“*Been dazed and confused for so long it’s not true”
This follows on from my previous post The essential feature to have on your camera
Over the next few weeks I’m going to suggest some essential features you need to consider having when you are in the market for a new camera or even mobile phone with a camera.
At the end of each feature I’ll give a rating out of 10 – 10 being must have.
At the end of the series if you haven’t had time to read them all then you can scroll to the bottom of the last in the series and get all four in a PDF.
Drive selection is the option to select single, continuous or timer shooting.
Single is one shot each time the shutter button is pressed, whilst continuous can be anything up to 15 frames per second (FPS) which is great for action pictures.
The self-timer option is great for selfies, however it’s really handy if the self-timer has two intervals.
A short, say 2 second, interval can be handy to use if on a tripod and low light instead of using a remote cable or wireless device.
One thing to be aware of is that cameras these days are really mini computers and sometimes there can be a lag if you shoot in continuous, especially in Raw format due to the larger file size.
Drive selection again is pretty much standard on most new cameras.
I mentioned earlier that I’m a champion for getting the shot right first time in the camera, well bracketing helps this.
Bracketing allows you to automatically take 3 shots of the same subject at different exposures, usually by one or half a stop each. I.e. aperture and/or shutter speed settings.
So you take the shot at the setting you think is correct and the camera automatically takes another 2 or even more at different settings to make those images lighter and darker.
Really handy when taking images of scenes or subjects where there is a lot of contrast.
Some cameras allow you to bracket at different ISO, white balance and flash settings, which apart from the flash option is a little superfluous.
Rating: Exposure bracketing 8/10 ISO, white balance and flash settings 3/10
In the early years of digital cameras, very few had viewfinders thinking that everyone would migrate to the rear screen or monitor on the back of the camera.
However, the exception to the rule was the DSLR which retained the optical view finder.
Nowadays Electronic Viewfinders have come into their own and very good they are too.
Why use a view finder at all?
Why not the rear monitor?
Well 3 reasons come to mind
- Camera shake is reduced. Holding the camera out from your body means it is a lot harder to keep still. 2. Competing light. Ever looked at the rear screen on a sunny day? You can’t see a bloody thing!
- Battery power. An LCD screen will always use a lot more power than a viewfinder either optical or electronic.
But there are viewfinders and there are viewfinders.
Just make sure it feels comfortable and that the frame is 100%, has a central view i.e. as if you were looking through the lens and not cropped.
4. Shooting and viewing videos.
This is usually on most cameras and is the future of online marketing.
This is a whole article on its own so I won’t go too deep.
I would say that at this stage the only recommendation is to ensure that the camera shoots in high definition (HD) at the minimum.
A lot of cameras are now able to shoot in 4K but like 3D there are still limitations on being able to view 4K videos.
That will change over time as it’s only a matter of time until 4K TV’s and Monitors will be more common as the price drops.
Unfortunately, the image and video quality available is not yet matched by the audio quality that comes standard with most cameras.
So make sure you buy a good microphone that’s compatible.
So did you understand all that? I’m happy to clarify anything you’re not sure of.
Just post in the comments section below. Don’t be shy.
While you are at it why not subscribe for future updates here.
You’ll get my free guide “Eleven easy ways to improve your marketing photography”.
*Led Zeppelin sang this in (you’ve guessed it) Dazed and Confused in 1969.
They could have been singing about how most people feel when shopping for new electronic equipment these days.
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