What is the difference between a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) and a Point Shoot Digital Camera? 1. DSLR's are larger, heavier cameras. The have a mirror box which allows you to view your subject through the lens. 2. Digital Point and Shoot cameras are compact and generally do not have a finder. This means you have to view and compose via the LCD display. Note: some larger point and shoot cameras do have finders. Why choose a DSLR over a Point and Shoot? 1. DSLR's have little or no shutter delay. This is beneficial if you plan on doing sports or action photography. 2. Point and Shoot cameras may have a slight shutter delay which means you may miss action shots. What is the difference between optical zoom and digital zoom? Optical is the true zoom range of the lens. For example: a 10X zoom lens (28mm to 280mm lens is a true 10X zoom.) The same camera may have an additional 4X digital zoom. This means the camera will crop into the sensor in order to give you a tighter shot. The disadvantage of a digital zoom is that you are not using the entire area of the camera's sensor. What is the difference between RAW and JPEG? Why should I shoot one over the other? RAW is an unprocessed file. It contains the most information of all image files. Think of it as an unprocessed roll of film. You can process this roll of film over and over again without affecting the file. A JPEG, on the other hand, can not be manipulated without affecting the image quality. Every time you open a JPEG you affect the image quality. If the end use is web or emails, jpegs are okay. If your final output is high quality prints, RAW is the way to go. I have 500.00 to invest on a digital camera, should I buy a high-end point and shoot or low end-end Digital SLR? They are both 500.00, why should I pick one over the other? Point and shoot cameras have a fixed lens (you can't change the lens). The sensor on a point and shoot is smaller than a DSLR. They may both be 12 megapixels but you are cramming 12 megapixels onto a smaller sensor on a point and shoot. Your image will be very noisy (grainy) at higher ISO's. With a DSLR, the larger sensor enables you to shoot at higher ISO's with less noise. Also the DSLR will accept many lenses and accessories. How do I improve composition? Use the rule of thirds when composing. Divide the frame into 3rds, 3 boxes across and 3 boxes down. As you shoot, place the main subject in one of the boxes. It is best to try several variations. The beauty of digital is that it allows you to immediately preview your shots. How do I avoid distracting backgrounds when taking portraits? When doing portraits move the subject at least 6 to 8 feet from the background. Avoid busy backgrounds. How to improve low light photos? Use a tripod to steady the camera or use a high ISO to make the sensor more light sensitive. If you do not have a tripod, place the camera on a table or level surface.
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