Digital Photo 101

Marcel BrownOne of the more common topics I get questions about is digital photography. Beginning with the purchase of a camera, I often get asked how many megapixels should their camera have. I also see many people confused about card readers. Finally, the biggest problems usually revolve around the organization and editing of their photos. In an attempt to help everyone avoid trouble, here are my tips to simplify digital photography.

1. When purchasing a digital camera, more megapixels is not always better. 4 megapixels will produce nice 4×6 and 5×7 prints. 5 megapixels will produce good quality 8×10 prints. Unless you plan on making larger prints, more megapixels simply waste space on your memory cards. This means your memory cards will hold fewer photos, requiring you to purchase larger memory cards. In addition, more megapixels usually means a more expensive camera.

2. Purchase and use a card reader. It is generally much easier to transfer photos from your digital camera by taking out the memory card and putting it in a card reader. This avoids the hassle of making sure your camera is charged and in the right mode. There are many inexpensive card readers available that can read a wide variety of memory cards. Just make sure the card reader you choose works with the memory card your camera uses.

3. Don’t even think of installing the software that comes with your digital camera. Most of the software that comes with digital cameras are bloated, inefficient, and unnecessary. If you have a Mac, it already comes with iPhoto. It will easily import your photos from your card reader with no additional software. If you have Windows, download the free program Picasa ( Picasa is small, efficient, and easy to use. And again, by using a card reader, Picasa will import your photos regardless of what kind of camera you have. Both iPhoto and Picasa make organizing and editing your photos very easy. They also make the process of e-mailing your photos simple since they can automatically reduce your photos and send them to your e-mail software.

If you follow my three tips, working with digital photos will become a whole lot easier for you.

Contact Marcel if you have questions about digital photography or other digital media technologies.