Project #1 Get to Know Your Camera

hands on camera
There are many kinds of digital cameras, but for simplicity they can be described as cameras that are compact, sometimes called point-and-shoot, cameras that are mid-range, sometimes called bridge cameras, and DSLR cameras.Then there are camera phones.

Even the simplest point-and-shoot cameras can take remarkably good pictures but may be limited in versatility.  The best DSLR cameras are are wonders capable of not only the taking best quality photos but capable also of using many optional accessories that greatly increase the range of creative picture taking challenges. Whichever camera you have, knowing how it functions and its limitations or capabilities will increase your creative options.

Here are what these cameras look like.

A compact camera may be as simple as a tiny credit card size camera with no controls or a quite sophisticated camera likeCompact camera  this Canon that has a zoom lens, a built-in flash, and an amazing aray of features. It will even take video. Most amazingly, you can buy this camera used on eBay for as little as $30 or new from about $100.

If a camera like this is your camera, you will be able to make great pictures and develop your creative eye in this class. The key is to get to know how it works and all that it can do. If you have the owners manual that comes with the camera, that is a good place to start. But even if you do not, you will find videos on YouTube that will help. Here is one Canon IXUS 850 SI You will find a video for almost every camera. This camera is almost 9 years old, but there are several videos available.

Mid-range cameras are now usually called bridge camera. I have used mid-range cameras for years and have Lumix G7found they do everything I want a camera to do. Some may come with a fixed zoom lens; some come with detachable zoom lenses allowing adding a super wide angle lens or a long telephoto lens to your camera kit. The features and capabilities of these cameras are often equal to the top of the line DSLR cameras. Bridge cameras are also often excellent video camera. These cameras can be purchased new for as littler as $300 - $400 or as high as several thousand.

If a camera like this is your camera, the pictures taking possibilities are unlimited. Begin  getting to know your camera with the owners manual. But like the campacts, there are videos on YouTube that will teach you how to use your camera. Here's a  video for the Lumix G7 Your mid-range camera will have a video very much like this.

DSLR cameras are the cameras most professionals use. Their advantage over the high quality mid-range cameras is the Nikonsize of their sensors. But along with the larger sensor size, which allows for the very highest quality images, the camera is larger and heavier. All DSLRs have detachable lenses and an incredible variety of specialized and extremely high quality lenses can be added to your camera kit. Prices range from $400  or $500 to several thousands.

Begin getting to know your camera with the owners manual and with YouTube videos. Here's a video tutorial for the Nikon D5200.

The camera phone is a fourth option, and more and more photographers camera phoneare using  a camera phone to creatively picture their world. Picture quality is great and features and controls rival those on Mid-range cameras. Apps available for many camera phones extend the versatility.

Here's a video tutorial for the Apple iPhone

This project asks you to try out the features and controls on your camera. Don't go too deeply into all the features available. Many cameras have more features than you will ever use. But get to know how to use the basic controls available on your camera.  Refer to the owners manual or video tutorial for help if you don't know what the terms mean. Your camera may not be capable of adjusting all these controls. If not explore the controls you can adjust.

1. Take a good* picture of the same subject with the wide-angle  and with the telephoto range of the lens. Post both pictures to your Flickr site.

2. Take a good picture of the same subject using a slow shutter speed for one picture and a fast shutter speed for the second. Post these picture to Flickr.

3. Take a good picture of the same subject using a low ISO setting and a high setting. Post the two pictures on Flickr.

4. Take a good picture of the same subject using two different aperture settings. Post the two pictures to Flick.

4. Make a short video and post it to Flickr.

5. Try out some of the filters available on your camera. Take several pictures and post to Flickr.

* A good picture means a picture that looks good. Your ability to make good pictures will improve over this year, but you should try to make the best picture you can for each assignment.

The number of pictures required for this project will depend on how many of these functions you can control. Most cameras  have a means of controlling these basic functions, if yours is you should be able to post 10 pictures and a video.

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© 2018 Don Camp