Autel MaxiDAS Tablet User Manual

Getting to Know Your Digital Camera
Participants in this course will learn the basic functions of a digital camera.
Course instruction will also include information about image size and resizing, and uploading
images to a computer.
• Students are encouraged to bring their own camera.
Getting to Know Your Digital Camera ............................................................................1
Focusing Your Camera .............................................................................................2
Camera Shake ........................................................................................................3
Zoom .....................................................................................................................5
Digital Camera Scene Modes .....................................................................................9
Size of Picture ....................................................................................................... 13
Protecting Your Images .......................................................................................... 15
Resize in the Camera ............................................................................................. 16
Movie Capabilities.................................................................................................. 16
Multiburst ............................................................................................................. 16
Ten Tips for Great Pictures + One............................................................................ 17
Capturing and Printing Digital Images ...................................................................... 23
Digital Photography Glossary .................................................................................. 30
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Focusing Your Camera
Center AF (Auto Focus)
Most digital cameras use contrast detection to auto focus (AF). Usually, the focus
point is a small rectangle in the middle of the viewfinder frame (Center AF), though
many digital cameras now also offer additional AF points (Multi-Point AF).
Center AF
If you look in the LCD monitor of your digital camera, there will usually be a
rectangle at the center of the screen, commonly called the AF Frame. When your
digital camera is set to Center AF mode, this rectangle in the middle of the screen is
your AF point.
Multi-Point AF
Multi-Point AF automatically selects between a number of AF points (the most
common seems to be 5 or 9 AF points -- i.e. 4 or 8 AF points clustered around a
center focus point) and finds the most contrasty subject among those AF points.
An Example
If your default AF mode is MultiPoint AF and some of your shots
are sometimes out of focus, it
may be that Multi-Point AF is
the culprit.
Here is an example of how
Multi-Point AF focused on the
more contrasty background well
behind my main subject (the
lone green leaf left on the
Even though the green leaf is in
the center of the frame, MultiPoint AF has chosen to focus on
the more contrasty background
around it instead.
The result is that the ground of
fallen leaves come out in focus,
while my main subject is out of
Sony DSC-P150 Cyber-shot: 5 Area Multi-Point AF
Program AE, Multi-Pattern Metering, Macro ON
7.9mm, 1/250 sec., F2.8, ISO 400
I took a couple more shots with
the same result before I realized
what the problem was. I
immediately went into the
camera's menu to switch AF
mode from Multi-Point AF to
Center AF. This time, I got the
result that I was after: the lone
green leaf in focus against a
nicely blurred backdrop!
Multi-Point AF works pretty well
usually but sometimes the
camera will focus on something
else besides your main subject if
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Sony DSC-P150 Cyber-shot: Center AF
Program AE, Multi-Pattern Metering, Macro ON
7.9mm, 1/200 sec., F2.8, ISO 400
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that something else happens to
fall under one of the AF points
and is also more contrasty than
your main subject. In these
instances, switch AF mode to
Center AF, point the AF Frame
on your subject and half-press
the shutter release button to
lock focus on your main subject,
then reframe, if necessary,
before fully pressing the shutter
release button to take the shot.
Macro Setting
While you can use a digital camera at the standard settings, you can often see much
more detail by using the macro setting on the camera. A macro setting changes the
focus of the camera so it can focus on very close objects. The macro setting is for
photographing objects within a few inches or feet away. One of my digital cameras
has a macro setting that works within one centimeter, to get very close shots (light
can be an issue when you get that close). You can use the macro setting to improve
your ability to see small details, similar to using a magnifying glass. You might want
to use a small tripod to hold the camera steady. I also find that an active display
screen is the easiest to use, since you don't have to estimate which portion of the
viewfinder is focusing for the macro setting. Don't forget to change away from the
macro setting when you are finished (if the camera doesn't do it automatically).
People who wear bifocals especially should be careful to remember to change the
camera setting back to normal when finished with macro, as it may appear out of
focus when looking at the LCD screen with the glasses. If the camera is set at macro
and you are trying to take a normal picture then the focus will be set wrong and the
image will be out of focus. I know of one teacher who took a few pictures up close
on the macro setting, and then forgot to change back to the normal setting, and she
used up the rest of her camera memory space with the pictures all out of focus.
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Camera Shake
If your digital camera makes even a slight
movement when you take a picture, the
chance of having a blurred photo
increases. To help minimize camera shake,
take a few moments to learn under what
conditions it can happen as well as the
ways to help prevent, if not completely
eliminate, it.
Camera shake typically happens in lowlight situations when the digital camera
aperture is wide-open, or when using a
long telephoto lens. The best way to
prevent camera shake is to mount your
camera on a tripod or other flat, level
support. When using a tripod, if you don't
have a remote, use the self-timer to
trigger the shutter button.
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If you don't have a tripod, hold the camera
with both hands and keep it steady by
leaning and bracing yourself against a wall,
tree or pole, the roof of a car, anything.
