simple, but there are other elements to take into account for the total understanding of the technology and terminology used in the field of digital photography.
The functions that a digital camera should have
Are you interested in buying a digital camera, but don’t know what to buy? Currently there are several options, with various functions and variation and difference in prices. From this point we tell you some characteristics that a digital camera must have to achieve good performance.
The so-called megapixels, a quality lens and a fast processor are fundamental considerations when buying a digital camera, but there are other important things as well. Some of the features that should also be considered are image stabilization, face detection, and interchangeable lenses.
Today’s digital cameras are easy to use , but photos are sometimes out of focus. A camera with integrated image stabilization works to improve photographs using a hardware (optical image stabilization that is implemented in the lens itself) or a software solution ( digital image stabilization, which is not as effective as the previous one).
Another way to stabilize the image, a trick as old as photography, is to use a tripod.
Many digital cameras offer face detection technology . As the name implies, these cameras have a built-in algorithm to detect faces in a scene (looking for a typical facial composition, such as two eyes, nose and mouth, etc.) and automatically adjust the focus and light to the sectors where they were faces detected.
Thus if you want to have a backdrop, as the hills of a park, the faces should be in focus and well lit . Some cameras can discover eight to ten different faces in a scene.
The most modern cameras have the option of “shot-smile”, this causes that the photo is not taken until the camera detects a smile on the registered faces. This function can be disabled. Another function offered by modern digital cameras is the automatic capture option, which, as the name indicates, the camera automatically detects what type of function the image to be taken requires.
The digital cameras have two types of zoom : optical and a digital one.
It is used to get closer to the object, without the need to get closer physically. As in the older photographic machines, that is to say made with a retractable lens.
It only presents changes in the presentation of the existing data, making the image “cut”, giving the illusion that the user is closer to the object.
Therefore, optical zoom is the “true” zoom, because it zooms in on the image without losing quality .
In general, a good camera offers a minimum 3x optical zoom, but for those who want to take photos at greater distances, you can opt for one with 10x or more to capture the emotion from afar.
HD (High Definition) video recording
Modern digital cameras can also record videos. After all, recording a child’s first steps or their smile is much more satisfying than having that moment frozen in a photograph.
The latest models record in high definition with 1080px quality that offers excellent picture quality when played back on a compatible high-definition television.
It is another aspect that you must take into account. It is advisable to purchase a machine with a rechargeable battery, in this way you will save a lot of money since you will not need to buy batteries constantly.
If what you want is to acquire a complete photographic digital camera, you should also take into account if it has the functions “red eyes”, “effects” and continuous shooting (several photos per second).
Digital Camera: Lens Types
As we have already mentioned, digital cameras include three essential elements for their operation, which work together to capture the images we want with the photographic equipment.
These are the diaphragm, the shutter and the lens, and the latter is precisely one of the most important components of the equipment, so the quality of the photographs taken will depend on the type of lens that the digital camera includes.
Within the digital photography market, today we can find three main types of lenses, which are usually the most used in different camera models.
The first of these is the so-called Fixed Focus Lens, which is usually used to a greater extent by manufacturers of disposable digital cameras, since they have a low industrialization cost.
It should be noted that with this type of lens it is not possible to modify any settings or parameters of the focus thereof.
The second type of lens, called an Optical Zoom Lens, can be found in most of today’s most popular compact digital cameras.
The Optical Zoom Lens allows the user the possibility of a limited approach or distance from the object to be portrayed, and in most of the models that are commercialized today, the focus is carried out automatically.
Although this type of lens is far from perfect, they can comfortably carry out any photographic task at home and semi-professional level, and allow to obtain amazing results if the user who uses them has knowledge in the subject.
Given the economic nature of a large part of compact digital cameras, it is not possible to interchange these lenses, since they already incorporate them as part of their structure and it is only possible to add certain accessories that improve the closeness of the shots.
