Photography Questions Answered
If you’re a bit new to digital photography, this overview should answer your most common photography questions.
What are Megapixels?
In digital photography, a pixel is one minute point of a photographic image. One megapixel is equal to one million pixels. The larger the number of megapixels in an image, the more detailed the image and the sharper the printed image.
How Many Megapixels Do I Need?
How many megapixels you need depends on what you’re going to do with a photograph. If you do mostly digital photography and do not make a lot of prints, you can get by with a 1-7 megapixel resolution. If you’re looking to print a large majority of your images, you’ll want a higher megapixel resolution. Photographers who print poster-sized prints will need a megapixel resolution of 100 megapixels or above.
Does More Megapixels Give More Digital Zoom Range?
A higher megapixel resolution means sharper image quality in a digital zoom so yes, the higher your megapixel resolution, the sharper your digital zoom range. Also, the higher your megapixel resolution, the more you can “blow up” and crop the image in photo editing software.
What is Digital Zoom?
A digital zoom works much like enlarging an image on a computer screen. Instead of using the lens to bring the image closer, the digital zoom takes the image in the lens and enlarges it.
What is Optical Zoom?
Optical zoom is called ‘true zoom’ because it uses the lens within the camera to draw the image closer. With optical zoom, quality remains the same and the full resolution of the camera can be used on the zoomed image. Different levels of optical zoom are achieved by changing the distances between the lenses.
How Much Optical Zoom Do I Need in My Digital Camera?
This depends on what you shoot. Simple snapshots shouldn’t need more than a 2x or 3x zoom. Photographers who shoot scenery and landscapes should opt for a 5x zoom to capture images of far-away scenery without sacrificing quality. Photographers who shoot wildlife and sports need a 7x zoom to get the photos they want.
What is the Difference Between Optical Zoom and Digital Zoom?
The major difference between optical zoom and digital zoom is that in optical zoom, the lenses of the camera are moving the image closer to your eye and in digital zoom, the image is static but enlarged.
What Does ISO Stand for in Photography?
International Standards Organization.
What is ISO?
It’s a standardized industry scale for measuring sensitivity to light. The lower the ISO number, the less sensitive it is to light. The higher the ISO number, the more sensitive to light. How you use it will depend on what you want to shoot. You can use your digital camera’s aperture priority mode to set your ISO higher to capture low-light situations such as shooting a full moon. (High apertures need the use of a tripod to prevent camera shake from blurring the photo.)
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What is High Definition Video?
High definition video refers to any video system that has a higher picture resolution than standard definition video. Display resolutions for HD video are commonly 1,280×720 pixels (720p) or 1,920×1,080 pixels (1080i/1080p).
Will a High Definition Movie Video Show in HD on HD TV?
The high definition movie you shoot with an HD underwater camera will show up on an HD TV if you plug the camera directly into the TV and playback from there. You can also burn the HD movie shot with the digital camera to a DVD using your computer’s DVD burning software and it will play on your HD DVD player.
How Much Hard Drive Space for One Hour High Definition Video?
On average, one hour of high definition video will take up approximately 4-5 gigs of hard drive space on your computer.
Taking better pictures is a matter of a few basic steps:
- Get Out of the Center – Many beginners put their focal objects in the center. Instead, pan to the left or right of your subject before shooting for a more dynamic, eye-pleasing photo.
- Use Macro Settings – If you have a macro setting on your digital camera, you can get in real close to flowers, buildings and other objects to take impressive shots.
- Get Down – When shooting kids and pets, get down on their level instead of shooting from above. This makes the photo more personal and natural.
- Stay in Focus – To focus your shot before taking it, frame up your subject then press the shutter halfway to adjust the focus then press it down all the way to snap the photo.
- The 10-Foot Rule – Most flashes will only work on subjects up to 10 feet away. If you need to use your flash, move closer.
- Keep Backgrounds Simple – In portrait shots, minimize background “noise” by having your subjects stand in front of solid backgrounds.
- Watch the Sun – Some photos can be taken any time of day but in the case of portrait and macro shots, its best to shoot in the morning or evening to avoid harsh sun glare.
- Get Close – To avoid the need to crop during editing, move closer to your subject. Just like getting down, getting close adds intimacy and power to an image.
- Orient Yourself – Try taking a shot from several different angles to see which works best. Also, experiment with horizontal and vertical shots.
- Frame Up – Make use of naturally occurring “frames” such as a doorway, window or a canopy of trees to add depth and drama to your shots.
- Go Abstract – Move away from the idea that photography is all about people, pets and scenery. Zoom in on the warped side of a barn, a pile of pebbles on the beach or the foam on the ocean’s tide.
Taking a professional-quality photo isn’t as complicated as it seems. It just takes some know-how, patience and a little creativity to turn average snapshots into frameable works of art. These are some of the most asked photography questions that we get on our blog.