You can also hold your camera in both
hands and brace your elbows against your
Another way to help minimize camera
shake is to use the viewfinder instead of
the LCD to compose shots. Bracing the
camera against your face helps steady it.
Digital cameras with long telephoto lenses
are more prone to camera shake when
hand-held. Some cameras use image
stabilization technology, which helps
prevent images from becoming blurred due
to camera shake.
Don't forget to depress the shutter-release
button down in two steps. More photos
have been improperly exposed and
focused, as well as blurred, because
individuals do not use the shutter-release
button correctly.
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Optical Zoom v. Digital Zoom
Most digital cameras come with a zoom lens, which allows you to adjust the length of
the lens to either move closer to the object (a long lens) or to move farther away
from the object (a short lens).
Digital cameras usually come with two types of zoom on them. The first is the optical
zoom which is identical to that found on traditional cameras. When using optical
zoom, you can get closer to a particular object without any sacrifice in image quality.
Digital zoom is a new type of zoom that is found only in digital cameras. When using
digital zoom, the camera itself modifies the image electronically to bring the object
you are photographing closer. It does this by cropping the image and then blowing
up the middle of the image resulting grainy, blocky images.
• If possible, walk closer to your subject rather than using the Zoom feature on
your camera.
• Frame your subject… Look at the four corners of the view finder making
certain there is not “icky” content distracting from your subject.
o If you can’t move in closer try the Zoom
o If you still have “icky” content, use the crop tool in your favorite image
tool to capture your subject.
There is a world of difference between
the digital and optical zoom.
See the photo examples below of
pictures taken with both types of
zooms to illustrate the differences:
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Here is a photo taken utilizing the
digital zoom. You can see that the
image is blurry and digitized.
Here is the same picture, taken using
only the optical zoom. With most
cameras, that range is much smaller
and the zoom isn't as close. The
quality of the image is far better
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Even if you can't get as close, use
photo editing software to crop instead
of using the digital zoom. You can't
crop a tremendous amount, but you
can get closer while retaining quality.
This is the same image shown above
as the optical zoom example.
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Lucky for us, an automatic flash is
included on just about every camera sold
today. And most include a fill-flash
setting for those less-than-perfect
lighting situations that need a little
boost. That doesn't mean the camera is
fail-proof. You still need to know how and
when to use these features.
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General flash tips
Our favorite flash tips bear repeating:
Stay within flash range. Check
your camera manual for the
recommended range (usually 4 to
10 feet).
Batteries that are approaching
exhaustion will not give full flash
power even if the camera is still
Prevent red eye by asking your
subjects to look slightly away
from the camera, and turn on all
the room lights to shrink their
Avoid use of the "red eye
reduction" flash setting—to many
people it's distracting and
Fill flash
Fill flash is included on most of today's
cameras, and is a favorite feature. It is
just enough flash to fill in areas of a
picture that would otherwise be too dark.
Use fill flash for sunny day portraits to fill
in those dark shadows under the eyes,
nose, or under the rim of a baseball hat.
It can even help in a difficult lighting
situation, such as a dark complexion on a
beach, or a child playing in the snow.
Fill flash is also useful for side-lit and
back-lit pictures. For instance, a backlit
scene may have enough bright areas in
the background to provide an "average"
brightness for the entire picture, but the
actual subject is left in the dark. Fill flash
balances the scene so that the subject is
properly exposed, and the background is
left alone.
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Fill Flash
No Flash
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Flash off
There are occasions when your camera
thinks the flash is needed, but in fact it
isn't. You probably have a "Flash Off" (or
similar wording) setting on your camera.
Here are a few examples of when to use
• When you are too far away from
your subject for the flash to be
• When the flash would create
annoying reflections from mirrors
and other shiny surfaces.
• At sunset or in other low-light
situations where you'd like a
foreground subject to be
• Where the quality of the existing
light is beautiful, like a kitten
sleeping in the sunbeam.
o Where flash is not allowed
(steady yourself against a
wall and anchor your
elbows at your side).
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Flash Range
A camera's flash range tells you how far from the camera the flash will provide
proper exposure. If the subject is out of range, you'll know to close the distance.
Most digital cameras can tolerate some underexposure before the image suffers
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Digital Camera Scene Modes
What are all those symbols for?
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You went out and purchased a digital camera and the instruction book mentions
"Scene Modes" and you see a lot of funny icons on one of the dials of your camera.
So what are they and what do they do?
The first thing to remember is this is a still a camera and you get a picture by having
the right amount of light hit the film or light sensor in a digital camera. You do this
by adjusting the size of the lens opening (Aperture), or the length of time the shutter
is open (Shutter Speed). How you adjust the two of these in tandem will create a
different picture. Without going into a long photography course, I will briefly explain
what each of these does.
The Aperture controls how much light is hitting the sensor at any instant and the
depth of focus. If I want everything in the picture to be in focus, both near and far
objects, I will choose a small aperture. If I want selective focus, for example taking a
portrait with a blurred background, you adjust the camera the other way.
