A Few Basics of Digital Camera Technology

Digital camera technology has made a huge step forward over past few years. Digital cameras became advanced with a number of enhanced features, and easier to use at the same time. Photography has become more fun with the possibility of taking pictures without using a film, previewing them on a liquid crystal display screen before printing them, and storing all the pictures in a computer or laptop. Digital camera technology also made taking photos less expensive than it was with the film-based cameras.

New terminology used in digital camera technology may seem too complicated and hard to learn, especially for those who spent years learning and using film cameras. However, while the terminology may be new, it is not that difficult to understand the principles of digital camera technology, if you are willing to learn a few basics.

For example, the term pixel, in digital camera technology, means picture element and is the leading indicator of how smooth the picture will look when printed. Digital cameras are all rated in pixels and inform the user how many millions of tiny square make up the picture. A one mega-pixel camera will have one million squares included in it, while a five mega-pixel camera will contain five million. In simpler terms, the more mega-pixels (MP) a picture has, the smoother it will appear.

Color is rendered in a combination of colors, noted as one to 255 in each pixel. Each pixel is defined by a combination of red, blue and green and a different shade of each color combined to provide accuracy. For example, a pixel defined in the digital camera technology of 125-blue, 37-red and 76-green would show as Navy blue. This color rendering is used in each pixel that makes up the color photograph, and provides over 16 million combinations for each color.

When working with film, it was rated for speed, or light-gathering capability. The higher was the ISO number, which used to refer to as ASA, the less light was needed to take the picture. In digital camera technology there are similar capabilities, expressed in the same ISO ratings. Most digital cameras have a pre-set ISO rating of 400. Meaning it will take decent pictures in the ISO ranges of 100, 200 and 400. Above that, the lack of light will affect the picture quality. More expensive digital cameras, may offer settings up to 6,400 ISO. Cameras of this type are normally used by professionals who work in a variety of lighting conditions.

Digital camera technology has advanced zoom capability in optical and digital zoom. Digital zoom may seem to be somewhat the same as optical zoom, but in fact it doesn’t bring objects closer – it is merely enlarging the entire picture and selecting a section from it to make bigger. Usually, with the use of digital zoom the picture loses its quality.