One thing is certain with a new baby: you are going to be taking lots of baby pictures. Digital Cameras are great for capturing every moment. I love our digital camera, I bought it for Jay a couple of Christmas’ ago, but I seem to be the one who uses it the most.
We have a Canon A85—I highly recommend their cameras if you are thinking about buying one—the optics are great and the model we have has a tonne of options. I will admit, I prefer the “auto” setting—just point and click.There are lots of great buying guide websites around if you are looking for reviews of cameras like DP review.
The Canon A85 is 4 mega-pixels—most cameras available now have at least that many mega-pixels. One thing I would recommend looking for in a camera is an optical zoom vs digital zoom. Optical zoom is the zoom using the lens, a physical magnification of the object vs digital which is just a magnification of a portion of the picture. With a digital zoom you can end up with a pixelly image.
The other important factor with digital photography is the memory card. The bigger the memory card the more pictures it can hold. Speed is also important. The memory cards come in different speeds the faster the card, the faster the recycle time which means more pictures. I didn’t realize how important it was until I used my sister’s camera last month, she had a slow memory card and it seemed to take forever until I could take another picture.
To Print or Not to Print
When it comes to printing off the pictures a film camera does not compare. You can pick the images you want fix them with your photo software and print them at home or send them to your local photo store. When ink-jet printers first came out I loved the idea that you could print the pictures at home. The problem I have found with printing at home is that it often takes 2 or 3 tries before I get a decent quality print and with the cost of ink-jet ink and photo paper it is kind of expensive.
Now I send all my pictures to a photo-lab to be printed. There are so many choices and you can get the pictures for such a good price. I use Blacks Photography. They are more expensive but I think the pictures look great! We usually pick them up so they are printed in the store and I think that the store that we use, at Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth, is far superior to other Black’s stores. In my opinion, if you find a spot that does excellent prints stick with them, because good quality prints are often because the staff in the photo lab are good at their job.
As well as printing pictures, I find that with a baby I am e-mailing a lot of pictures to people. I had been using Adobe Photoshop to prepare my images for e-mail. I would colour correct, I would use the dodge tool to fix red eye (a very common problem with babies) a very tedious way to fix it, then resize the images for mail. There is nothing worse than getting an email of a picture and all you can see is a giant eye.
I started using Picasa, Google’s photo software, which I downloaded for free. It has a very easy to use red eye fix and when you want to e-mail the picture you just click the e-mail button and it resizes it for you! Now Picasa also has a web album so you can resize your images and people can look at them online and download images suitable for printing—something that e-mailed photos not always great for. The free online album offers 250MB of space but you can buy more if you need too ($25 for 6GB).
If you are Mac user iphoto has similar software with an easy to fix red eye and the one click e-mail.
What tips do you have for digital photography?