The Shutter Speed controls how long the shutter is open so the light can get to the
sensor. For a sporting event where you want to stop the action, you would use a
short shutter speed, but if you want to burl the movement to imply motion, you
would use a longer shutter speed. You would also use a very long shutter speed for
night shots with motion you want to capture like fireworks.
How does this relate to Scene Modes? In its default setting, the camera guesses at
the best exposure, adjusting the Aperture and Shutter Speed without really knowing
what you are taking a picture of. It goes for an average setting. By selecting a
"scene" on your camera, you are telling the camera what you are taking a picture of
so it can make a better choice of how to set the camera. It generally gives more
accurate and pleasing results than the default auto mode.
Digital cameras have a variety of modes,
which are optimized for specific scenes
and automatically select focus and
exposure. Settings such as white balance
are preprogrammed by the
Backlight - eliminates dark shadows
when light is coming from behind a
subject, or when the subject is in the
shade. The built-in flash automatically
fires to "fill in" the shadows.
Beach/Snow – photographs of beach,
snow and sunlit water scenes. Exposure
and white balance are set to help prevent
the scene from looking washed out.
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NOTE: Your
camera’s icons
may differ.
Panorama - obtain extra wide vistas;
take a series of shots then stitch them
together with software to make a single
Fireworks - shutter speed and exposure
are set for shooting fireworks; prefocusing & use of tripod recommended.
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Landscape - take photos of wide
scenes. Camera automatically focuses on
a distant object.
Macro - take close-up shots of small
objects, flowers and insects. Lens can be
moved closer to the subject than in other
modes. Hold the camera steady or use a
Night Portrait - take photos of a subject
against a night scene. The built-in flash
and red-eye reduction are enabled;
shutter-speeds are low. Use of tripod
Night Scene - photograph nightscapes.
Preprogrammed to use slow shutter
speeds. Use of tripod recommended.
Panning - "freeze" the action of a
subject, such as a runner or moving car,
while blurring the background to give the
"feel" of motion. Prefocus on a point
where the subject will come, track the
subject smoothly with the camera and
depress the shutter-release button while
still moving the camera. You can also use
burst mode while panning.
Party mode - take photos in a dim lit
room; exposure and shutter speed are
automatically adjusted for room
brightness. Captures indoor background
lighting or candlelight. Hold the camera
very steady when using this mode.
Portrait - main subject is clearly focused
and the background is out of focus (has
less depth of field). Best when taking
shots outside during the day. Shoot using
a mid to long telephoto lens, stand close
to your subject within the recommended
camera range and, when possible, select
an uncomplicated background that is far
from the subject.
Sports - take photos of a fast moving
subject; fast shutter speeds "freeze" the
action. Best when shots are taken in
bright light; pre-focusing recommended.
Sunset - take photos of sunsets and
sunrises; helps keep the deep hues in the
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Night Photography
Night photography has an attraction all its own. There's something about scintillating
lights from office windows hanging in the dark of the night -- a modern version of
the starry skies -- that appeal to us. Whether it's a city skyline, lamp posts on a dark
and deserted street, or the front of your house all decked out with holiday lights, the
challenge of capturing the mood of a night scene depends on whether your digital
camera is capable of night photography and on a couple of simple techniques.
Can My Camera Do Night Photography?
For successful night photography you need a digital camera that allows you to keep
the shutter open for a long time, anywhere from 3 to 30 seconds. Check your
camera specifications in the User's Manual under Shutter Speed. The shutter speeds
available will be given as a range, e.g. 30 sec. - 1/2,000 sec.
If you are seriously into night photography, then you would want to ensure you
purchase a digital camera that allows the longest shutter speed possible, and even
Bulb (where the shutter remains open as long as you depress the shutter release
But before you plunk down your money for that digital camera, there's two more
features to verify -- and one accessory to purchase, if you don't have it already.
Shooting Modes
For an image to be captured by a digital camera's image sensor, the latter requires
exposure to light. But at night, light is what we don't have enough of.
Some of you may have noticed that, if you select a shooting mode of Auto (A) or
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Program Auto (P), your night pictures always come out too dark. They are simply
underexposed. But, why is that -- if your camera's shutter speed ranges from, say
10 sec. to 1/2,000 sec.?
Go back to your camera's User's Manual and look a bit more carefully. Are all the
shutter speeds available in Auto or P mode? Ah-ha, many digital cameras (we're
talking consumer models here) do not make the whole shutter speed range available
in A and P mode! Perhaps the slowest shutter speed available in A and P mode is
only as slow as 1/3 sec. That's usually not long enough for night photography. To
access the longer shutter speeds, you may need to select one of the other shooting
modes, e.g. Shutter-Priority, or even switch to full Manual mode.
So ensure that your digital camera has full Manual mode and allows access to the full
range of slow shutter speeds in that mode.
