Tuesday, October 07, 2008
One of the greatest new types of gadget to come into play recently is the digital camera. There are a lot of reasons why digital cameras are so much better than film based cameras, and they all come down to the computer technology that goes into digital cameras. Digital cameras can capture images on special chips that can pick up light and color and convert it into digital data. That digital data is then stored on some kind of computer storage device, which is most often based on flash memory technology these days, though in the past digital cameras have stored pictures on things like floppy disks as well (as preposterous as that may seem to us today). The flash memory can either be built into the camera or be a detachable form memory card or memory stick. Many cameras have combinations of both forms of storage media and pictures from both can be transferred onto a computer for editing, posting on the Internet, or printing out into the form of a more traditional photograph.
The ability to transfer digital photos to a computer is what really makes digital cameras so much better than their film based ancestors. That's because there's so much that can be done with a photo once it's on a computer. For example, you can edit the photo to take out any of the dreaded "red eye" effect that still invariably shows up in some photos despite the best efforts of camera makers to avoid it to begin with. There are also plenty of other special effects that can be added to pictures though even relatively common software programs. For example, a picture can be made to look much older by adding a sepia filter to it and making it a little fuzzy so that it appears slightly out of focus. Besides changing the overall appearance of a digital photo, photo editing programs can also change what's in the photos. For example, it's possible to "clone" trees in a picture and paste them over utility poles. It's also possible to paste the heads of some people onto the bodies of other people or to put people into photographs in order to make it look like someone was in a place where they've never actually been. This can be especially useful for family reunion photos where not everyone could make it to the reunion.
Once a photo has been loaded onto a computer and any editing has been completed, there are a number of things that can be done with it. For example, it's possible to post the photo on the Internet, either on your own web site or on a photo sharing site. It's also possible to email it to specific people, or you can print it out so that you can assembled an actual physical photo album. The thing that the digital camera does best though is allow its owner to take numerous photos and eliminate the ones that aren't up to his or her standards without the expense of developing all of those photos. In that sense, digital cameras are much more economical than film cameras, and better for the environment when you look at how toxic photo developing is.
All of these features make digital cameras incredibly useful gadgets.