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A 35mm compact is a camera that is usually small enough to fit into a bag or coat pocket. Its ideal of you dont want much fuss or easily become confused by complicated features. Most offer point & shoot modes and many have overrides and creative modes for the more advanced users. Cameras start at around 20 and go up to 500 or so for highly advanced models.
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A digital camera is a modern way to take photographs. They have many advantages including not having to use film, not causing any processing costs, giving instant results, creating e-mailable pictures and pictures that can be improved with the use of a computer. Many are compact shaped, but there are also bigger SLR types.
Indicates the number of positions a lens stops at when focused. In theory, lenses with more stops offer a greater stage of focusing zones for sharper results, but in practice this is difficult to see when using a compact camera with more than 30 zones.
If you've ever taken a photo in low light using a compact camera or an SLR with built-in flash you will have no doubt come across a strange effect - people with alien-looking eyes. The reason is simple; the flash lights up all the blood vessels in the eye which reflect back into the lens. The further away the flash is from the lens the less likely the chances of this strange phenomena occurring. The problem with built-in flash is that you can't control where the flash fires from. To overcome this, many cameras have a red-eye reduction mode, but it is, as the name suggests, only a reducer. It works by firing a pre flash to reduce the size of the pupils, and in doing so reduces the area of red. The redness is still usually apparent, but because the pupil is smaller the effect is less noticeable. There are three methods used in cameras to reduce red-eye. One is a single pre flash. This is quite bright and can fool the subject into thinking the picture has been taken. So you avoid red-eye but have a picture of a person either looking away or blinking. The second method fires a less powerful, but equally distracting, sequence of flashes, almost like a strobe. This can result in the unaware person shielding their eyes from the potential epilepsy inducing strobe! Version three tends to be the most subtle - a torch-like light that shines for about five seconds before the flash is taken. The only downside of this is battery drain. If you have a computer you can remove red-eye digitally using image editing software. If you don't there are special pens available that you can use to colour in the red on your photos.
Advanced Photo System, a camera and film system designed jointly by Kodak, Fuji, Nikon, Canon and Minolta. The film cartridge, with a slightly smaller film than 35 mm film, is as easy to load as a battery film as it slots effortlessly into a chamber on the camera, and can be exchanged for another film without having to finish the roll. It also has a status indictor on one end showing if the film is unused, partially used, used but unprocessed or processed. So you won't hand in an unexposed roll for processing or put a film through the camera twice and double expose everything. The system allows the photographer to have his settings recorded on the back of his prints, which is automatically done by the processing lab. Although a few APS SLR models were made by Canon and one other manufacturer, most APS cameras tend to be compact and easy to use, but they are often less versatile than 35mm cameras at equivalent price points. The APS system is now regarded as an interim product, used only by consumers, which was popular for a short time, until better compact cameras became available at affordable prices. Most manufacturers have discontinued production of APS cameras. APS film is still available here and there, and processing labs still accept APS film.
This is the eye of the camera and is used to capture the image it sees onto the camera's light sensitive film, or CCD in digital camera. The size of lens is measured and indicated as a focal length. Cameras come with either a fixed lens or zoom lens with a range of focal lengths (see lens range) and on some SLR and rangefinder cameras the lens detaches so others can be attached to increase versatility. With a detachable lens camera it's often possible to buy just the body with a lens of your choice.The amount of light passing through the lens is controlled by an aperture, which is often quoted with its maximum aperture setting.Buying adviceSLRs: If you intend buying a specific lens in the future make sure that it's available in the same mount as the camera you are considering or own. Also if you're upgrading cameras, buy one with the same lens fitting or one that can be adapted to save the cost of replacing all the lenses you own.Digital and compact cameras: A fixed lens camera can often be much smaller so could be selected if you need to travel light. It's also less expensive if your budget is tight. It's better, though, to choose a camera with a zoom if you can afford to, rather than using a digital zoom or cropping the picture later. Go for one with a wider angle zoom if most of your pictures will be landscapes, interiors or family group shots.Choose a version with a longer telephoto setting if you want to shoot long distance subjects, portraits and wildlife.
Indicates the magnification and angle-of-view of a lens. The human eye sees things roughly the same as a 43mm focal length of a lens for a 35mm camera. Anything shorter is classed as a wide-angle, while longer focal lengths are telephoto. Because of the comparatively small size of the CCD in a compact digital camera it has a standard focal length of between 6mm and 8mm while a medium-format camera is around 80mm.
Stands for Personal Computer Memory Card International Association - a group of 25 companies in 1989 who set worldwide standards for compact removable memory cards. These included Type I, II and III cards and were used to store images in a professionally specified camera or add extra functions to a computer. They have largely been superceded by the much smaller CompactFlash and an adaptor is available for older cameras to take the newer cards.
This is what you look through to help point the camera in the right direction when taking a photo. SLR cameras have accurate through the lens viewing so what you see is what the lens sees. Compact, rangefinder and digital cameras have a separate viewfinder that is often less accurate at close range. Some cameras have an adjustment to change the eyepiece to suit your vision. Some have an accessory slot where a small correction lens can be attached.
A mode on many compact cameras and some SLRs that masks the film so that a narrow strip is recorded. The result is then printed on elongated paper to give an impressive 10x4in widescreen style photo. This works better when the camera's lens is a wider angle. You don't have to have a panoramic mode to obtain this style photo. Cropping an existing negative that was printed on 10x8in paper would give the same results, but is obviously more expensive. Alternatively, if you ensure the subject is in the middle of the frame you could ask your lab to make panoramic pictures from your film when processed.
On compact cameras, this mode allows the camera to focus closer than normal. On SLR cameras this mode will select a large aperture to blur the background to help isolate your subject.