Self-Timer & Remote Controller
Another feature that you want your digital camera to have is a self-timer or, ideally,
a remote controller. The purpose is to allow you to depress the shutter release
button without introducing camera shake. I particularly like the remote controller,
but not every camera comes with one or even has one available optionally.
But almost all, if not all, cameras has a self-timer. Usually the self-timer counts down
from 10 sec. I find that a bit long to wait, especially since you would need to take
more than one shot and it's minus 10 with the wind chill outside. The cameras that
additionally provide a 2 sec. self-timer have my nod of approval here.
A mandatory accessory that you need is a sturdy tripod. When you let the shutter
stay open for a long time, the camera needs to be kept rock steady, otherwise you
end up with blurred images.
OK, so we have our digital camera and
tripod, and are ready to venture forth
into the night in search of interesting
night shots. When we find one, we set up
camera and tripod, frame and... what do
we do now?
Well, the images below show what
happens when you take the same shot
using P mode, then in Manual mode with
various different shutter speed/aperture
combinations, all in search of the correct
exposure. The camera was on a tripod
for all three shots.
Programmed Auto Mode – Underexposed
Fujifilm FinePix E550
7.2mm, Programmed Auto, Pattern
Shutter Speed 1/4 sec., Aperture F2.8, ISO 80
In the above example, the camera uses
the slowest shutter speed and largest
aperture available in P mode and at the
widest focal length. The picture is
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Switching to Manual mode allows me to
access the slowest shutter speed
available on this camera, 3 sec. while
keeping the aperture at F2.8 (the largest
aperture available). The effect is
immediately better, but it does seem a
bit too bright, giving an almost a daylight
Now it is just a matter of adjusting the
shutter speed and/or aperture to obtain
the desired exposure. I choose to close
down the aperture so as to increase the
depth of field also.
Closing down the aperture to F4.0, a
more pleasant image is obtained with
enough dark areas to indicate it is night
time (dusk, really) and enough lighted
areas to reproduce what my eyes saw at
the outdoors skating rink of the
Mississauga Civic Center.
Manual Mode – Overexposed
Fujifilm FinePix E550
7.2mm, Programmed Auto, Pattern
Shutter Speed 3 sec., Aperture F2.8, ISO 80
Manual Mode - Correct Exposure
Fujifilm FinePix E550
7.2mm, Programmed Auto, Pattern
Shutter Speed 3 sec., Aperture F4.0, ISO 80
For the three pictures above, I used ISO 80, the lowest ISO available for best image
quality. But what if at 3 sec. and F2.8 (i.e. at max. exposure possible for this
particular camera), the image still came out too dark? In this case, I would need to
increase the sensitivity of the image sensor to a higher ISO. Do note that increasing
the ISO also increases the amount of noise visible in your images.
• Take a number of shots at different shutter speed/aperture combinations.
• Immediately review the shot as soon as you’ve taken it.
• Ensure your LCD brightness is set to Normal, not Bright, for a truer
representation of your recorded image.
• A good aperture to start with is F4.0 or F5.6 (for greatest depth of field), and
adjust shutter speed up or down until you’re satisfied with the shot.
• For good measure, take an extra shot past your optimum exposure setting.
For example, if you were progressively using longer shutter speeds, and you
think you’ve find the correct one, take an extra shot with the next longer
shutter speed. Conversely, if you were using progressively faster shutter
speeds, take an extra shot using the next faster shutter speed.
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Size of Picture
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Pixel Count
One of the main ways that manufacturers categorize their digital cameras is in terms
of pixel count. This is the number of individual pixels that go into making each image.
Today this number varies between 1 million (1 Megapixel) to around 14 million (14
Megapixels). A million pixels is abbreviated to MP, so a 1MP camera has 1 million
pixels and a 3MP camera has 3 million pixels. Currently most popular consumer
digital cameras have between 2MP and 5MP. A 3MP camera can make excellent 4”x6”
prints and very good 5”x7” prints. If you intend to make lots of 8”x10” prints, then
perhaps a 4MP or 5MP camera would be a better choice. Sometimes two numbers are
given, total pixels and effective pixels. Total pixels count every pixel on the sensor
surface. Usually the very edge pixels aren’t used in the final image. Effective pixels
are the number of pixels actually used in the image after the edge pixels have been
Largest Image
2048 x 1536
2272 x 1712
2592 x 1944
Print size at 320dpi
6.5” x 4.8”
7.1” x 5.4”
8.1” x 6.1”
Print size at 240dpi
8.5” x 6.4”
9.5” x 7.1”
10.8” x 8.1”
Storage of Images on a Digital Camera
A digital camera stores the pictures it takes on a memory card. Common cards found
in current digital cameras are SmartMedia, Compact Flash and Memory Stick. (Note:
The Sony Mavica stores pictures on a floppy disk.)
A memory card is measured by its memory size, in megabytes (MB). The more
memory the card has the more images it can hold. Thus, a 256 MB memory card will
be able to hold many more images than a 32 MB memory card.
