Nearly every human desires to capture moments they would cherish forever. Countless iconic photographs continue influencing our way of thinking. However, not everyone understands all that involves the digital camera. We are going to explain a few concepts about digital photography while focusing on digital cameras. Eventually, this post should help give your career a solid foundation, especially as a freelance photographer in Dubai.
Even though the art of photography is complex and may require you to dedicate many hours of devoted study, knowing the basic elements around the digital camera will give you a head start in the industry. For starters, we are assuming that you are already aware of terms such as landscape, portrait, selfie, and lenses. Therefore, we will be focusing on simplifying the more complex aspects of this tool of the trade.
The Digital Camera Cross-section
Understanding the digital camera begins with mastering the principles of digital photography. Traditional film photography relied on a source of light striking the lens to form a negative image on the film’s plane. While digital photography is completely different, it still depends on similar principles of light. You can get a great explanation of digital photography in a way that everyone understands through the internet.
However, for the sake of this post, the simplest description is that digital photography does not form a negative image. Instead, it creates a copy of what is visible through the camera lens. Therefore, every digital camera carries either a CCD or CMOS sensor, which replaces the negative.
The sensor decides the quality of megapixels in a digital camera. Each megapixel records;
- The amount of light
- The full-color spectrum
After a megapixel recording the two elements, it converts the details into an image.
What is in a megapixel?
If you are making a picture using the template of a football pitch, you will first need millions of square blocks containing all the 256 colors, including the spectrum shades. If you were to stand on this pitch, it is not going to look like a photograph, but countless squares. Nevertheless, flying over the pitch at height will start creating a good impression.
Therefore, the following is what you ought to do when using photo-editing software like Adobe Photoshop;
- Standing on the football pitch
- Redesigning the shade, color, and tone of individual blocks
- Flying over the football field again to see how the image looks
You don’t have to worry about editing pixels individually because the software takes care of all the hard work. You shouldn’t overrule altering individual pixels for serious work. By doing so, your transition to digital photography will be easier.
Digital Camera Sensors
- CCD Sensor: The charge-coupled device or CCD uses electrical charges to record photons in each pixel or photosite. Digital cameras have a built-in amplifier that transforms an analog signal to a digital one. The camera then stores the digital signal on an external recording device or a memory card.
- CMOS Sensor: The complementary metal-oxide semiconductors or CMOS sensors have a slightly different working principle, although with enhanced efficiency. In the place of electrical charges, a CMOS sensor has a solid-state circuitry in each pixel allowing for instant image processing on the camera sensor. The metal-oxide-semiconductor permits access and image processing on individual photosites.
How many megapixels do you need?
Determining the right megapixel value is not about the number of pixels on the sensor, for example, 8, 16, or 32MP, but the size of the sensor. The sensor builds a bigger and clearer enlargement. For instance, the 8-MP CMOS sensor will produce better results than a sensor on a 12-MP smartphone or a compact digital camera.
Assuming that the camera sensor is a net, then each of the countless square boxes is pixels. Now let us compare two nets each containing 24 squares. The squares are identical, measuring 4 high by 6 long, but the nets have different lengths of 6-inches and 12-inches respectively. Twenty-four squares on a 12-inch net would stretch longer than the same squares would do on a 6-inch net.
Choosing The Right Digital Camera
When shopping for the best digital camera, here is what to expect from the various models;
- Digital Compact Cameras – have the smallest sensors
- Semi-Pro DSLRs – bigger than digital compact sensors
- Professional DSLRs – Have standard, 35mm film sensors
The DSLR camera is among the best models in the market today because it carries;
- Plenty of advanced features
- A switchable lens mount
- A decent size of an image sensor
Apart from trying to figure out the best DSLR camera for a beginner, you will be looking for a host of other features before purchasing one.
Exposure and Compensation
Light intensity on the subject determines the quality of the shot. Exposure means the lightness or darkness in an image. The camera creates an image by exposing the sensor to light. A dark picture is underexposed or a result of exposure to insufficient light. On the other hand, the alight picture is overexposed or a product of exposure to too much light.
You can use ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to control exposure. The best digital cameras allow the user to regulate the Exposure Value or EV. This way, you can give a negative value like -1EV to decrease exposure or positive value such as +1EV to increase it. A greater level of control over the EV results in perfect shots despite the bad lighting condition.
High Dynamic Range Cameras
You will want to find a decent HDR camera for a stable start of your freelance photography business. The majority of smartphones today have a high dynamic range feature. The feature allows the camera to capture a wide range of colors with a precise amount of light falling on each pixel. You will see the HDR effect clearly if you look for shots with both flushed light parts and shadowy areas.
- The Hot Shoe
Although the hot shoe does not have any influence on photography composition rules, it is a handy provision for attaching a flashlight to your DSLR camera.
Types of DSLR Camera Lenses
DSLR cameras use different types of lenses. While some have a fixed focal length, others carry lenses with zoom functionality for capturing distant objects.
- The Wide Angle Lens: You cannot completely capture the subject if the object is too close to the lens. In such situations, you will need a wide-angle lens.
- The Telephoto Lens: Lenses that focus on distant subjects have the zoom or telephoto functionality. The focal lengths for these lenses often start from 135mm to about 1000mm.
- Prime Lens: You will invest in this lens if you want something with a fixed focal length. Photographers have to move around to capture images since there is no playing around with the lens.
The Bottom Line
You are familiar with the most essential functionalities of a digital camera. Remember to include the features in your assessment criteria. For the finest quality, medium format cameras have the biggest sensors. On the downside, the cameras are costly. The price factor makes the model unpopular with most beginner freelance photographers in Dubai.