Manual White balance

This feature is present in most high end or “semiprofessional” cameras.

What it does?

Actually you can see it by yourself. Just take a white page and look at it in different lighting. When it is under sunlight it will appear white; Under low light it will appear gray; Under fluorescent lighting – purple … etc.

When digital camera is taking pictures all colors will be shifted and it will be really hard to obtain right colors. Manual white balance comes in help – when you use it point to something that you need to be white and camera will do the corrections for you.

In most of the cameras you have some preset values, but in real live this may not be enough.

Beginner photographs can ignore this feature.

Battery run time

One of important characteristics is how much time camera works on given set of batteries? Does it accept rechargeable batteries or already incorporates an integrated accumulator?

In later case you will need some additional information as:

  • can you charge it in car or you will need to buy optional car charger? – If no you may need to consider buying DC to AC adapter.
  • How much take for the accumulator to charge?
  • What is the life of integrated accumulators? – usually measured in discharge/charge times

Tip: If you need to increase run time consider turning off LCD display. Of course you will need an optical viewer to see what you photograph. Unfortunately most of low cost cameras either do not have one or it “lies” – does not show correct picture area.

Attention: For some of the cameras out on the market the specifications show the time with optional high capacity accumulator and LCD turned off – read the fine-print.

Storage

One of important features is what type of storage is used into camera? What is maximum capacity? The recording speed?

Currently several technologies are used in digital cameras:

  • CF – compact flash
  • Micro-drive – miniature hard drive in CF format
  • SD/MMC – secure digital/multimedia card
  • MS – memory stick
  • SM – smart media
  • xD – picture card

They vary in sizes, speed and capacity and are often incompatible. So if your camera uses one you cannot put another format. Some of professional grade cameras are equipped with multiple slots supporting more than one type of card.

After determining the type you can shop for card prices and capacity. Verify camera documentation for maximum supported capacity.

Attention: Some cameras have small amount of integrated memory often impossible to expand.

Every camera has internal memory with capacity enough to store one picture and after you toke the picture the camera cannot take another one until the previous one is stored in storage media. So you need to verify the time need and how many pictures your camera can take before internal memory is filled.

To be continued

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