128MB Memory
256MB Memory
512MB Memory
The number of images placed on a card can vary based on the following factors:
• Compression
• Resolution
• Photographic Conditions
When a digital camera takes a picture, a very large file is created that holds the
image. A picture produced from a 2-megapixel camera will produce a file size around
6MB. To fit more images on a memory card, digital cameras compress these image
files. The amount of compression a digital camera does to an image can usually be
set by the user. Standard compression modes on digital cameras usually include
Good, Better, Best or…
Normal, Fine, Superfine
The default on most digital cameras will be either “better” or “fine”. While the amount
of compression a camera does will vary from camera to camera, generally a
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“good/normal” compression setting will compress an image at a ratio of 16:1. A
“better/fine” setting will compress an image at a ratio of 8:1. A “best/superfine”
setting will compress an image at a ratio of 4:1. The higher the compression ratio is,
the more images may be fit onto the memory card.
Using these generalized numbers, you can see that having a “good/normal”
compression setting allows you fit many more images on a memory card. However,
when an image is compressed, detail is lost of the image. The more compression you
do to an image, the less detail will be found on the image. Highly compressed images
can also come out looking fuzzy and blocky at times.
Resolution is how many megapixels are on a CCD sensor in the digital camera. On
most digital cameras, you can change the resolution. For example, a 2-megapixel
camera can take images up to 1600x1200, which is a sizable image and one that
creates a large file. If you do not want an image this large, you can change the
resolution setting on the camera to make the image smaller (this will not effect the
quality of the image, only its size). The smaller image size will have a smaller file
size, allowing for more images to be placed on the memory card.
For example, most 2-megapixel cameras can take pictures at the following
resolutions: 1600x1200, 1024x768 and 640x480.
Photographic Conditions
Daylight pictures that are highly colorful tend to have a larger file size than do images
that are duller in color or have been taken at night. The difference in file sizes is not
huge, but photographic conditions do effect to a small degree how many images may
be fit onto a memory card.
Image size versus file size.
162 Kilobytes
640 x 480
(Images shown are scaled for effect.)
268 Kilobytes
800 x 600
(Images shown are scaled for effect.)
435 Kilobytes
1024 x 768
(Images shown are scaled for effect.)
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818 Kilobytes
1600 x 1200
(Images shown are scaled for effect.)
1372 Kilobytes
2048 x 1532
(Images shown are scaled for effect.)
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Protecting Your Images
There are times when you get that
“Once in a lifetime” shot. For those
occasions, you will want to protect your
By protecting the image, you can avoid
accidental deletion of images.
Now, it is time to look at your camera…
Does it have this feature?
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Resize in the Camera
Some digital cameras will allow the
photographer to resize the image inside
the camera. Note: There are a
number of software applications that
will achieve the same affect as resizing
in the camera.
Now, it is time to look at your camera…
Does it have this feature?
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Movie Capabilities
Some digital still cameras will allow the
photographer to shoot a short video.
While this is a convenient option, you
should not use a digital still camera as
a replacement to a conventional movie
Now, it is time to look at your camera…
Does it have this feature?
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Some new digital camera models, e.i.
the new Sony Cybershot cameras, are
equipped with a Multiburst movie
mode, which captures sixteen small
320x240 images as part of a large
1280x960 image at 7.5/15/30 fps and
plays it back as movie clip.
Original Image
Now, it is time to look at your camera…
Does it have this feature?
Individual Images
Free Online Multiburst converter
Note – Animation will not work on paper copy :)
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Ten Tips for Great Pictures + One
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1. Look your subject in the eye
Direct eye contact can be as
engaging in a picture as it is in real
life. When taking a picture of
someone, hold the camera at the
person's eye level to unleash the
power of those magnetic gazes and
mesmerizing smiles. For children,
that means stooping to their level.
And your subject need not always
stare at the camera. All by itself
that eye level angle will create a
personal and inviting feeling that
pulls you into the picture.
To High
2. Use a plain background
A plain background shows off the
subject you are photographing.
When you look through the camera
viewfinder, force yourself to study
the area surrounding your subject.
Make sure no poles grow from the
head of your favorite niece and that
no cars seem to dangle from her
3. Use flash outdoors
Bright sun can create unattractive deep
facial shadows. Eliminate the shadows
by using your flash to lighten the face.
When taking people pictures on sunny
days, turn your flash on. You may have
a choice of fill-flash mode or full-flash
mode. If the person is within five feet,
use the fill-flash mode; beyond five
feet, the full-power mode may be
required. With a digital camera, use the
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Subject is dark
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picture display panel to review the
On cloudy days, use the camera's fillflash mode if it has one. The flash will
brighten up people's faces and make
them stand out. Also take a picture
without the flash, because the soft light
of overcast days sometimes gives quite
pleasing results by itself.
