Digital Photo FAQ's & Tips: Miscellaneous
This section of the web site is a collection of digital photo Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) and Tips.
How many photos fit on a memory card?
The answer depends on the following camera factors: resolution (megapixels), image quality setting, recording mode (JPEG, raw), and the amount of image compression. Instead of providing an enormous chart covering the above factors, let me give you an easy method for determining this answer for a specific camera:
Let's use my 3.2 megapixel camera as an example. In Auto (JPEG) mode the image sizes are 1.7 MB and in P (raw) mode they are 2.5 MB per photo. Here are three memory card sizes and the number of photos they hold:
One large memory card or several smaller ones?
Generally speaking, a larger memory card will be less expensive per megabyte, making it seem like the best choice. If you are buying your first memory card, consider buying two or three smaller ones instead of a single large one. Why? What if, after a long day of taking pictures, your camera is lost, or you step on your memory card, or the memory card malfunctions, or insert your own unfortunate event here. If that was your only memory card, you just lost all of your photos for the day. With more than one memory card, your day may not be a complete loss.
What is the best digital photo organizing software?
Numerous free and inexpensive software packages are available to help organize digital photo collections. While we recognize that the title of best software can be hotly contested, we nevertheless make the following recommendations:
Please see Organizing Digital Photos for more on this topic.
Should I buy a digital camera without a viewfinder?
To reduce the cost of low-end cameras, some models are available without an optical viewfinder. On these cameras you must use the LCD preview screen to frame your shot. Buyers considering their first digital camera often wonder if the reduced price justifies giving up the viewfinder.
We feel that in most cases a viewfinder is a necessary camera feature for the following reasons:
There is one down-side to viewfinders (except on SLR cameras): the image you see in the optical viewfinder is slightly different than what the lens will capture. Become familiar with this difference by viewing the same scene on the preview screen and the viewfinder. Once you know how they differ, you can compensate when taking photos through the viewfinder.
Digital camera as scanner
When a scanner is not available, a digital camera can do the job. Though not an ideal replacement for a quality photo scanner, the camera can be used to capture documents and other printed material.
The best way I found to photograph a flat document is to lay it on a table, point the camera straight down on the document, raise the camera as high as possible, zoom in if necessary, and take the picture with the flash.
I suggest raising the camera as high above the document as possible so that the flash is not so close that it overwhelms the image being photographed.