The third and last type of lens is more oriented towards the field of professional photography due to its high performance and prices.
It is about the lens or Interchangeable Lens, which, as its name indicates, allows it to be exchanged with lenses and accessories of conventional photographic cameras, that is, those made of film.
At this point, it is important to mention that generally, in most cases, they can only be exchanged with lenses of the same brand.
Due to the possibility of allowing the exchange of lenses, the photographer manages to obtain in this way the maximum ductility, since it allows him to achieve that the shot is made in the best possible way.
Digital Zoom: A false lens
Although it is not a type of lens, the so-called Digital Zoom also allows us to get closer to our objective, but in digital form and the procedure do not always offer optimal results.
This zoom mode is performed by the camera using software algorithms processed by its hardware, allowing it to zoom in further than its optics allow.
Tips for keeping a digital camera in perfect condition
Whether we like photography and thanks to digital cameras, capturing images has become a true hobby due to its low cost, or because we like to portray each of the unique moments that we live with our family and friends, surely we always carry the camera in a pocket or purse, to be able to have it available when we want to eternalize a certain situation or scenario.
Many users who use the digital camera with such intensity, tend to choose to carry it in a case or bag designed for that purpose , perhaps thinking that this is enough to keep their photographic equipment in excellent condition. Of course, from time to time they also clean it superficially with a flannel, to remove the dust.
And although there are many who believe that this is enough, the truth is that a digital camera is a really delicate device that must be preserved under the best possible conditions, in order to be able to extend the useful life of the equipment, and so you can enjoy it for a longer time. Ultimately, no one wants to have to throw away a camera with little use because it was damaged by not being cared for properly.
Therefore, so that you can keep your equipment for longer, we bring you here a series of tips to keep a digital camera in excellent condition.
Keeping the lens clean
The essential thing in a digital photographic camera is undoubtedly its lens , since the photos we take with it will depend on the condition and cleanliness of the camera’s sensor, so we must always try to keep this element clean.
To achieve this, in principle we must use a blower brush, which works, as its name implies, brushing with air, and with which it is possible to remove most of the dust deposited on the camera lens.
Of course, after using the blower brush, some small dirt may stick to the lens, for which we can use a microfiber cloth with a few drops of liquid to clean lenses.
Compact pocket cameras deserve a separate care , since they have a retractable lens, so to carry out the cleaning we must keep the camera on, which means that we must be very careful when cleaning, especially when we do it. with lens cleaning fluid.
Do not forget to clean the censor
Contrary to what happens with compact cameras, those of the SLR type have a permanently exposed lens, which makes it easier for us to clean them. However, because this type of equipment allows the exchange of lenses, it is not surprising that dust enters the place where the lens is placed inside the camera, and in this way produces dirt on the sensor.
When the sensor is dirty or in poor condition, we will notice that the captured photographs show dark spots, that is why we must always keep this element clean. Of course, it is a difficult task and it can even put the useful life of the equipment at risk, so the ideal thing is to take this component to a shop specialized in digital cameras for cleaning.
Some maintenance tips
As with any other electronic equipment, when we purchase a digital camera, it is best to take the time to read and reread the instruction manual as many times as necessary, where we will surely find a series of guidelines for the proper use of the device.
It is also extremely important, and we can undoubtedly find this in the camera’s instruction manual, to keep the equipment clean and dry, so we must always avoid exposing it to adverse conditions, such as in the rain, inside a swimming pool or similar places.
When we are going to clean the digital camera, we should never, ever use compressed air, regardless of whether a friend has recommended this type of cleaning. As we mentioned earlier, the best is a blower brush, a soft cloth, and special liquid.
It is also important that every time we remove the SD memory, the battery, exchange lenses in the case of SLRs, or connect or disconnect cables, we remember to turn off the equipment.
Last but not least, in order to transport our digital camera it is recommended to purchase a case or cover that protects it from dust , scratches and even bumps.