4. Move in close
If your subject is smaller than a car,
take a step or two closer before
taking the picture and zoom in on
your subject. Your goal is to fill the
picture area with the subject you
are photographing. Up close you
can reveal telling details, like a
sprinkle of freckles or an arched
eyebrow. But don't get too close or
your pictures will be blurry. The
closest focusing distance for most
cameras is about three feet, or
about one step away from your
camera. If you get closer than the
closest focusing distance of your
camera (see your manual to be
sure), your pictures will be blurry.
5. Move it from the middle
Center-stage is a great place for a
performer to be. However, the
middle of your picture is not the
best place for your subject. Bring
your picture to life by simply
moving your subject away from the
middle of your picture. Start by
playing tick-tack-toe with subject
position. Imagine a tick-tack-toe
grid in your viewfinder. Now place
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your important subject at one of the
intersections of lines.
You'll need to lock the focus if you
have an auto-focus camera because
most of them focus on whatever is
in the center of the viewfinder.
6. Lock the focus
If your subject is not in the center
of the picture, you need to lock the
focus to create a sharp picture.
Most auto-focus cameras focus on
whatever is in the center of the
picture. But to improve pictures,
you will often want to move the
subject away from the center of the
picture. If you don't want a blurred
picture, you'll need to first lock the
focus with the subject in the middle
and then recompose the picture so
the subject is away from the
Usually you can lock the focus in
three steps. First, center the
subject and press and hold the
shutter button halfway down.
Second, reposition your camera
(while still holding the shutter
button) so the subject is away from
the center. And third, finish by
pressing the shutter button all the
way down to take the picture.
Subject not in focus
7. Know your flash's range
The number one flash mistake is
taking pictures beyond the flash's
range. Why is this a mistake?
Because pictures taken beyond the
maximum flash range will be too
dark. For many cameras, the
maximum flash range is less than
fifteen feet—about five steps away.
What is your camera's flash range?
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Without Flash
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Look it up in your camera manual.
Can't find it? Then don't take a
chance. Position yourself so
subjects are no farther than ten
feet away. Film users can extend
the flash range by using Kodak Max
versatility or versatility plus film.
With Flash
8. Watch the light
Next to the subject, the most
important part of every picture is
the light. It affects the appearance
of everything you photograph. On a
great-grandmother, bright sunlight
from the side can enhance wrinkles.
But the soft light of a cloudy day
can subdue those same wrinkles.
Don't like the light on your subject?
Then move yourself or your subject.
For landscapes, try to take pictures
early or late in the day when the
light is orangish and rakes across
the land.
Also Good
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9. Take some vertical pictures
Is your camera vertically
challenged? It is if you never turn it
sideways to take a vertical picture.
All sorts of things look better in a
vertical picture. From a lighthouse
near a cliff to the Eiffel Tower to
your four-year-old niece jumping in
a puddle. So next time out, make a
conscious effort to turn your
camera sideways and take some
vertical pictures.
10. Be a picture director
Take control of your picture-taking
and watch your pictures
dramatically improve. Become a
picture director, not just a passive
picture-taker. A picture director
takes charge. A picture director
picks the location: "Everybody go
outside to the backyard." A picture
director adds props: "Girls, put on
your pink sunglasses." A picture
director arranges people: "Now
move in close, and lean toward the
Most pictures won't be that
involved, but you get the idea: Take
charge of your pictures and win
your own best picture awards.
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10 + One
Change the angle you are shooting
• Shoot High
• Shoot Low
• Shoot Left
• Shoot Right
Use the Rule of Thirds
• See Right
Avoid Boring Composition
• Look for lines in the image
• Avoid object that will be distract
your eyes from the images
• Use the squint test (squint at
the subject) to see what items
in the image will stand out.
• Look for natural lines in the
• Look for space around your
subject when there are
distracters in the image. (This
allows room for cropping.
• Shoot your subject from
different angles… Shoot High,
Shoot Low.
Pictures don't just come out looking right. If
you look at some of the pictures you
especially like, you will notice that the way
the picture was composed probably has a
lot to do with it. What we mean by
composition is how you place your
subject(s) on the blank canvas that's your
4x6 (or 5x7 or 8x10).
Rule of Thirds
If you mentally divide your screen into
three horizontal and three vertical sections,
where the lines intersect are focal points.
Focal points are what the eyes naturally
seek out when they look at a photograph. It
therefore stands to reason that a focal point
is a good place to position our main
subject. It's not a hard and fast rule, so
don't go bonkers trying to place your
subject right at a focal point. As I am fond
of reminding people who insist on others
strictly obeying rules, "Rules are made to
serve us, not the other way round."
The upper and lower horizontal lines also
make for a good division of where
approximately to put the horizon depending
on whether you want more land (or sea) or
more sky.
Top of Page
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Capturing and Printing Digital Images
Capturing the Image(s)
1. Once the Camera is
attached to the computer
the following dialog box
will open. Select Copy
pictures to a folder on
my computer using
Microsoft Scanner and
Camera Wizard.
