Your Camera and Memory

Guest Blogger:  Amy Renfrey from Click Here For More Info!

So, you have purchased a good digital camera or even a DSLR, and you are wondering how to deal with your memory cards, what sorts of images should be kept or deleted, and what kind of compression you should use when saving images to a memory card.

The answer to the first question – how to deal with your memory cards – is: buy as many as you can afford. The reason for that is actually the answer to the second question – what images should be kept and which deleted? All images should be kept.

Yes, the beauty of the digital camera is that there is no film or shots wasted because you don’t have to process and print every photograph taken. The thing about digital photography is that even a lousy shot can be used or redeemed or added to a file to create the “perfect” photograph.

Finally, the last question – what kind of compression should be used? The answer is actually “none”. When a digital camera is shooting in the standard JPEG format, it is making miniscule adjustments to the image as it is processing it and writing it to the memory card. The photograph you see on the computer is not the EXACT image you composed and photographed because the JPEG format needs certain amounts of compression and alteration.

If you select to compress images in order to have more room on your memory cards, you will find “noise” or blur due to the condensing of pixels and the overall quality is going to be diminished. Should you want to enlarge and print these images you will find that they are totally unacceptable and good only for viewing on a computer or printing in very small (3×5) formats.

If you want the ultimate in storage, and if your camera will allow, shoot in the RAW format. This records every single detail exactly as the photographer’s eye did, and it also records the very settings the camera used to take the image. The only problems with RAW is that it gobbles up enormous amounts of memory, requires special processing and very few printers currently exist to print the images as they appear on the screen. In fact, there are not yet many computer screens with the capacity for displaying the huge range of colors that RAW captures.

Until technology advances, it is best to purchase extra memory cards (they are very affordable now) and shoot in an uncompressed format whenever possible.

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October 2010
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