2. Select Next.
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3. The computer has now
captured all the images
from the camera.
4. Select Clear All. This will
enable the user to select
what pictures they wish to
save to the computer. To
select individual images,
simply click the right
corner of the image with
the mouse. A green check
mark will indicate that the
photo has been selected.
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5. To select all images in the
camera click on Select All.
6. To rotate the image(s)
clockwise click here.
7. To rotate the image(s)
counterclockwise click
8. Click here to review the
properties of the image
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9. Type in the name of the
picture file (e.g. Family
Vacation Summer 2004).
10. Locate the drive to save
the image files to.
11. Select this option only if
you wish to delete all the
images off the camera
upon completion of the
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12. Selected images are copied
to the computer.
13. There are three options to
select from:
Publish these
pictures to a Web
Order Prints of
these from a photo
printing Web Site
Nothing, I’m
finished working
with these pictures.
Example of publish picture to a web site
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Example of order Prints of these from a photo
printing Web Site
Example of “Nothing,” I’m finished working with
these pictures
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14. In this example, select
Nothing, I’m finished
working with these
15. Images are now saved to
the location selected
earlier. Click Finish.
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Digital Photography Glossary
Published: May 1, 2002
Content Pasted from
Struggling with a word or phrase? You're not alone. Photography has long had its own
language, and digital photography adds many new terms. This glossary defines
commonly used words and phrases in digital photography.
Ambient light
The natural light in a scene.
The ability of a material, including some printing papers and
compact discs, to last for many years.
A small, circular opening inside the lens that can change in
diameter to control the amount of light reaching the camera's
sensor as a picture is taken. The aperture diameter is expressed
in f-stops; the lower the number, the larger the aperture. For
instance, the aperture opening when set to f/2.8 is larger than at
f/8. The aperture and shutter speed together control the total
amount of light reaching the sensor. A larger aperture passes
more light through to the sensor. Many cameras have an aperture
priority mode that allows you to adjust the aperture to your own
liking. See also shutter speed.
A computer program, such as an image editor or image browser.
Memory in the camera that stores digital photos before they are
written to the memory card.
Selectively darkening part of a photo with an image editing
Charge Coupled Device: one of the two main types of image
sensors used in digital cameras. When a picture is taken, the CCD
is struck by light coming through the camera's lens. Each of the
thousands or millions of tiny pixels that make up the CCD convert
this light into electrons. The number of electrons, usually
described as the pixel's accumulated charge, is measured, then
converted to a digital value. This last step occurs outside the CCD,
in a camera component called an analog-to-digital converter.
CD-Recordable: a compact disc that holds either 650 or 700 MB of
digital information, including digital photos. Creating one is
commonly referred to as burning a CD. A CD-R disc can only be
written to once, and is an ideal storage medium for original digital
CD-Rewritable: similar in virtually all respects to a CD-R, except
that a CD-RW disc can be written and erased many times. This
makes them best suited to many backup tasks, but not for long
term storage of original digital photos.
Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor: one of the two main
types of image sensors used in digital cameras. Its basic function
is the same as that of a CCD. CMOS sensors are currently found in
only a handful of digital cameras.
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Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black. The four colors in the inksets of
many photo-quality printers. Some printers use six ink colors to
achieve smoother, more photographic prints. The two additional
colors are often lighter shades of cyan and magenta.
A common type of digital camera memory card, about the size of
a matchbook. There are two types of cards, Type I and Type II.
They vary only in their thickness, with Type I being slightly
thinner. A CompactFlash memory card can contain either flash
memory or a miniature hard drive. The flash memory type is more
The difference between the darkest and lightest areas in a photo.
The greater the difference, the higher the contrast.
Digital camera
A camera that captures the photo not on film, but in an electronic
imaging sensor that takes the place of film.
Selectively lightening part of a photo with an image editing
The process of moving computer data from one location to
another. Though the term is normally used to describe the
transfer, or downloading, of data from the Internet, it is also used
to describe the transfer of photos from a camera memory card to
the computer. Example: I downloaded photos to my PC.
Dots per inch: A measurement of the resolution of a digital photo
or digital device, including digital cameras and printers. The
higher the number, the greater the resolution.
Exchangeable Image File: the file format used by most digital
cameras. For example, when a typical camera is set to record a
JPEG, it's actually recording an EXIF file that uses JPEG
compression to compress the photo data within the file.
External flash
A supplementary flash unit that connects to the camera with a
cable, or is triggered by the light from the camera's internal flash.
Many fun and creative effects can be created with external flash.
A computer document.
Fill flash
A flash technique used to brighten deep shadow areas, typically
outdoors on sunny days. Some digital cameras include a fill flash
mode that forces the flash to fire, even in bright light.
Slang for shooting a picture. Example: I pressed the shutter
button to fire.
A type of cabling technology for transferring data to and from
digital devices at high speed. Some professional digital cameras
and memory card readers connect to the computer over FireWire.
FireWire card readers are typically faster than those that connect
via USB. Also known as IEEE 1394, FireWire was invented by
Apple Computer but is now commonly used with Windows-based
PCs as well.
A photo made up of varying tones of black and white. Grayscale is
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synonymous with black and white.
The brightest parts of a photo.
A graphic representation of the range of tones from dark to light
in a photo. Some digital cameras include a histogram feature that
enables a precise check on the exposure of the photo.
Image browser
An application that enables you to view digital photos. Some
browsers also allow you to rename files, convert photos from one
file format to another, add text descriptions, and more.
Image editor
A computer program that enables you to adjust a photo to
improve its appearance. With image editing software, you can
darken or lighten a photo, rotate it, adjust its contrast, crop out
extraneous detail, remove red-eye and more.
Image resolution The number of pixels in a digital photo is commonly referred to as
its image resolution.
A printer that places ink on the paper by spraying droplets
through tiny nozzles.
ISO speed
A rating of a film's sensitivity to light. Though digital cameras
don't use film, they have adopted the same rating system for
describing the sensitivity of the camera's imaging sensor. Digital
cameras often include a control for adjusting the ISO speed; some
will adjust it automatically depending on the lighting conditions,
adjusting it upwards as the available light dims. Generally, as ISO
speed climbs, image quality drops.
A standard for compressing image data developed by the Joint
Photographic Experts Group, hence the name JPEG. Strictly
speaking, JPEG is not a file format, it's a compression method that
is used within a file format, such as the EXIF-JPEG format
common to digital cameras. It is referred to as a lossy format,
which means some quality is lost in achieving JPEG's high
compression rates. Usually, if a high-quality, low-compression
JPEG setting is chosen on a digital camera, the loss of quality is
not detectable to the eye.
Liquid Crystal Display: a low-power monitor often used on the top
and/or rear of a digital camera to display settings or the photo
Material that information is written to and stored on. Digital
photography storage media includes CompactFlash cards and CDs.
Megabyte (MB)
A measurement of data storage equal to 1024 kilobytes (KB).
Equal to one million pixels.
Memory Stick®
A memory card slightly smaller than a single stick of chewing
gum. Like CompactFlash and SmartMedia, it is flash-based
storage for your photos.
Nickel Metal-Hydride: a type of rechargeable battery that can be
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recharged many times. NiMH batteries provide sufficient power to
run digital cameras and flashes.
Online photo printer
A company that receives digital photos uploaded to its
Web site, prints them, then sends the prints back by mail or
A photography technique in which the camera follows a moving
subject. Done correctly, the subject is sharp and clear, while the
background is blurred, giving a sense of motion to the photo.
Picture Element: digital photographs are comprised of thousands
or millions of them; they are the building blocks of a digital photo.
The RAW image format is the data as it comes directly off the
CCD, with no in-camera processing is performed.
The red glow from a subject's eyes caused by light from a flash
reflecting off the blood vessels behind the retina in the eye. The
effect is most common when light levels are low, outdoor at night,
or indoor in a dimly-lit room.
Red, Green, Blue: the three colors to which the human visual
system, digital cameras and many other devices are sensitive.
How rich the colors are in a photo.
See ISO speed.
A method for connecting an external device such as a printer,
scanner, or camera, to a computer. It has been all but replaced by
USB and FireWire in modern computers.
The clarity of detail in a photo.
Shutter speed
The camera's shutter speed is a measurement of how long its
shutter remains open as the picture is taken. The slower the
shutter speed, the longer the exposure time. When the shutter
speed is set to 1/125 or simply 125, this means that the shutter
will be open for exactly 1/125th of one second. The shutter speed
and aperture together control the total amount of light reaching
the sensor. Some digital cameras have a shutter priority mode
that allows you to set the shutter speed to your liking. See also
A wafer-thin, matchbook size memory card. This is also a flashmemory based storage medium.
A small version of a photo. Image browsers commonly display
thumbnails of photos several or even dozens at a time. In
Windows XP's My Pictures, you can view thumbnails of photos in
both the Thumbnails and Filmstrip view modes.
Universal Serial Bus: a protocol for transferring data to and from
digital devices. Many digital cameras and memory card readers
connect to the USB port on a computer. USB card readers are
typically faster than cameras or readers that connect to the serial
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port, but slower than those that connect via FireWire.
White balance
A function on the camera to compensate for different colors of
light being emitted by different light sources.
Top of Page
Sources used in this document:
101 Uses for a Digital Camera
Kodak – Taking Great Pictures;jsessionid=XT0IDLQSVUJETFW4FB
Digital Cameras - A beginner's guide
Digital Camera 101
Digital Photography Glossary
Digital Photo Tips by Duane Brovan
Steve’s Digicam Dictionary
Kodak – Top Ten Tips for Great Pictures
Top 10 Digital Photography Myths
Digital Photography Tutorials
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